1. Memorial:Sablonnieres New Communal Cemetery4
2. Memorial:Freemasons VC Memorial Great Queen Street
3. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.131
4. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour8A GQS
5. Book:Beyond The Five PointsPgs 108-110

Awards & Titles:

Victoria Cross

Family :

Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Norwood; husband of Lilian.

Education & Career :

Rugby School and Exeter College, Oxford

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 5th Dragoon Guards (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) 

Action : The Battle of the Marne 1914 

7 - 10 September 1914. The pivotal moment of the Great War that reversed the German advance. The BEF had been in constant retreat since its initial encounter with the Germans at Mons on 23rd August 1914, usually marching over 20 miles each day. Eventually it became clear that the German pursuit was losing focus as it struggled to maintain momentum and an opportunity was spotted (with the help of the innovative use of aircraft) to hit the German flank as it passed by Paris. The shock of the attack by the French 6th Army coupled with the stand on the River Marne, created the conditions for self doubt in the German High Command and the order to disengage and retreat was given.

Detail :

NORWOOD, John, Captain, 5th Dragoon Guards (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) John Norwood won the Victoria Cross during the Boer War in 1899: An extract taken from the London Gazette dated 27th July, 1900 records the following: John Norwood, Lieut., 5th Dragoon Guards. Date of Act of Bravery 30th Oct., 1899. On the 30th Oct., 1899, this officer went out from Ladysmith (S. Africa) in charge of a small patrol of the 5th Dragoon Guards. They came under a heavy fire from the enemy, who were posted on a ridge in great force. The patrol, which had arrived within about 600 yards of the ridge, then retired at full speed. One man dropped, and Second Lieut. Norwood galloped back about 300 yards through heavy fire, dismounted, and picking up the fallen trooper, carried him out of fire on his back, at the same time leading his horse with one hand. The enemy kept up an incessant fire during the whole time that Second Lieut Norwood was carrying the man until he was quite out of range. John Norwood VC was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 6 Feb 1899. He was promoted Lieutenant 27 June 1900 and Captain 14 April 1904. When the war broke out he rejoined his regiment, the 5th D.G.'s.. on mobilisation. He was in the retirement from Mons and fell in the Battle of the Marne at Sablonnieres whilst trying to help a wounded Sergeant in a manner somewhat similar to that when he won the VC 15 years earlier. He was killed in action during the First Battle of the Marne at Sablonnieres, France, on 8 September 1914. The Official History sets the scene for the day: On the 8th September the tide turned for the Allies as the Germans advance through France stalled and they were pushed back across the river Petit Morin. The 5th Dragoon Guards were at the head of the Cavalry Division, moved by La Ferte Gaucher on Sablonnieres, and the 4th Dragoon Guards on the wooden bridge at La Forge, 2,000 yards lower down. Driving scattered parties of German horsemen before them, they plunged down into the wooded valley of the Petit Morin. The two bridges at Sablonnieres were reported to be lightly held, but a direct advance upon them was found to be impossible owing to the enemy's rifle fire. Captain Norwood married, in 1904, Lilian, daughter of Major- General Sir Edwin Collen, K.C.I.E., C.B., and left two sons and a daughter. He was a member of the Cavalry Club, and his recreations were hunting, shooting, and tennis. He was one of 12 English freemasons who were VC winners and who were killed in the Great War. The others were BROMLEY, CARTER, WATSON, DIMMER, REYNOLDS, McNAIR, COLLINGS-WELLS, LUMSDEN, NELSON, HALLOWES & HARTLEY. A brass memorial to him can be seen in St Michael's Church, East Peckham, Kent.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Apollo University No. 357 E.C.Oxfordshire
Joined : Anchor No. 1704 E.C. London
Joined : Lodge Concordia No. 3102 E.C. Devonshire
Joined : Beckenham No. 2047 E.C. London
Joined : Defence Lodge No. 2839 E.C. Bengal


Initiated into Apollo University Lodge No. 357 in 1896, and was a member for 11 years, resigning in 1907. Listed as a 20 year old Hop Merchant when he joined Anchor Lodge No. 1704 on 12th March, 1897. He was resident at 15 Southwark Street, S.E. He also joined Beckenham Lodge in 1897, listed as a Merchant. He further joined two lodges in Calcutta, Defence Lodge from 1905-06 and Lodge Concordia No. 3102 in Calcutta, 6th December 1905 now a Captain in the 5th Dragoon Guards.

Source :

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Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-12-03 16:04:33