Samuel Mitchell (VC)
8 September 1841|
Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire
|Died||16 March 1894
Mikonui River, New Zealand
|Buried at||Ross Cemetery, Westland|
|Rank||Captain of Foretop|
|Battles/wars||Waikato-Hauhau Maori War|
Samuel Mitchell VC (8 September 1841 – 16 March 1894) 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.
Mitchell was 22 years old, and a captain of the foretop in the Royal Navy during the Waikato-Hauhau Maori War, New Zealand when the following deed took place on 29 April 1864 near Te Papa, Tauranga, New Zealand for which he was awarded the VC. A storming party of 150 sailors and marines from HMS Harrier, together with the same number of soldiers of the 43rd Light Infantry, succeeded in establishing themselves inside a fortified position known as the Gate Pa. His citation read:
For his gallant conduct at the attack at Te Papa, Tauranga, on the 29th of April last, in entering the Pah with Commander Hay, and when that Officer was mortally wounded, bringing him out, although ordered by Commander Hay to leave him, and seek his own safety. This man was at the time 'Captain of the Fore-top' of the "Harrier," doing duty as Captain's Coxswain; and Commodore Sir William Wiseman brings his name to special notice for this act of gallantry.
Mitchell is buried on an isolated hillside, 100 ft above a road, near Ross, New Zealand. In early 2005 the headstone was restored by a donation from the descendants of Samuel and Agnes and with financial assistance from the Royal New Zealand Navy. The restored headstone was dedicated in a ceremony held at the Ross Cemetery on Sunday, 13 February 2005 attended by approximately 40 people.
The medal is displayed in the West Coast Historical Museum in Hokitika, New Zealand.
- The London Gazette: . 26 July 1864. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
- Samuel Mitchell and the Victoria Cross (extremely informative site on his whole life and the VC action)