Hampshire Cultural Trust

Commodore Augustus Agar VC

On Thursday 2 January 1969, The Alton Gazette reported the death of Captain Augustus Willington Shelton Agar, one of Alton’s war survivors. Agar had served in both World Wars in the Royal Navy, and had been awarded 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, as well as the Distinguished Service Order.

In 1905 at the age of 14, Agar enlisted in the Royal Navy and remained in the service until 1946. He was aboard the Hibernia, serving as Lieutenant when the war broke out in 1914, as part of Sir John Jellicoe’s Grand Fleet. In 1919 Agar saw service in the waters surrounding Russia, and sunk the 6,645 ton Russian Cruiser, Oleg, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 30 June 1919.

Augustus ‘Gus’ Agar retired to a farm at Hartley Mauditt near Alton, producing strawberries. In 1967, the coastal motor boat (CMB 4) in which he was awarded the VC, was being transferred from Southampton and stopped in Alton for a final farewell. It is now displayed at the Imperial War Museum  Duxford site in Cambridgeshire.

Commodore Agar showing the boat to children

On 30 December 1968 Agar died at home in Anstey Park House at the age of 78. A private funeral was held on 2 January 1969 at Alton Roman Catholic Church, followed by interment in Alton Cemetery.

 
Commodore Augustus Agar's gravestone