List of cavalry recipients of the Victoria Cross

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The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration that may be bestowed upon members of the British or Commonwealth armed forces for acts of valour or gallantry performed in the face of the enemy. Within the British honours system and those of many Commonwealth nations it is the highest award a soldier can receive for actions in combat. It was established in 1856 and since then has been awarded 1,356 times, including three service personnel who were awarded the VC twice.[1]

The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. The traditional explanation of the source of the gunmetal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the siege of Sevastopol. Recent research has thrown doubt on this story, suggesting a variety of origins.[2] The original Royal Warrant did not contain a specific clause regarding posthumous awards, although official policy was to not award the VC posthumously. Between 1897 and 1901, several notices were issued in the London Gazette regarding soldiers who would have been awarded the VC had they survived. In a partial reversal of policy in 1902, six of the soldiers mentioned were granted the VC, but not "officially" awarded the medal. In 1907, the posthumous policy was completely reversed and medals were sent to the next of kin of the six officers and men.[3] The Victoria Cross warrant was not officially amended to explicitly allow posthumous awards until 1920 but one quarter of all awards for the First World War were posthumous.[4][5]

Due to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auction.[6] A number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross. The private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. Following a 2008 donation to the Imperial War Museum, the Ashcroft collection went on public display alongside the museum's Victoria and George Cross collection in November 2010.[7] Since 1990, three Commonwealth countries that retain the Queen as head of state have instituted their own versions of the VC. As a result, the original Victoria Cross is sometimes referred to as the "Commonwealth Victoria Cross" or the "Imperial Victoria Cross", to distinguish it from the newer awards.[8][9]

The first awards to cavalrymen were the nine awarded during the Crimean War, the first seven in the Charge of the Light Brigade 25 October 1854. The largest number for any one campaign was the twenty-nine awarded during the Indian Mutiny (also known as the Indian Rebellion of 1857), twelve of those to one regiment, the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers. All together ninety-two awards have been made to cavalrymen, the last on 23 September 1918 in the final days of the First World War.

Cavalry recipients[edit]

Name Regiment Date Conflict Location
Herman Albrecht Imperial Light Horse 6 January 1900 Second Boer War Ladysmith[10]
Charles Anderson 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) 8 October 1858 Indian Mutiny Sundeela Oudh[11]
William Bankes 7th (The Queen's Own) Light Dragoons 19 March 1858 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[12]
William Beresford 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 3 July 1879 Anglo-Zulu War White Umfolozi River[13]
John Berryman 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers 25 October 1854 Crimean War Balaclava[14]
James Blair 2nd Bombay Light Cavalry 12 August 1857
23 October 1857
Indian Mutiny Neemuch
Jeerum[15]
Robert Blair 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) 28 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Bolandshahr[16]
Edward Brown 14th (King's) Hussars 13 October 1900 Second Boer War Geluk[17]
Sam Browne 2nd Punjab Irregular Cavalry 31 August 1858 Indian Mutiny Seerporah[18]
Thomas Byrne 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers 2 September 1898 Mahdist War Omdurman[19]
Adrian Carton de Wiart 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards 2–3 July 1916 First World War La Boiselle[20]
James Champion 8th (The King's Royal Irish) Light Dragoons 8 September 1858 Indian Mutiny Beejapore[21]
George Clare 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers 28–29 November 1917 First World War Bourlon Wood[22]
John Clements Rimington's Guides 24 February 1901 Second Boer War Strijdenburg[23]
Hampden Cockburn Royal Canadian Dragoons 7 November 1900 Second Boer War Komati River[24]
Harry Crandon 18th Hussars 4 July 1901 Second Boer War Springbok Laagte[25]
Thomas Crean Imperial Light Horse 18 December 1901 Second Boer War Tygerkloof Spruit[26]
John Danaher Nourse's Horse (Transvaal) 16 January 1881 First Boer War Elandsfontein[27]
Henry D'Arcy Frontier Light Horse 3 July 1879 Anglo-Zulu War White Umfolozi River[28]
Patrick Donohoe 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 28 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Bolandshahr[29]
John Doogan 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards 28 January 1881 First Boer War Laing's Nek[27]
Alexis Doxat Imperial Yeomanry 20 October 1900 Second Boer War Zeerust[17]
Frederic Dugdale 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers 3 March 1901 Second Boer War Derby[30]
Alexander Dunn 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars 25 October 1854 Crimean War Balaclava[14]
John Dunville 1st (Royal) Dragoons 24–25 June 1917 First World War Epehy[31]
Henry Engleheart 10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars 13 March 1900 Second Boer War Bloemfontein[32]
William English Scottish Horse 3 July 1901 Second Boer War Vlakfontein[33]
John Farrell 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers 25 October 1854 Crimean War Balaclava[34]
Gordon Flowerdew Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) 31 March 1918 First World War Bois de Moreuil[35]
Charles Fraser 7th (The Queen's Own) Light Dragoons 31 December 1858 Indian Mutiny River Raptee[36]
John Freeman 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 10 October 1857 Indian Mutiny Agra[29]
Charles Garforth 15th (The King's) Hussars 23 August 1914 First World War Harmingnies[37]
Francis Grenfell 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 24 August 1914 First World War Audregnies[37]
John Grieve 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) 25 October 1854 Crimean War Balaclava[14]
William Goat 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 6 March 1858 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[38]
Charles Gough 5th Bengal European Cavalry 15 August 1857,
18 August 1857,
27 January 1858,
3 February 1858
Indian Mutiny Khurkowdah
Not known
Shumshabad
Meangunge[39]
Hugh Gough 1st Bengal European Light Cavalry 12 November 1857,
25 February 1858
Indian Mutiny Alumbagh
Jellalabad[40]
Walter Hamilton Guides Cavalry 2 April 1879 Second Afghan War Futtehabad[41]
Thomas Hancock 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 19 June 1857 Indian Mutiny Delhi[42]
Henry Hartigan 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 8 June 1857
10 October 1857
Indian Mutiny Delhi
Agra[43]
Frederick Harvey Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) 27 March 1917 First World War Guyencourt[44]
Herbert Henderson Rhodesia Horse 30 March 1896 Second Matabele War Bulawayo[45]
Clement Heneage 8th (The King's Royal Irish) Light Dragoons 17 June 1858 Indian Mutiny Gwalior[46]
Edward Holland Royal Canadian Dragoons 7 November 1900 Second Boer War Komati River[24]
George Hollis 8th (The King's Royal Irish) Light Dragoons 17 June 1858 Indian Mutiny Gwalior[46]
Charles Hull 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers 5 September 1915 First World War Hafiz Kor[47]
Robert Johnston Imperial Light Horse 21 October 1899 Second Boer War Elandslaagte[48]
Alfred Jones 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 8 June 1857 Indian Mutiny Delhi[16]
Robert Kells 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 28 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Bolandshahr[29]
Paul Kenna 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers 2 September 1898 Mahdist War Omdurman[19]
Alexander Lafone 1st County of London Yeomanry 27 October 1917 First World War El Buggar Ridge[49]
Brian Lawrence 17th (The Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers 7 August 1900 Second Boer War Essenbosch Farm[17]
James Leith 14th Light Dragoons 1 April 1858 Indian Mutiny Betwa[29]
John Malcolmson 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry 8 February 1857 Anglo-Persian War Khoosh-ab
Joseph Malone 13th Light Dragoons 25 October 1854 Crimean War Balaclava[50]
William Marshall 19th (Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own) Hussars 29 February 1884 Mahdist War El Teb[51]
Francis Maxwell Robert's Light Horse 31 March 1900 Second Boer War Korn Spruit[52]
John Milbanke 10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars 5 January 1900 Second Boer War Colesberg[53]
Thomas Monaghan 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) 8 October 1858 Indian Mutiny Jamo[11]
Raymond de Montmorency 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers 2 September 1898 Mahdist War Omdurman[19]
Arthur Moore 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry 8 February 1857 Anglo-Persian War Khoosh-ab[54]
James Mouat 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons 26 October 1854 Crimean War Balaclava[55]
Charles Mullins Imperial Light Horse 21 October 1899 Second Boer War Elandslaagte[48]
Alexander Murray 16th (The Queen's) Lancers 17 August 1897 Tirah Campaign Nawa Kili[56]
Robert Newell 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 19 March 1858 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[38]
John Norwood 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards 30 October 1899 Second Boer War Ladysmith[57]
Edmund O'Toole Frontier Light Horse 3 July 1879 Anglo-Zulu War White Umfolozi River[28]
Samuel Parkes 4th Light Dragoons 25 October 1854 Crimean War Balaclava[14]
Frank de Pass 34th Prince Albert Victor's Own Poona Horse 24 November 1914 First World War Festubert[58]
John Pearson 8th (The King's Royal Irish) Light Dragoons 17 June 1858 Indian Mutiny Gwalior[46]
Frederick Potts Berkshire Yeomanry 21 August 1915 First World War Gallipoli[59]
Dighton Probyn 2nd Punjab Cavalry 1857 to 1858 Indian Mutiny Agra[16]
John Purcell 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 19 June 1857 Indian Mutiny Delhi[42]
Henry Ramage 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) 25 October 1854 Crimean War Balaclava[55]
Arthur Richardson Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) 5 July 1900 Second Boer War Wolwespruit[60]
James Roberts 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 28 September 1857 Indian Mutiny Bolandshahr[29]
David Rushe 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 19 March 1858 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[38]
Reginald Sartorius 6th Bengal Cavalry 17 January 1874 Third Ashanti War Abogu[61]
Badlu Singh 14th Murray's Jat Lancers 23 September 1918 First World War River Jordan[62]
Gobind Singh 28th Light Cavalry 30 November 1917
1 December 1917
First World War Pezières[63][64]
Nevill Smyth 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) 2 September 1898 Mahdist War Omdurman[19]
David Spence 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers 17 January 1858 Indian Mutiny Shunsabad[38]
Harcus Strachan Fort Garry Horse 20 November 1917 First World War Masnieres[49]
Richard Turner Royal Canadian Dragoons 7 November 1900 Second Boer War Komati River[24]
William Vousden 5th Punjab Cavalry 14 December 1879 Second Afghan War Asmai Heights[65]
Joseph Ward 8th (The King's Royal Irish) Light Dragoons 17 June 1858 Indian Mutiny Gwalior[46]
John Watson 1st Punjab Cavalry 14 November 1857 Indian Mutiny Lucknow[16]
George Wheeler 7th Hariana Lancers 12–13 April 1915 First World War Shaiba[66]
Richard West North Irish Horse 2 September 1918 First World War Courcelles-le-Comte[67]
Frederick Whirlpool 1st Punjab Cavalry 3 April 1858,
2 May 1858
Indian Mutiny Jhansi
Lohari[68]
Evelyn Wood 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers 19 October 1858 Indian Mutiny Sinwaho[69]
Charles Wooden 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers 26 October 1854 Crimean War Balaclava[70]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Victoria Cross: The Premier Award for Gallantry". Ministry of Defence (UK). Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Davies, Catronia (2005-12-28). "Author explodes myth of the gunmetal VC". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27986. p. 325. 15 January 1907. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  4. ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 8 pp.68–90
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 31946. p. 6702. 18 June 1920. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  6. ^ "The Victoria Cross ... awarded to Captain Alfred Shout have been sold at auction". Iain Stewart, Victoria Cross.org. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Press Release: The Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Extraordinary Heroes". Imperial War Museum. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Pro Valore: Canada's Victoria Cross" (PDF). National Defence; Government of Canada. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Victoria Cross for Australia" (PDF). Australian Government. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27462. p. 5085. 8 August 1902. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  11. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 22680. p. 5346. 11 November 1862. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22212. p. 5519. 24 December 1858. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24760. p. 5395. 9 September 1879. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
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  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22601. p. 956. 25 February 1862. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  16. ^ a b c d The London Gazette: no. 22154. p. 2960. 18 June 1858. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  17. ^ a b c The London Gazette: no. 27266. p. 308. 15 January 1901. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22485. p. 1007. 1 March 1861. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  19. ^ a b c d The London Gazette: no. 27023. p. 6688. 15 November 1898. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30375. p. 11639. 9 November 1917. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22347. p. 178. 20 January 1860. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  22. ^ "George Clare". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  23. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27320. p. 3769. 4 June 1901. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  24. ^ a b c The London Gazette: no. 27307. p. 2775. 23 April 1901. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27366. p. 6779. 18 October 1901. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27405. p. 843. 11 February 1902. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  27. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 25084. p. 1130. 14 March 1882. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  28. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 24769. p. 5830. 10 October 1879. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
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  31. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30215. p. 7906. 31 July 1917. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  32. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27235. p. 6126. 5 October 1900. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  33. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27362. p. 6481. 4 October 1901. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
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  50. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22043. p. 3194. 25 September 1857. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
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  52. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27292. p. 1649. 8 March 1901. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  53. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27208. p. 4196. 6 July 1900. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
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  57. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27212. p. 4509. 20 July 1900. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
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  66. ^ The London Gazette: no. 29281. p. 8699. 31 August 1915. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  67. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30982. p. 12801. 29 October 1918. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  68. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22318. p. 3793. 21 October 1859. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  69. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22419. p. 3257. 1860-09-04. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  70. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22194. p. 4575. 26 October 1858. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  • Crook, M.J. (1975). The Evolution of the Victoria Cross. Midas Books. ISBN 0-85936-041-5.