James McGuire (VC)
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Ireland
|Died||22 December 1862 (aged 34–35)
Derry, County Londonderry, Ireland
|Years of service||1849–1859|
|Unit||1st Bengal European Fusiliers|
|Awards||Victoria Cross (forfeited)|
James McGuire VC (1827 – 22 December 1862) 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. The V.C. was later forfeited.
He was about 30 years old, and a sergeant in the 1st Bengal European Fusiliers (later The Royal Munster Fusiliers), Bengal Army during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed took place on 14 September 1857 at Delhi, India for which he together with Drummer Miles Ryan were awarded the VC:
Serjeant J. McGuire, Drummer M. Ryan
Date of Act of Bravery, 14th September, 1857
At the assault on Delhi on the 14th September, 1857, when the Brigade had reached the Cabul Gate, the 1st Fusiliers and 75th Regiment, and some Sikhs, were waiting for orders, and some of the Regiments were getting ammunition served out (three boxes of which exploded from some cause not clearly known, and two others were in a state of ignition), when Serjeant McGuire and Drummer Ryan rushed into the burning mass, and, seizing the boxes, threw them, one after the other, over the parapet into the water. The confusion consequent on the explosion was very great, and the crowd of soldiers and native followers, who did not know where the danger lay, were rushing into certain destruction, when Serjeant McGuire and Drummer Ryan, by their coolness and personal daring, saved the lives of many at the risk of their own.
One of eight men whose VCs were forfeited. McGuire's VC was forfeited after he was convicted of stealing a cow. He died in Derry, Ireland, 22 December 1862.
Listed in order of publication year
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (1981, 1988 and 1997)
- Clarke, Brian D. H. (1986). "A register of awards to Irish-born officers and men". The Irish Sword. XVI (64): 185–287.
- Ireland's VCs ISBN 1-899243-00-3 (Dept of Economic Development 1995)
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- Irish Winners of the Victoria Cross (Richard Doherty & David Truesdale, 2000)