List of Crimean War Victoria Cross recipients

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Sergeant Luke O'Conner Winning the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Alma (1854). Oil by Louis William Desanges.

The Victoria Cross (VC) was awarded to 111 members of the British Armed Forces during the Crimean War (also known as the Russian War) that lasted from 1854 to 1856. The Victoria Cross is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. The VC was introduced in Great Britain on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. It takes precedence over all other Orders, decorations and medals; it may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and to civilians under military command. The first ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in Hyde Park.[1]

In 1854, the Crimean War broke out between the Russian Empire and an alliance of France, Great Britain, the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire. One of the first battles of the War was the Battle of the Alma where allied forces convincingly defeated the Russian forces. The Siege of Sevastapol followed shortly after in September 1854; it was to last for a year at the cost of over 128,000 lives, three quarters of which died from disease. After the siege at Sevastapol, the fighting mainly ceased and on 30 March 1856, after two years of action, the Russians negotiated a Peace Treaty at the Congress of Paris. The Treaty set the Black Sea as neutral territory, closing it to all warships, and prohibiting fortifications and the presence of armaments on its shores. The Crimean War led to a number of large-scale changes in the British Army. The sale of commissions came under great scrutiny during the war, especially in connection with the Battle of Balaclava, which saw the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade.[2] This scrutiny eventually led to the abolition of the sale of commissions.

The dispatches of William Howard Russell during the war highlighted how many acts of bravery and valour by British servicemen went unrewarded.[3] There was a growing feeling amongst the public and in the Royal Court that a new award was needed to recognise incidents of gallantry that were unconnected with a man's lengthy or meritorious service. Queen Victoria issued a warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856[3][4] (gazetted 5 February 1856)[4] that officially constituted the VC. The order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War.[5] The first awards ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park.[3]

Citations for the Crimean War, particularly those in the first gazette of 24 February 1857, listed multiple actions for about a third of the recipients. The format of each citation varied between recipients, some specify the actual date, some the name of the battle and others have both sets of information.

Until 1907, it was policy not to award the VC posthumously. Between 1857 and 1901, nine notices were published in the London Gazette for soldiers who would have been awarded the VC had they survived. In a partial reversal of policy in 1902, medals were sent to the next of kin of the three mentioned for the Boer War and at the same time the first three official posthumous awards, again for the Boer War, were gazetted. In 1907, the posthumous policy was completely reversed and medals were sent to the next of kin of the remaining six officers and men.[6] As a result of the change of policy, one quarter of all awards for the First World War were posthumous but it was only in the general revison of the warrant issued in 1920 that a clause was inserted to explicitly allow posthumous awards.[7][8]

Recipients[edit]

Name Unit Date of action Place of action
Ablett, AlfredAlfred Ablett Grenadier Guards 1855-09-022 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Alexander, JohnJohn Alexander 09090th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Arthur, ThomasThomas Arthur Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-06-077 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Beach, ThomasThomas Beach 05555th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Bell, EdwardEdward Bell Royal Welch Fusiliers 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
Berryman, JohnJohn Berryman 01717th Lancers 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Bourchier, ClaudClaud Bourchier Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1854-11-2020 November 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Joseph Bradshaw Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1855-04-2222 April 1855 Woronzoff Road, Crimea
Buckley, CecilCecil Buckley HMS Miranda 1855-05-2929 May 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
Burgoyne, HughHugh Burgoyne HMS Swallow 1855-05-2929 May 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
Byrne, JohnJohn Byrne 06868th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Bythesea, JohnJohn Bythesea HMS Arrogant 1854-08-099 August 1854 Åland Islands, Finland
Cambridge, DanielDaniel Cambridge Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Clifford, HenryHenry Clifford Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Coffey, WilliamWilliam Coffey 03434th Regiment of Foot 1855-03-2929 March 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Coleman, JohnJohn Coleman 09797th Regiment of Foot 1855-08-3030 August 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Commerell, JohnJohn Commerell HMS Weser 1855-10-1111 October 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
Connors, JohnJohn Connors 0033rd Regiment of Foot 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Conolly, JohnJohn Conolly 04949th Regiment of Foot 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Cooper, HenryHenry Cooper HMS Miranda 1855-06-033 June 1855 Taganrog, Crimea
Craig, JamesJames Craig Scots Fusiliers Guards 1855-09-066 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Cuninghame, WilliamWilliam Cuninghame Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1854-11-2020 November 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Curtis, HenryHenry Curtis Naval Brigade 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Daniel, EdwardEdward Daniel HMS Diamond 1854-10-1818 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Davis, GronowGronow Davis Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Day, GeorgeGeorge Day HMS Recruit 1855-09-1717 September 1855 Genitichi, Crimea
Dickson, CollingwoodCollingwood Dickson Royal Regiment of Artillery 1854-10-1717 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Dixon, MatthewMatthew Dixon Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-04-1717 April 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Dowell, GeorgeGeorge Dowell Royal Marine Artillery 1855-07-1313 July 1855 Fort of Viborg, Finland
Dunn, AlexanderAlexander Dunn 01111th Hussars 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Elphinstone, HowardHoward Elphinstone Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Elton, FrederickFrederick Elton 05555th Regiment of Foot 1855-03-2929 March 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Esmonde, ThomasThomas Esmonde 01818th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Evans, SamuelSamuel Evans 01919th Regiment of Foot 1855-04-1313 April 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Farrell, JohnJohn Farrell 01717th Lancers 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Gardiner, GeorgeGeorge Gardiner 05757th Regiment of Foot 1855-03-2222 March 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Goodlake, GeraldGerald Goodlake Coldstream Guards 1854-10-2828 October 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Gorman, JamesJames Gorman Naval Brigade 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Grady, ThomasThomas Grady 0044th Regiment of Foot 1854-10-1818 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Graham, GeraldGerald Graham Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Grieve, JohnJohn Grieve Royal Scots Greys 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Hale, ThomasThomas Hale 0077th Regiment of Foot 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Hamilton, ThomasThomas Hamilton 06868th Regiment of Foot 1855-05-1111 May 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Henry, AndrewAndrew Henry Royal Regiment of Artillery 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Hewett, WilliamWilliam Hewett HMS Beagle 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Hope, WilliamWilliam Hope 0077th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Hughes, MathewMathew Hughes 0077th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-077 June 1855
18 June 1855[9]
Sevastopol, Crimea
Humpston, RobertRobert Humpston Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1855-04-2222 April 1855 Woronzoff Road, Crimea
Ingouville, GeorgeGeorge Ingouville HMS Arrogant 1855-07-1313 July 1855 Fort of Viborg, Finland
Johnstone, WilliamWilliam Johnstone HMS Arrogant 1854-08-099 August 1854 Åland Islands, Finland
Jones, HenryHenry Jones 0077th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-077 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Kellaway, JosephJoseph Kellaway HMS Wrangler 1855-08-3131 August 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
Knox, JohnJohn Knox Scots Fusiliers Guards 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
Leitch, PeterPeter Leitch Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Lendrim, WilliamWilliam Lendrim Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-02-1414 February 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Lennox, WilbrahamWilbraham Lennox Corps of Royal Engineers 1854-11-2020 November 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Lindsay, RobertRobert Lindsay Scots Fusiliers Guards 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
Lucas, CharlesCharles Lucas HMS Hecla 1854-06-2121 June 1854 Åland Islands, Finland
Lumley, CharlesCharles Lumley 09797th Regiment of Foot 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Lyons, JohnJohn Lyons 01919th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1010 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
MacDonald, HenryHenry MacDonald Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-04-1919 April 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Madden, AmbroseAmbrose Madden 04141st Regiment of Foot 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Malone, JosephJoseph Malone 01313th Light Dragoons 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Maude, FrederickFrederick Maude 0033rd Regiment of Foot 1855-09-055 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
McCorrie, CharlesCharles McCorrie 05757th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-2323 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
McDermond, JohnJohn McDermond 04747th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
McGregor, RoderickRoderick McGregor Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1855-04-22July 1855[10] Sevastopol, Crimea
McKechnie, JamesJames McKechnie Scots Fusilier Guards 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
McWheeney, WilliamWilliam McWheeney 04444th Regiment of Foot 1854-10-2020 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Miller, FrederickFrederick Miller Royal Regiment of Artillery 1854-10-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Mouat, JamesJames Mouat 0066th Dragoons 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Moynihan, AndrewAndrew Moynihan 09090th Regiment of Foot 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Norman, WilliamWilliam Norman 0077th Regiment of Foot 1854-12-1919 December 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
O'Connor, LukeLuke O'Connor Royal Welch Fusiliers 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
Owens, JamesJames Owens 04949th Regiment of Foot 1854-10-3030 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Palmer, AnthonyAnthony Palmer Grenadier Guards 1854-10-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Park, JohnJohn Park 07777th Regiment of Foot 1855-04-1919 April 1855[11] Alma, Crimea
Inkerman, Crimea
Parkes, SamuelSamuel Parkes 0044th Light Dragoons 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Peel, WilliamWilliam Peel Naval Brigade 1854-10-1818 October 1854[12]
5 November 1854
18 June 1855
Sevastopol, Crimea
Percy, HenryHenry Percy Grenadier Guards 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Perie, JohnJohn Perie Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Prettyjohns, JohnJohn Prettyjohns Royal Marine Light Infantry 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Prosser, JosephJoseph Prosser 0011st Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1616 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Raby, HenryHenry Raby Naval Brigade 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Ramage, HenryHenry Ramage 0022nd Dragoons 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Reeves, ThomasThomas Reeves Naval Brigade 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Reynolds, WilliamWilliam Reynolds Scots Fusiliers Guards 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
Rickard, WilliamWilliam Rickard HMS Weser 1855-10-1111 October 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
Robarts, JohnJohn Robarts HMS Ardent 1855-05-2929 May 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
Ross, JohnJohn Ross Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-07-2121 July 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Rowlands, HughHugh Rowlands 04141st Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Russell, CharlesCharles Russell Grenadier Guards 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Scholefield, MarkMark Scholefield Naval Brigade 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Sheppard, JohnJohn Sheppard Naval Brigade 1855-07-1515 July 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Shields, RobertRobert Shields Royal Welch Fusiliers 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Sims, JohnJohn Sims 03434th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Smith, PhilipPhilip Smith 01717th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Stanlake, WilliamWilliam Stanlake Coldstream Guards 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Strong, GeorgeGeorge Strong Coldstream Guards 1855-09-00September 1855[13] Sevastopol, Crimea
Sullivan, JohnJohn Sullivan Naval Brigade 1855-04-1010 April 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Sylvester, WilliamWilliam Sylvester Royal Welch Fusiliers 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Symons, GeorgeGeorge Symons Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-06-066 June 1855 Inkerman, Crimea
Taylor, JohnJohn Taylor Naval Brigade 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Teesdale, ChristopherChristopher Teesdale Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-09-2229 September 1855 Kars, Turkey
Trewavas, JosephJoseph Trewavas HMS Beagle 1855-07-033 July 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
Walker, MarkMark Walker 03030th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Walters, GeorgeGeorge Walters 04949th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Wheatley, FrancisFrancis Wheatley Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1854-10-1212 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Wilkinson, ThomasThomas Wilkinson Royal Marine Artillery 1855-06-077 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Wooden, CharlesCharles Wooden 01717th Lancers 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Wright, AlexanderAlexander Wright 07777th Regiment of Foot 1855-03-2222 March 1855
19 April 1855[11]
Sevastopol, Crimea

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ Ashcroft, Michael; preface; XI–XIII
  2. ^ "The Crimean War 1853–1856". Armed Conflicts Database. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  3. ^ a b c Ashcroft, Michael; Preface to Victoria Cross Heroes
  4. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 21846. pp. 410–411. 1856-02-05. Retrieved 2008-01-12. The Gazette publishing the original Royal Warrant
  5. ^ Ashcroft, Michael; pp.7–10
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27986. p. 325. 15 January 1907. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  7. ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 8 pp.68–90
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 31946. p. 6702. 18 June 1920. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21971. p. 658. 1857-02-24. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21971. p. 662. 1857-02-24. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  11. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 21971. p. 661. 1857-02-24. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  12. ^ Peel was awarded the Victoria Cross for three separate actions.
    The London Gazette: no. 21971. pp. 651–652. 1857-02-24. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21971. p. 657. 1857-02-24. Retrieved 2008-06-08.