National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Finn VC Estate

Summary

Type Building

     The whole housing estate in the centre of Bodmin is dedicated to the memory of this private soldier born in the town and awarded the VC in the First World War
     In November 1966, fifty years after Private Finn's death, the Mayor of Bodmin, Councillor H.R.G.Kinsman JP, unveiled a commemorative plaque (not located on the site visit) which read: FINN V.C. ESTATE/ The home of the late Pte. James Henry Finn, who was awarded the Victoria Cross at Sannaiyat, Mesopotamia on the 9th April, 1916 was in Downing Street, the site of which forms part of this estate. Pte. Finn died of wounds in Mesopotamia on 30th March, 1917/ November 1966
     James Henry Finn VC was born in Bodmin on 24 November 1893. He moved to Wales to find work and enlisted in the 4th Battalion of the South Wales Border1914, immediately the first World War began. After service in Gallipoli he went to Mesopotamia and he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his action in tending wounded men under heavy fire. He then carried two of them to safety, still under continuous fire, less than 300 yards from the enemy line at Sanna-i-Yat, on 9 April 1916. He was mentioned in dispatches and was also awarded the Serbian 'VC' the Order of Karageorge. The ribbon of the VC was presented to him by Lt.General Sir F.Stanley Maude at Amarah in November 1916 but he died when hit in a field ambulance the day after receiving leg wounds at Noel Plain 50 miles south of Bagdad in the following March. King George V presented the VC to his father at a public investiture in Hyde Park on 2 June 1917. His name is recorded on a memorial tablet on the Bodmin Library in Bore Street, directly opposite the entrance to the Finn VC Estate. His medal was given to Bodmin Borough Council in February 1954. (The Men of Harlech, Journal of the Royal Regiment of Wales, (24th/41st Foot) No.53, Autumn 1995) In the Register of the VC he called Fynn, an error made on enlistment that was never corrected, and listed as number 435. He has no known grave but his memorials are given as Basra Memorial in Iraq and The Guildhall, Bodmin, Cornwall The VC and his other war medals were given to Bodmin Borough Council by his mother on 16 February 1954

Inscriptions

On white plaques attached at first floor level tof houses either side of the road at the entrance to the estate, in raised sans-serif lettering painted black: FINN V.C. ESTATE / A relief metal cast of a Victoria Cross is placed at the left of each plaque and to the right the town seal of Bodmin

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Houses None None

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
CO139 BL
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • No damage
Structural condition
  • None
Vandalism
  • Graffiti
Road Bore Street
Precise location Finn Estate
A-Z ref 12 D2
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1966
Unveiling details The naming of the estate in honour of Private Finn V.C. and the unveiling of the name plates - 13 November 1966
Commissioned by Bodmin Borough Council
Duty of care None
Listing status Don't know
At risk? Not at risk

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