John Ryan (VC 1857)

John Ryan VC (1823 – 4 March 1858) 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.

John Ryan
Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
Kilkenny, Ireland
Died4 March 1858 (aged 34–35)
Cawnpore, British India
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchMadras Army
Unit1st Madras European Fusiliers
Battles/warsIndian Mutiny
AwardsVictoria Cross


He was about 34 years old, and a private in the 1st Madras Fusiliers (later The Royal Dublin Fusiliers), Madras Army during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed took place at the Relief of Lucknow for which he (and Peter McManus) were awarded the VC:

A party, on the 26th of September, 1857, was shut up and besieged in a house in the city of Lucknow, by the rebel sepoys...Private McManus in conjunction with Private John Ryan, rushed into the street, and took Captain Arnold, of the 1st Madras Fusiliers, out of a dooly, and brought him into the house in spite of a heavy fire, in which Captain Arnold was again wounded.

In addition to the above act, Private Ryan distinguished himself throughout the day by his intrepidity, and especially devoted himself to rescuing the wounded in the neighbourhood from being massacred. He was most anxious to visit every dooly.

(Extract from Divisional Orders of Major-General Sir James Outram. G.C.B., dated 11h October, 1857.)[1]

He later achieved the rank of Sergeant and was killed in action at Cawnpore, India, on 4 March 1858.

The medalEdit

His Victoria Cross is held by the National Army Museum, Chelsea, London.[2]


  1. ^ "No. 22154". The London Gazette. 18 June 1858. p. 2958.
  2. ^ [1]

Listed in order of publication year