List of Irish Victoria Cross recipients
List of Irish Victoria Cross recipients lists all recipients of the Victoria Cross (post-nominal letters "VC") born on the island of Ireland, together with the date and place of their VC action. The Victoria Cross is the highest war honour of the British Empire and the Commonwealth of Nations. The whole island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom until 1922 when it was partitioned into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. On 18 April 1949, the Dominion of Ireland became the Republic of Ireland and left the Commonwealth as a result of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 coming into effect. Despite this, citizens of the Republic of Ireland still enlist in the British Army and thus are eligible for the Victoria Cross and other British honours.
Established in 1856, the Victoria Cross has been awarded to service personnel for extraordinary valour and devotion to duty while facing a hostile force. Between 1858 and 1881 the Victoria Cross could also be awarded for actions taken "under circumstances of extreme danger" not in the face of the enemy. Six people (four Irish, one English and one Canadian) were awarded Victoria Crosses under this clause (one in 1866 during the Fenian raids, five for a single incident in 1867 during the Andaman Islands Expedition), until it was amended in 1881 to only allow acts "in the presence of the enemy". It was awarded to members of the British Armed Forces which included Irish service personnel until 1922. It is currently available to personnel of any rank in any service, and to allies serving under or with British Forces. It is the highest honour in the Commonwealth honours system, placed before all other orders, decorations and medals.
Both Catholic and Protestant officers and servicemen born in Ireland served alongside each other in the British Military. During the previous two centuries they had a common military background, and irrespective of class or creed many were decorated with the British highest award for valour. 30 Irish VCs were awarded in the Crimean War, 59 Irish VCs in the Indian Mutiny, 46 Irish VCs in numerous other British Empire campaigns between 1857 and 1914, 37 Irish VCs in World War I, and eight Irish VCs in World War II.
This along with the * indicates that the Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously
- Christopher McCreery (2015). The Canadian Honours System. Dundurn. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-4597-2417-4.
- "VC background". British War Graves Memorial. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- Karsten, Peter (1983). "Irish Soldiers in the British Army, 1792-1922: Suborned or Subordinate". Journal of Social History. 17 (1): 31–64. doi:10.1353/jsh/17.1.31.
- Between 1858 and 1881 the Victoria Cross could be awarded for actions taken "under circumstances of extreme danger" not in the face of the enemy. Five people were awarded Victoria Crosses when they manned a boat to rescue their comrades who had been sent to the Andaman Islands on an investigation. This rule was changed in 1881 to only allow acts "in the presence of the enemy"."VC background". British War Graves Memorial. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- Kelly is considered an Irish recipient as well as English, due to Irish parentage.
"Manchester Military & Civilian Heroes (2)". Papillon Graphics' Virtual Encyclopaedia of Greater Manchester. 7 December 2007. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- The earliest action for which the VC was awarded (First Battle of Bomarsund, 21 June 1854).
- The only native of Northern Ireland to receive the VC for action in the Second World War.
- Mullane was born in India. He is considered an Irish recipient by parentage
Doherty, Truesdale, 2000
- Michael Murphy was one eight VC recipients whose award was forfeited. Although King George V in 1920 expressed the view that the VC should not be forfeited, the medals of Murphy and the other seven were not restored. List of Recipients of the Victoria Cross, The War Office (MS3), January 1953, note, page 7.
- The earliest action for which the VC was awarded to a soldier (20 September 1854).
- Between 1858 and 1881 the Victoria Cross could be awarded for actions taken "under circumstances of extreme danger" not in the face of the enemy. Six in total were awarded for actions taken not in the face of the enemy. O'Hea single-handedly put out a fire in an ammunition railway car, for which he was awarded the VC. This rule was changed in 1881 to only allow acts "in the presence of the enemy"."VC background". British War Graves Memorial. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- Scott was born in Manchester, England. He is considered an Irish recipient by parentage.
Doherty, Truesdale, 2000
- Ashcroft, Michael (2006). Victoria Cross Heroes. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0-7553-1632-0.
- Doherty, Richard; Truesdale, David (July 2000). Irish Winners of the Victoria Cross. Four Courts Pr Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85182-442-7.
- Harvey, David (2000). Monuments to Courage. Naval & Military Press Ltd. ISBN 1-84342-356-1.
- Victoria Cross Registers online index to Victoria Cross awards at the National Archives site
- The original VC warrant and comments on some amendments to 1898.
- Victoria Cross Research page
- Search UK National Inventory of War Memorial for memorials in the UK commemorating VC winners Select 'War' type of 'VC or GC Winners'