Open main menu

William McWheeney VC DCM (1830 – 17 May 1866), also known as Mawhinney, 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 awarded the VC for his service during the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855).[1][2][3]

William McWheeney
The Battle of Sebastopol.png
Depiction of the Siege of Sebastopol
Bangor, County Down, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (present-day Bangor, Northern Ireland)
Died17 May 1866 (aged 35–36)
Dover, Kent, England
St James Cemetery, Dover
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
RankColour Sergeant
Unit44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot
Battles/warsCrimean War
Second Anglo-Chinese War
AwardsVictoria Cross
Distinguished Conduct Medal


McWheeney was 23 or 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:

Volunteered as sharpshooter at the commencement of the siege, and was iu [sic] charge of the party of the 44th Regiment; was always vigilant and active, and signalised himself on the 20th October, 1854, when one of his party, Private JohnKeane, [sic] 44th Regiment, was dangerously wounded in the Woronzoff Road, at the time the sharpshooters were repulsed from the Quarries by overwhelming numbers. Serjennt M'Wheeney, on his return, took the wounded man on hisback, and brought him to a place of safety. This wasundera [sic] very heavyfire. He was also the means of saving the life of Corporal Courtney. This man was one of the sharpshooters, and was severely wounded in the head, 5th December, 1854. Serjeant M'Wheeney brought him from under fire, and dug up a slight cover with his bayonet, where the two remained until dark, 'when they retired. Serjeant M'Wheeney volunteered for the advanced guard of General Eyre's Brigade, in the Cemetery, on the 18th June, 1855, and was never absent from duty during the war.[1]

Further informationEdit

McWheeney died at Dover on 17 May 1866, and was interred there at St James Cemetery, Section R, Number 1-11; his Victoria Cross is displayed at The Essex Regiment Museum (Chelmsford).[4]


  1. ^ a b "No. 21971". The London Gazette. 24 February 1857. p. 660.
  2. ^ "Sergeant William McWhinney VC aka McWheeney". Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Sergeant William McWHEENEY". The Dover Society. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  4. ^ "William McWheeney VC - victoriacross". Retrieved 7 May 2017.