Thomas Murphy (VC)

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Thomas Murphy
Born 1839
Dublin, Ireland
Died 23 March 1900(1900-03-23)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank Private
Unit 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot
Battles/wars Andaman Islands Expedition
Awards Victoria Cross

Thomas Murphy VC (1839 – 23 March 1900) 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.

Born in Dublin, he was about 28 years old and a private in the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot (later The South Wales Borderers), British Army during the Andaman Islands Expedition when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 7 May 1867 at the island of Little Andaman, eastern India, in the Bay of Bengal, Private Murphy was one of a party of five (David Bell, James Cooper, Campbell Mellis Douglas and William Griffiths) of the 2/24th Regiment, who risked their lives in manning a boat and proceeding through dangerous surf to rescue some of their comrades who had been sent to the island to find out the fate of the commander and seven of the crew, who had landed from the ship Assam Valley and were feared murdered by the cannibalistic islanders.

The Cross was awarded not for bravery in action against the enemy, but for bravery at sea in saving life in a storm off Andaman Islands. Murphy died in Philadelphia, USA.


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