John Byrne (VC)
Depiction of the battle of Inkerman
Castlecomer, County Kilkenny
|Died||10 July 1879 (aged 46)
|Buried at||St Woolos Cemetery, Newport|
|Years of service||1850 - 1872|
|Unit||68th Regiment of Foot|
John Byrne VC DCM (September 1832 – 10 July 1879), born at Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, was an Irish 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.
He was about 22 years old, and a private in the 68th Regiment of Foot (later The Durham Light Infantry), British Army during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 5 November 1854 in the Crimean Peninsula, at the Battle of Inkerman, when the regiment was ordered to retire, Private Byrne went back towards the enemy, and, at the risk of his own life, brought in a wounded soldier, under fire. On 11 May 1855 he bravely engaged in a hand-to-hand contest with one of the enemy on the parapet of the work he was defending, prevented the entrance of the enemy, killed his antagonist, and captured his arms.
The only medal on display is his New Zealand campaign medal, held in the Durham Light Infantry museum.