Henry Addison

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Henry Addison
Henry Addison VC.jpg
Born 1821
Bardwell, Suffolk
Died 1887 (aged 65–66)
Buried at Bardwell Parish Churchyard
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Rank Private
Unit 43rd Regiment of Foot
Battles/wars Indian Mutiny
Awards Victoria Cross

Henry Addison, VC (Bardwell, Suffolk February 1821 – 18 June 1887) 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.


Addison was about 37 years old, and a private in the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot (later The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry), British Army during the Indian Mutiny when the incident for which he was awarded the VC took place on 2 January 1859 near Kurrereah, India.

Addison was recommended for the VC in a dispatch from Lieutenant-Colonel F. Gottreux, "commanding Field Detachment, to the Assistant Adjutant General Saugor Field Division on January 15, 1859".

Whilst in the neighbourhood of Kurrereah... chasing retreating mutineers... Lieutenant Osborne, Political Agent of Rewab, was wounded by a sword cut on the right hand. He was at the time he was attacked, closely followed by three men of the 43rd Light Infantry, two men of the artillery being a few paces in front of him. Private Henry Addison, of the 43rd Light Infantry, seeing him attacked and on the ground, rushed forward to defend and cover him in a most gallant manner. In doing this, I much regret having to record, that he received two very severe sword cuts, one on the left leg which rendered immediate amputation of the limb above the knee necessary, and another causing compound fracture of the left fore-arm. The heroism displayed by Private Addison in thus placing himself between Lieutenant Osborne and his assailant at the critical juncture he did, thereby saving that officer's life, may, I hope, be deemed worthy of the Victoria Cross, for which honour I earnestly beg to recommend him.[1]

His injuries were recorded later in the dispatch as follows:

GENERAL RETURN of Casualties at the Engagement at Kurrereah, 2nd January, 1859.

Private Henry Addison (3232): Sword cut on left knee joint; compound fracture of left forearm from sword cut Dangerously wounded — amputation above the knee performed on the field[2]

His citation was recorded in the London Gazette as follows:

Private Henry Addison. Date of Act of Bravery 2nd January, 1859.

For gallant conduct on the 2nd of January, 1859, near Kurrereah, in defending, against a large force, and saving the life of Lieutenant Osborn, Political Agent, who had fallen on the ground wounded. Private Addison received two dangerous wounds, and lost a leg, in this gallant service.[3]

He was also awarded an Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Green Jackets Museum in Winchester, England.

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