THE grave of a soldier who received the Victoria Cross was honoured during a special visit to Herefordshire by the Royal Welsh regiment.

The Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Welsh attended a graveside dedication to Private Robert Jones VC on Tuesday at St Peter's Church in Peterchurch.

January 22 marked the 140th anniversary of Rorke's Drift, a major battle in South Africa in the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879.

During the battle around 150 British and colonial troops successfully defended their station against attacks by some 3,500 Zulu warriors.

The regimental band attended three graveside dedication services on Tuesday: to Cpl William Allen VC at Monmouth Cemetery, Pte Henry Hook VC at St Andrew's, Churcham and Pte Jones at St Peter's.

Monmouth born Pte Jones, who joined the 24th Regiment of Foot aged 19 in 1876, was one of 11 to receive the Victoria Cross for their actions at the Battle of Rorke's Drift.

Aged only 21, Pte Jones, alongside Pte William Jones, defended one of the wards at Rorke's Drift's hospital against heavy attack, saving many patients from the Zulu onslaught.

Although wounded in the mêlée, Pte Jones survived the battle and his bravery was recognised when he received the medal from Sir Garnet Wolseley at Utrecht on September 11, 1879.

He settled in Herefordshire after leaving the army, where he married Elizabeth Hopkins in 1885, going on to have five children.

Royal Welsh Regimental Mascot Shenkin and the Goat Major welcomed attendees for the dedication ceremony, where a wreath was laid, after which the Royal Welsh Band played inside the church and the hub.