Moths clean up military grave site

On the 26th August 2023, Shellhole Supporter and member of the MOTH Museums and Memorials committee Ms Rhenisha Dayanand, initiated a military grave site clean-up of Captain Joseph Malone VC, and fallen and forgotten soldiers of the Irish 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot at St Andrews churchyard in Kings Rd , Pinetown.

Eleven Volunteers from Twilight Red Tab and Better Ole Shellhole, Mainline District, assisted in this clean-up process.

This very successful initiative has surely sparked many future proposals of forgotten fallen hero resting place clean-ups in the Durban area.

Well done Rhenisha, your commitment and drive once again emphasises the Shellhole Supporter, in highlighting the three ideals of the Order through TC, MH, SM.

Joseph Malone VC (11 January 1833 – 28 June 1883) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He was 21 years old, and a sergeant in the 13th Light Dragoons (later 13th Hussars), British Army during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 25 October 1854 at Balaclava, Crimean Peninsula (Charge of the Light Brigade), Sergeant Malone, while returning on foot from the charge, in which his horse had been shot, stopped under very heavy fire and helped a troop sergeant-major (John Berryman) and other sergeant (John Farrell) to move a very severely wounded officer (who subsequently died) out of range of the guns.

After Crimea Malone found himself with the 6th Dragoons billeted in Pinetown, South Africa. The registers of the Pinetown Library show that Malone borrowed two books on 5 May 1883, but was not able to return because he became ill, and died on 28 June. He is buried in the small cemetery in what was the old St Andrews churchyard off Kings Road. An account of his funeral reads: “His body was brought from the Rugby Hotel on a gun carriage drawn by soldiers, his horse led in front of it, his boots hanging reversed from the saddle, with his sword and knapsack rolled on it, the helmet resting on the coffin. The band played the Dead March and the men moved along the road slowly and majestically to the solemn sounds; and we children were moved to tears with the pathos and marvel of it all.”

His Victoria Cross was acquired by Lord Ashcroft in 2017 and is displayed at the Imperial War Museum, London as part of the Lord Ashcroft VC collection.

He was the grandfather of the stage actress Patricia Malone.