New £1.1m Marines base named af­ter hero sol­dier

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

A NEW £1.1M base for Royal Marines in Sal­ford has been named in hon­our of a Crimean War hero.

The new base, on the site of Hal­dane Bar­racks Army Re­serve Cen­tre on Ec­cles New Road, was for­mally named the Pret­tyjohns Build­ing, af­ter Cor­po­ral John Pret­tyjohns who was awarded the Vic­to­ria Cross dur­ing the Crimean War.

Cpl Pret­tyjohns was awarded the VC for con­spic­u­ous gal­lantry af­ter wrestling the leader of a Rus­sian pa­trol to the ground dur­ing the 1854 Bat­tle of Inkerman.

Low on am­mu­ni­tion, he or­dered his men to col­lect stones to throw at the en­emy pa­trol, which caused them to re­treat.

He was dis­charged on June 16, 1865, af­ter more than 21 years ser­vice and re­tired in Manch­ester with his wife El­iz­a­beth, where he be­came a stew­ard at Whal­ley Range Bowl­ing Club.

He died in 1887 and is buried at South­ern Ceme­tery.

Dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony at the new base, a plaque was un­veiled by Ma­jor Gen­eral Robert Magowan CBE, Com­man­dant Gen­eral Royal Marines, in the pres­ence of Cpl Pret­tyjohn’s de­scen­dants Laura Walsh and Maria Gibbs.

The build­ing is a train­ing fa­cil­ity which will house Manch­ester De­tach­ment RMR Mersey­side.

Maj Gen Magowan said: “It gives me great plea­sure to name this new fa­cil­ity in hon­our of a Corps hero, the first Royal Marine to be awarded the VC, who lies just a few miles away.

“It is even more of an hon­our to do so in the pres­ence of two of Cpl Pret­tyjohns’ de­scen­dants, Laura Walsh and Maria Gibbs.

“The Pret­tyjohns Build­ing will pro­vide RMR Mersey­side with a vi­tal fa­cil­ity, al­low­ing Royal Marines Re­servists from across Manch­ester to train to the ex­act­ing stan­dards re­quired of them to de­ploy along­side their Reg­u­lar coun­ter­parts on op­er­a­tions around the world.”

Ma­jor Gen­eral Robert Magowan CBE with Cpl Pret­tyjohns’ great-great grandaugh­ters Maria Gibbs and Laura Walsh

Cor­po­ral John Pet­tyjohns

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