John Byrne (VC)

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John Byrne
Depiction of the battle of Inkerman
Born September 1832 (1832-09)
Castlecomer, County Kilkenny
Died 10 July 1879 (1879-07-11) (aged 46)
Caerleon, Monmouthshire
Buried at St Woolos Cemetery, Newport
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1850 - 1872
Rank Sergeant
Unit 68th Regiment of Foot

John Byrne VC DCM (September 1832 – 10 July 1879), born at Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, 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.


He was about 22 years old, and a private in the 68th Regiment of Foot (later The Durham Light Infantry), British Army during the Crimean War. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854 on the Crimean Peninsula. When his regiment was ordered to retire, Private Byrne went back towards the enemy, and, at the risk of his own life, brought in a wounded soldier, under fire. On 11 May 1855 he bravely engaged in a hand-to-hand contest with one of the enemy on the parapet of the work he was defending, prevented the entrance of the enemy, killed his antagonist, and captured his arms.[1]

He later achieved the rank of corporal. He died at Crown Street, Newport, Monmouthshire.

The medal[edit]

The only medal on display is his New Zealand campaign medal, held in the Durham Light Infantry museum.


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21971. p. 661. 24 February 1857.