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List of Crimean War Victoria Cross recipients

Sergeant Luke O'Conner Winning the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Alma (1854). Oil by Louis William Desanges.

The Victoria Cross (VC) was awarded to 111 members of the British Armed Forces during the Crimean War (also known as the Russian War) that lasted from 1854 to 1856. The Victoria Cross is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. The VC was introduced in Great Britain on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. It takes precedence over all other Orders, decorations and medals; it may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and to civilians under military command. The first ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in Hyde Park.[1]

In 1854, the Crimean War broke out between the Russian Empire and an alliance of France, Great Britain, the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire. One of the first battles of the War was the Battle of the Alma where allied forces convincingly defeated the Russian forces. The Siege of Sevastapol followed shortly after in September 1854; it was to last for a year at the cost of over 128,000 lives, three quarters of which died from disease. After the siege at Sevastapol, the fighting mainly ceased and on 30 March 1856, after two years of action, the Russians negotiated a Peace Treaty at the Congress of Paris. The Treaty set the Black Sea as neutral territory, closing it to all warships, and prohibiting fortifications and the presence of armaments on its shores. The Crimean War led to a number of large-scale changes in the British Army. The sale of commissions came under great scrutiny during the war, especially in connection with the Battle of Balaclava, which saw the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade.[2] This scrutiny eventually led to the abolition of the sale of commissions.

The dispatches of William Howard Russell during the war highlighted how many acts of bravery and valour by British servicemen went unrewarded.[3] There was a growing feeling amongst the public and in the Royal Court that a new award was needed to recognise incidents of gallantry that were unconnected with a man's lengthy or meritorious service. Queen Victoria issued a warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856[3][4] (gazetted 5 February 1856)[4] that officially constituted the VC. The order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War.[5] The first awards ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park.[3]

Citations for the Crimean War, particularly those in the first gazette of 24 February 1857, listed multiple actions for about a third of the recipients. The format of each citation varied between recipients, some specify the actual date, some the name of the battle and others have both sets of information.

Until 1907, it was policy not to award the VC posthumously. Between 1857 and 1901, nine notices were published in the London Gazette for soldiers who would have been awarded the VC had they survived. In a partial reversal of policy in 1902, medals were sent to the next of kin of the three mentioned for the Boer War and at the same time the first three official posthumous awards, again for the Boer War, were gazetted. In 1907, the posthumous policy was completely reversed and medals were sent to the next of kin of the remaining six officers and men.[6] As a result of the change of policy, one quarter of all awards for the First World War were posthumous but it was only in the general revision of the warrant issued in 1920 that a clause was inserted to explicitly allow posthumous awards.[7][8]

RecipientsEdit

Name Unit Date of action Place of action
Alfred Ablett Grenadier Guards 1855-09-022 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John Alexander 09090th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Thomas Arthur Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-06-077 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Thomas Beach 05555th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Edward Bell Royal Welch Fusiliers 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
John Berryman 01717th Lancers 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Claud Bourchier Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1854-11-2020 November 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Joseph Bradshaw Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1855-04-2222 April 1855 Woronzoff Road, Crimea
Cecil Buckley HMS Miranda 1855-05-2929 May 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
Hugh Burgoyne HMS Swallow 1855-05-2929 May 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
John Byrne 06868th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
John Bythesea HMS Arrogant 1854-08-099 August 1854 Åland Islands, Finland
Daniel Cambridge Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Henry Clifford Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
William Coffey 03434th Regiment of Foot 1855-03-2929 March 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John Coleman 09797th Regiment of Foot 1855-08-3030 August 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John Commerell HMS Weser 1855-10-1111 October 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
John Connors 0033rd Regiment of Foot 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John Conolly 04949th Regiment of Foot 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Henry Cooper HMS Miranda 1855-06-033 June 1855 Taganrog, Crimea
James Craig Scots Fusiliers Guards 1855-09-066 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
William Cuninghame Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1854-11-2020 November 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Henry Curtis Naval Brigade 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Edward Daniel HMS Diamond 1854-10-1818 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Gronow Davis Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
George Day HMS Recruit 1855-09-1717 September 1855 Genitichi, Crimea
Collingwood Dickson Royal Regiment of Artillery 1854-10-1717 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Matthew Dixon Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-04-1717 April 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
George Dowell Royal Marine Artillery 1855-07-1313 July 1855 Fort of Viborg, Finland
Alexander Dunn 01111th Hussars 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Howard Elphinstone Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Frederick Elton 05555th Regiment of Foot 1855-03-2929 March 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Thomas Esmonde 01818th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Samuel Evans 01919th Regiment of Foot 1855-04-1313 April 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John Farrell 01717th Lancers 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
George Gardiner 05757th Regiment of Foot 1855-03-2222 March 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Gerald Goodlake Coldstream Guards 1854-10-2828 October 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
James Gorman Naval Brigade 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Thomas Grady 0044th Regiment of Foot 1854-10-1818 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Gerald Graham Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John Grieve Royal Scots Greys 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Thomas Hale 0077th Regiment of Foot 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Thomas Hamilton 06868th Regiment of Foot 1855-05-1111 May 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Andrew Henry Royal Regiment of Artillery 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
William Hewett HMS Beagle 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
William Hope 0077th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Mathew Hughes 0077th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-077 June 1855
18 June 1855[9]
Sevastopol, Crimea
Robert Humpston Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1855-04-2222 April 1855 Woronzoff Road, Crimea
George Ingouville HMS Arrogant 1855-07-1313 July 1855 Fort of Viborg, Finland
William Johnstone HMS Arrogant 1854-08-099 August 1854 Åland Islands, Finland
Henry Jones 0077th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-077 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Joseph Kellaway HMS Wrangler 1855-08-3131 August 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
John Knox Scots Fusiliers Guards 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
Peter Leitch Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
William Lendrim Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-02-1414 February 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Wilbraham Lennox Corps of Royal Engineers 1854-11-2020 November 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Robert Lindsay Scots Fusiliers Guards 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
Charles Lucas HMS Hecla 1854-06-2121 June 1854 Åland Islands, Finland
Charles Lumley 09797th Regiment of Foot 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John Lyons 01919th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1010 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Henry MacDonald Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-04-1919 April 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Ambrose Madden 04141st Regiment of Foot 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Joseph Malone 01313th Light Dragoons 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Frederick Maude 0033rd Regiment of Foot 1855-09-055 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Charles McCorrie 05757th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-2323 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John McDermond 04747th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Roderick McGregor Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1855-04-22July 1855[10] Sevastopol, Crimea
James McKechnie Scots Fusilier Guards 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
William McWheeney 04444th Regiment of Foot 1854-10-2020 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Frederick Miller Royal Regiment of Artillery 1854-10-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
James Mouat 0066th Dragoons 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Andrew Moynihan 09090th Regiment of Foot 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
William Norman 0077th Regiment of Foot 1854-12-1919 December 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Luke O'Connor Royal Welch Fusiliers 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
James Owens 04949th Regiment of Foot 1854-10-3030 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Anthony Palmer Grenadier Guards 1854-10-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
John Park 07777th Regiment of Foot 1855-04-1919 April 1855[11] Alma, Crimea
Inkerman, Crimea
Samuel Parkes 0044th Light Dragoons 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
William Peel Naval Brigade 1854-10-1818 October 1854[12]
5 November 1854
18 June 1855
Sevastopol, Crimea
Henry Percy Grenadier Guards 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
John Perie Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John Prettyjohns Royal Marine Light Infantry 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Joseph Prosser 0011st Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1616 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Henry Raby Naval Brigade 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Henry Ramage 0022nd Dragoons 1854-10-2525 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Thomas Reeves Naval Brigade 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
William Reynolds Scots Fusiliers Guards 1854-09-2020 September 1854 Alma, Crimea
William Rickard HMS Weser 1855-10-1111 October 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
John Robarts HMS Ardent 1855-05-2929 May 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
John Ross Corps of Royal Engineers 1855-07-2121 July 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Hugh Rowlands 04141st Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Charles Russell Grenadier Guards 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Mark Scholefield Naval Brigade 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
John Sheppard Naval Brigade 1855-07-1515 July 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Robert Shields Royal Welch Fusiliers 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
John Sims 03434th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Philip Smith 01717th Regiment of Foot 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
William Stanlake Coldstream Guards 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
George Strong Coldstream Guards 1855-09-00September 1855[13] Sevastopol, Crimea
John Sullivan Naval Brigade 1855-04-1010 April 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
William Sylvester Royal Welch Fusiliers 1855-09-088 September 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
George Symons Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-06-066 June 1855 Inkerman, Crimea
John Taylor Naval Brigade 1855-06-1818 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Christopher Teesdale Royal Regiment of Artillery 1855-09-2229 September 1855 Kars, Turkey
Joseph Trewavas HMS Beagle 1855-07-033 July 1855 Sea of Azov, Crimea
Mark Walker 03030th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
George Walters 04949th Regiment of Foot 1854-11-055 November 1854 Inkerman, Crimea
Francis Wheatley Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) 1854-10-1212 October 1854 Sevastopol, Crimea
Thomas Wilkinson Royal Marine Artillery 1855-06-077 June 1855 Sevastopol, Crimea
Charles Wooden 01717th Lancers 1854-10-2626 October 1854 Balaclava, Crimea
Alexander Wright 07777th Regiment of Foot 1855-03-2222 March 1855
19 April 1855[11]
Sevastopol, Crimea

ReferencesEdit

General
  • "Victoria Cross Registers". National Archives (UK). Retrieved 11 April 2008.
  • Ashcroft, Michael (2006). Victoria Cross Heroes. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0-7553-1632-0.
  • Crook, M.J. (1975). The Evolution of the Victoria Cross. Midas books. ISBN 0-85936-041-5.
Specific
  1. ^ Ashcroft, Michael; preface; XI–XIII
  2. ^ "The Crimean War 1853–1856". Armed Conflicts Database. Retrieved 14 June 2008.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Ashcroft, Michael; Preface to Victoria Cross Heroes
  4. ^ a b "No. 21846". The London Gazette. 5 February 1856. pp. 410–411. The Gazette publishing the original Royal Warrant
  5. ^ Ashcroft, Michael; pp.7–10
  6. ^ "No. 27986". The London Gazette. 15 January 1907. p. 325.
  7. ^ Crook, MJ, Chapter 8 pp.68–90
  8. ^ "No. 31946". The London Gazette. 18 June 1920. p. 6702.
  9. ^ "No. 21971". The London Gazette. 24 February 1857. p. 658.
  10. ^ "No. 21971". The London Gazette. 24 February 1857. p. 662.
  11. ^ a b "No. 21971". The London Gazette. 24 February 1857. p. 661.
  12. ^ Peel was awarded the Victoria Cross for three separate actions.
    "No. 21971". The London Gazette. 24 February 1857. pp. 651–652.
  13. ^ "No. 21971". The London Gazette. 24 February 1857. p. 657.