Depiction of the Siege of Sebastopol
Bangor, County Down, Ireland, UK
|Died||17 May 1866 (aged 35–36)
Dover, Kent, England, UK
|Buried at||St James Cemetery, Dover|
|Unit||44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot|
Second Anglo-Chinese War
Distinguished Conduct Medal
William McWheeney VC DCM (1830 – 17 May 1866) was born in Bangor, County Down. He 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 24 years old, and a sergeant in the 44th Regiment of Foot (later The Essex Regiment), British Army during the Crimean War when the following deeds took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 20 October 1854 at Sebastopol, in the Crimea, a party of sharpshooters were being repulsed from the Quarries, and a private from the 44th Regiment was dangerously wounded. Sergeant McWheeney took the wounded man on his back and carried him to a place of safety under very heavy fire. On 5 December he saved the life of a corporal, bringing him in under fire and digging a slight cover with his bayonet, where the two of them remained until dark. On 18 June 1855 Sergeant McWheeney volunteered for the advanced guard in the Cemetery and was never absent from duty during the war.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Essex Regiment Museum (Chelmsford).
- The London Gazette: . 24 February 1857.
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)