It is the great privilege for the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust to be responsible for the administration of this living memorial to the valour of Boy Seaman John Cornwell – the John Cornwell VC National Memorial Almshouse. This consists of a community of six naval cottage homes in Hornchurch, Essex, for occupation by needy disabled or infirm former naval ratings or marines or their widows.


The John Cornwell Victoria Cross National Memorial (JCVCNM) was established in 1928 to remember the valour of Boy Seaman John Cornwell who died in June 1916 following wounds received in the Battle of Jutland onboard HMS CHESTER. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, posthumously, in September 1916. As a lasting memorial, a plot of land was purchased from the money raised by the Mayor of East Ham, on which was built a community of Cottages for occupation by needy disabled or infirm former sailors. The Community comprises six semi-detached almshouse properties situated in their own grounds at Hornchurch, Essex. The layout of the houses and pathways form a symbolic ‘Victoria Cross’.

The accommodation

The almshouse accommodation is spread over ground and first floor and consists of lounge, dining room, kitchen, two bathrooms (one on each floor) and two bedrooms. There is full central heating, double-glazing and a small garden to rear. The accommodation is carpeted throughout but unfurnished. The residents are subject to a Weekly Maintenance Charge (reviewed annually) plus utilities.


The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust became the sole Trustee of the JCVCNM Cottage Homes in February 2008. RNBT is a member of The Almshouse Association ( – opens in another window).

Eligibility to occupy

Eligibility is open to all needy disabled and/or infirm former Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines up to and including the rate or rank of Warrant Officer, and their families.

For further information please contact us at the Pembroke House address shown below:

The John Cornwell VC National Memorial
Pembroke House
11 Oxford Road
Kent ME7 4BS

Tel: 01634 852431
Fax: 01634 281709