Thomas Lane (VC)

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Thomas Lane
Born May 1836 (1836-05)
Cork City, County Cork, Ireland
Died 12 April 1889 (1889-04-13) (aged 52)
Kimberley, South Africa
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Unit
Awards Victoria Cross (forfeited)

Thomas Lane VC (May 1836 – 12 April 1889) was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He was born in Cork, Ireland in May 1836, and served throughout the Crimean War in the 47th Regiment of Foot.

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On 21 August 1860 at the Taku Forts, China, Lane, then aged 24 and a Private in the 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot (later The Royal Hampshire Regiment), British Army and a lieutenant (Nathaniel Burslem) of his regiment displayed great gallantry. They swam the ditches of the North Taku Fort and attempted, during the assault and before an entrance had been effected by anyone, to enlarge an opening in the wall, through which they eventually entered. In doing so, they were both severely wounded. For this action both men were awarded the Victoria Cross. His medal is displayed at The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum & Memorial Garden in Winchester, Hampshire, England.

He fought in the Anglo-Zulu War as a Sergeant with the 3/NNC. This unit was disbanded at Rorke's Drift after the siege and the officers and non-commissioned officers formed three troops of the Natal Horse. He also fought in Landrey's Light horse in Basutoland 1881–82. His VC gratuity was paid from the consulate in Boston, USA, and also in Auckland, New Zealand, during the 1870s. Lane was one of eight men whose VCs were forfeited. He was stripped of the medal on 7 April 1881 after being convicted of desertion on active service and theft of a "horse, arms and accoutrements". He died in Kimberley, South Africa on 12 April 1889 as a member of the Kimberley Police.

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