Irish Winners of the Victoria Cross

ADAMS, Rev. James William    1879; Killa KaziAfghanistan

On 11 December 1879 at Killa KaziAfghanistan, some men of the 9th Lancers had fallen, with their horses, into a wide, deep ditch and the enemy were close upon them. The Reverend J.W. Adams rushed into the water, dragged the horses off the men, upon whom they were lying, and extricated them. All this time he was under very heavy fire and up to his waist in water. Some of the enemy were within a few yards of him and, having let his own horse go in order to render more effectual assistance, Mr Adams had to escape on foot. One of only five civilians to be awarded the VC.

AGAR, Augustine William Shelton     1919; KronstadtRussia

On 17 June 1919 at KronstadtRussia, Lieutenant Agar took HM Coastal Motor Boat 4 into the bay, penetrated a destroyer screen and was closing a larger warship further inshore when CMB4, whose hull had been damaged by gunfire, broke down. She had to be taken alongside a breakwater to do repairs and for 20 minutes was in full view of the enemy. The attack was then resumed and a Russian cruiser was sunk, after which Lieutenant Agar retired to the safety of the open bay under heavy fire.

ALEXANDER, Ernest Wright   1914; ElougesBelgium

On 24 August 1914 at Elouges, Belgium, when the flank guard was attacked by a German corps, Major Alexander handled his battery against overwhelming odds with such conspicuous success that all his guns were saved notwithstanding that they had to be withdrawn by hand by himself and volunteers led by a Captain (GRENFELL, F.O.) of the 9th Lancers. This enabled the retirement of the 5th Division to be carried out without serious loss. Subsequently, Major Alexander rescued a wounded man under heavy fire.

ALEXANDER, John  1855; SebastopolCrimea

On 18 June 1855 at SebastopolCrimea, after the attack on the Redan, Private Alexander went out from the trenches under very heavy fire and brought in several wounded men. Also, on 6 September when he was with a working party in the most advanced trench he went out under heavy fire and helped to bring in a captain who was severely wounded. Killed in action, LucknowIndia24 Sep 1857

ANDERSON, Charles      1858; Sundeela OudhIndia

On 8 October 1858 near Sundeela OudhIndia, a group of mutineers (30 to 40 in number) suddenly opened fire on the officer commanding the regiment and his party, and then rushed upon them with drawn swords. In the fighting which ensued the colonel was cut down, and Private Anderson and a trumpeter (MONAGHAN, T.) immediately came to his rescue, shooting one of the assailants and driving at others with their swords, thus enabling the colonel to rise and defend himself again, until the enemy were despatched.

AYLMER, Fenton John   1891; Nilt FortIndia

On 2 December 1891 during the assault on Nilt Fort, India, Captain Aylmer, with the storming party, forced open the inner gate with gun-cotton which he had placed and ignited, and although severely wounded, fired 19 shots with his revolver, killing several of the enemy, and remained fighting until, fainting from loss of blood, he was carried out of action.

BARRY, John     1901; Monument HillSouth Africa

On 7/8 January 1901 at Monument Hill, South Africa, during a night attack, Private Barry, although wounded and threatened by the enemy, smashed the breach of the Maxim gun thus rendering it useless to its captors. It was while doing this gallant act that he met his death.

BELL, David   1867;  Little Andaman, India

On 7 May 1867 at the island of Little Andaman, eastern India, in the Bay of Bengal, Private Bell was one of a party of five (the others being COOPER, J., DOUGLAS, C.M., GRIFFITHS, W. and MURPHY, T.) of the 2/24th Regiment, who risked their lives in manning a boat and proceeding through dangerous surf to rescue some of their comrades

who had been sent to the island to find out the fate of the commander and seven of the crew, who had landed from the ship AssamValley and were feared murdered by the cannibalistic islanders.

BELL, Edward William Derrington    1854; Battle of the AlmaCrimea

On 20 September 1854 in the Crimea, at the Battle of the Alma, Captain Bell was the first to seize upon and capture one of the enemy's guns which was limbered up and being carried off. He moreover took over the command of his regiment, which he brought out of action, all his senior officers having been killed or wounded.

BELL, Eric Norman Frankland   1916; ThiepvalFrance

On 1 July 1916, at Thiepval, France, when our front line was checked by enfilading machine-gun fire, Captain Bell crept forward and shot the machine-gunner. Later, on no less than three occasions, when our bombing parties were unable to advance, he went forward alone and threw trench mortar bombs among the enemy. When he had no more bombs available, he stood on the parapet, under intense fire, and used a rifle with great coolness and effect on the enemy advancing to counter-attack. Finally, he was killed rallying and reorganising infantry parties which had lost their officers.

BERESFORD, Lord William Leslie de la Poer    1879; UlundiSouth Africa

On 3 July 1879 at UlundiZululand, South Africa, during the retirement of a reconnoitring party, Captain Lord William Beresford went to the assistance of an NCO of the 24th Regiment, whose horse had fallen and rolled on him. The Zulus were coming in great numbers, but Lord William, with help from a sergeant (O'TOOLE, E.) of the Frontier Light Horse, managed to mount the injured man behind him. He was, however, so dizzy that the sergeant, who had been keeping back the advancing Zulus, gave up his carbine and, riding alongside, helped to hold him on. They all finally reached safety.

BERGIN, James  1868;  Magdala, Abyssinia (now Ethiopia)

On 13 April 1868 in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), during the assault on Magdala, when the head of the column of attack was checked by the obstacles at the gate, a small stream of officers and men of the 33rd Regiment and an officer the Royal Engineers broke away from the main approach to Magdala, and, reaching the defences, climbed a cliff, forced their way over a wall and through a strong and thorny fence, thus turning the defenders of the gateway. The first two men to enter Magdala were Private Bergin and a Drummer (MAGNER, M.).

BINGHAM, The Hon. Edward Barry Stewart    1916; Battle of JutlandDenmark

On 31 May 1916, at the Battle of Jutland, off Denmark, Commander Bingham, of HMS Nestor, led his division in their attack, first on enemy destroyers and then on their battle cruisers. He finally sighted the enemy battle fleet and followed by the one remaining destroyer of his division (HMS Nicator), he closed to within 3,000 yards of the enemy, in order to attain a favourable position for firing the torpedoes. While making this attack Nestor and Nicator were under concentrated fire of the secondary batteries of the High Seas Fleet. Nestor was subsequently sunk.

BOULGER, Abraham   1857; LucknowIndia

During the period 12 July to 25 September 1857 in Lucknow, India, Lance-Corporal Boulger distinguished himself in all 12 actions fought by his regiment. He was one of the party which stormed the bridge over the canal on the relief of the Residency and shot a gunner who was in the act of firing a 68-pounder in the face of the British troops. He was also the first man to enter a masked battery. In the subsequent defence of the Residency he was severely wounded.

BOYD-ROCHFORT, George Arthur   1915; CambrinFrance

On 3 August 1915 between Cambrin and La Bassee, France, a German trench-mortar bomb landed on the side of the parapet of the communication trench in which Second Lieutenant Boyd-Rochfort was standing close to a small working party of his battalion. Instead of stepping back into safety he shouted to his men to look out, rushed at the bomb, seized it and hurled it over the parapet where it at once exploded. This combination of presence of mind and courage saved the lives of many of the working party.

BRADSHAW, Joseph      1855; Woronzoff RoadCrimea

On 22 April 1855 in the Crimea, Private Bradshaw and another private (HUMPSTON, R.), on their own attacked and captured a Russian rifle pit situated among the rocks overhanging the Woronzoff Road. The pit was occupied every night by the Russians and its capture and subsequent destruction was of great importance.

BRADSHAW, William   1857; LucknowIndia

On 26 September 1857 at Lucknow, India, Assistant Surgeon Bradshaw, with another surgeon (HOME, A.D.) was ordered to remove the wounded men left behind when the troops forced their way into the Residency. The dhooly-bearers had left the dhoolies, but notwithstanding the close proximity of the sepoys, the two surgeons managed to get some of the bearers together and Assistant Surgeon Bradshaw, with about 20 dhoolies, after becoming separated from the rest of the party, succeeded in reaching the Residency in safety.

BROWN, Edward Douglas   1900; GelukSouth Africa

On 13 October 1900 at Geluk, South Africa, Major Brown, seeing that the horse of one of the sergeants had been shot, helped the man up behind him and carried him for about three-quarters of a mile to a place of safety. He did this under heavy fire. Afterwards he helped a lieutenant to mount his horse which was very restive under heavy fire - the officer could not have mounted without this help. Later, Major Brown carried a wounded lance-corporal out of action to safety.

BROWN, Francis David Millet  1857; NarnoulIndia

On 16 November 1857 at Narnoul, India, Lieutenant Brown, at the risk of his own life, rushed to the assistance of a wounded soldier, whom he carried off under heavy fire from the enemy, whose cavalry were within 40 or 50 yards of him at the time.

BURGOYNE, Hugh Talbot   1855; Sea of AzovCrimea

On 29 May 1855 in the Sea of Azov, Crimea, Lieutenant Burgoyne of HMS Swallow, with a lieutenant (BUCKLEY, C.W.) from HMS Miranda and a gunner (ROBARTS, J.) from HMS Ardent, volunteered to land at a beach where the Russian army were in strength. They were out of covering gunshot range of the ships offshore and met considerable enemy opposition, but managed to set fire to corn stores and ammunition dumps and destroy enemy equipment before embarking again.

BYRNE, James   1858; JhansiIndia

On 3 April 1858 at Jhansi, India, Private Byme assisted a captain of his regiment (JEROME, H.E.) in removing, under very heavy fire, a lieutenant who was severely wounded. They took the injured man to a place of safety, in the performance of which act the private was wounded.

BYRNE, John  1854; Battle of Inkerman, Crimea

On 5 November 1854 in the Crimea, at the Battle of Inkerman, when the regiment was ordered to retire, Private Byrne went back towards the enemy, and, at the risk of his own life, brought in a wounded soldier, under fire. On 11 May 1855 he bravely engaged in a hand-to-hand contest with one of the enemy on the parapet of the work he was defending, prevented the entrance of the enemy, killed his antagonist, and captured his arms.

BYRNE, Thomas    1898; Battle of KhartoumSudan

On 2 September 1898 at the Battle of Khartoum, Sudan, Private Byrne turned back in the middle of the charge of the 21st Lancers and went to the assistance of a lieutenant of the Royal Horse Guards who was wounded, dismounted, disarmed and being attacked by several Dervishes. Private Byrne already wounded, attacked these Dervishes, received a second severe wound and by his gallant conduct enabled the officer to escape.

CAFFREY, John     1915;  La BriqueFrance

On 16 November 1915 near La Brique, France, a man was badly wounded and lying in the open unable to move, in full view of and about 350 yards from the enemy's trenches. A corporal of the RAMC and Private Caffrey at once started to rescue him, but at the first attempt were driven back by shrapnel fire. They tried again and succeeded in reaching and bandaging the wounded man, but just as they were lifting him up, the RAMC corporal was shot in the head. Private Caffrey bandaged the corporal and helped him back to safety, and then returned and brought in the other wounded man

CAMBRIDGE, Daniel     1855;  Sebastopol, Crimea

On 8 September 1855 at Sebastopol, Crimea, Sergeant Cambridge volunteered for the spiking party at the assault on the Redan and remained with the party even after being severely wounded. Later on the same day he went out under heavy fire to bring in a wounded man.

CARLIN, Patrick    1858;  Azumgurh, India

On 6 April 1858 at Azumgurh, India, Private Carlin rescued from the field of battle a wounded naik of the 4th Madras Rifles, after killing with the naik's sword a mutineer sepoy who fired on him while he was carrying his wounded comrade on his shoulders.

CATHER, Geoffrey St. George Shillington    1916;  Hamel, France

On 1 July 1916 near Hamel, France, from 7pm till midnight, Lieutenant Gather searched "No Man's Land" and brought in three wounded men. Next morning, at 8am, he continued his search, brought in another wounded man and gave water to others, arranging for their rescue later. Finally, at 10.30am, he took out water to another man and was proceeding further on when he was himself killed. All this was carried out in full view of the enemy and under direct machine-gun fire and intermittent artillery fire.

COBBE, Alexander Stanhope  1902;  Erego, Somaliland (now Somalia)

On 6 October 1902 at Erego, Somaliland (now Somalia), when some of the companies had retired,

Lieutenant Colonel Cobbe was left by himself with a Maxim gun. Without assistance he brought in the Maxim and used it most effectively at a critical time in the engagement. He then went out under very hot fire from the enemy and succeeded in bringing in a wounded orderly.

COFFEY, William     1855;  Sebastopol, Crimea

On 29 March 1855 at Sebastopol, the Crimea, Private Coffey threw a live shell, which had fallen into a trench, over the parapet and thus saved many lives.

COGHILL, Nevill Josiah Aylmer     1879;  Battle of Isandhlwana, South Africa

On 22 January 1879 after the disaster of the Battle of Isandhlwana, South Africa, Lieutenant Coghill joined another officer (MELVILL, T.) who was trying to save the Queen's Colour of the Regiment. They were pursued by Zulu warriors and while crossing the swollen River Buffalo, Lieutenant Coghill went to the rescue of his brother officer, who had lost his horse and was in great danger. The two men were eventually overtaken by the enemy and following a short but gallant struggle, both were killed.

COLVIN, Hugh   1917;  Ypres, Belgium

On 20 September 1917 east of Ypres, Belgium, when all the other officers of his company and all but one in the leading company had become casualties, Second Lieutenant Colvin took command of both companies and led them forward under heavy fire with great success. He went with only two men to a dug-out, when he left the men on top, entered it alone and brought out 14 prisoners. He then proceeded to clear other dug-outs, alone or with only one man, capturing machine-guns, killing some of the enemy and taking a large number of prisoners.

CONNORS, John     1855;  Sebastopol, Crimea

On 8 September 1855 at Sebastopol in the Crimea, Private Conners showed conspicuous gallantry at the assault on the Redan in personal conflict with the enemy. He rescued an officer of the 30th Regiment who was surrounded by Russians, by shooting one and bayoneting another.

CONOLLY, John Augustus   1854;  Sebastopol, Crimea

On 26 October 1854 at Sebastopol, the Crimea, an attack by the Russians was repulsed and the enemy fell back pursued by men of the 49th Regiment, led by Lieutentant Conolly, whose gallant behaviour was most conspicuous in this action. He ultimately fell, dangerously wounded, while in personal encounter with several Russians, in defence of his post.

COSGROVE, William    1915;  Gallipoli, Turkey

On 26 April 1915, east of Cape Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey, Corporal Cosgrove led his section during the attack on the Turkish position. The corporal pulled down the posts of the enemy's high wire entanglements single-handed, notwithstanding the terrific fire from both front and flanks. This action greatly assisted in the successful clearing of the heights.

COSTELLO, Edmond William      1897;  Malakand, India

On 26 July 1897 at Malakand on the Indian Frontier, Lieutenant Costello went out from the hospital enclosure and with the assistance of two sepoys, brought in a wounded lance-havildar who was lying 60 yards away, in the open, on the football ground. This ground was at the time over-run with swordsmen and swept by a heavy fire from both the enemy and our own men who were holding the sapper lines.

COUGHLAN, Cornelius    1857;  Delhi, India

On 8 June 1857 at Delhi, India, Colour-Sergeant Coughlan gallantly ventured under heavy fire, with three others, into a serai occupied by the enemy in great numbers and rescued a private of their regiment who was severely wounded. On 18 July he encouraged a party to charge down a lane lined on each side with huts and raked by cross-fire. He went with the party into an enclosure filled with the enemy and accounted for all of them. He then returned under cross-fire to collect dhoolies and carry off the wounded.

CREAGH, O'Moore   1879;  Kam Dakka, Afghanistan

On 12/22 April 1879 at Kam Dakka, on the Kabul River, Afghanistan, Captain Creagh, who had been ordered to take a detachment of 150 men to protect the village against a threatened incursion of the Mohmands, had to repel an attack by about 1500 of the enemy. The inhabitants of Kam Dakka joined with the Mohmands and Captain Creagh's force was compelled to retire, so he took up a position in a cemetery and held it, repulsing repeated attacks with the bayonet until a relief force arrived, when the enemy was finally routed and many of them were driven into the river.

CREAN, Thomas Joseph    1901;  Tygerkloof Spruit, South Africa

On 18 December 1901, during the action at Tygerkloof Spruit, South Africa, Surgeon Captain Crean, although wounded himself, continued to attend to the wounded in the firing line, under a very heavy fire at only 150 yards range. He did not stop until hit a second time, and, as it was first thought, mortally wounded.

CRIMMIN, John    1889;  Lwekaw, Burma (now Myanmar)

On 1 January 1889, in the action near Lwekaw, Eastern Karenni, Burma (now Myanmar), a lieutenant and four men charged into a large body of the enemy and two men were wounded. Surgeon Crimmin attended one of them under enemy fire and he then joined the firing line and helped in driving the enemy from small clumps of trees where they had taken shelter. Later while Surgeon Crimmin was attending a wounded man several of the enemy rushed out at him. He thrust his sword through one of them, attacked a second and a third dropped from the fire of a sepoy. The remainder fled.

CUNNINGHAM, John  1917;  Bois-en-Hache, France

On 12 April 1917 at Bois-en-Hache, near Barlin, France, Corporal Cunningham was in command of a Lewis gun section which came under a very heavy enfilade fire. Although wounded, he succeeded, almost alone, in reaching the objective with his gun which he got into action in spite of much opposition. When counter-attacked by a party of 20 Germans, he exhausted his ammunition against them and then started throwing bombs. He was wounded again and fell, but picked himself up and continued to fight single-handed with the enemy until his bombs were finished. He later died from the effects of his wounds.

DANAHER, John (or DANAGHER)   1881;  Elandsfontein, South Africa

On 16 January 1881 at Elandsfontein, near Pretoria, South Africa, Trooper Danaher, with a lance-corporal of the Connaaught Rangers (MURRAY, J.) advanced for 500 yards under heavy fire from a party of about 60 of the enemy, and brought out of action a private who had been severely wounded.

DEASE, Maurice James      1914;  Mons, Belgium

On 23 August 1914 at Mons, Belgium, Nimy Bridge was being defended by a single company of Royal Fusiliers and a machine-gun section with Lieutenant Dease in command. The gun fire was intense, and the casualties very heavy, but the lieutenant went on firing in spite of his wounds, until he was hit for the fifth time and was carried away to a place of safety where he died. A private (GODLEY, S.F.) of the same battalion who had been assisting the lieutenant while he was still able to operate the guns, took over, and alone he used the gun to such good effect that he covered the retreat of his comrades.

DEMPSEY, Denis 1857;  Lucknow, India

On 12 August 1857 at Lucknow, India, Private Dempsey carried a powder-bag through a burning village for the purpose of mining a passage in the rear of the enemy's position. During this time he was exposed to very heavy fire and to a still greater danger from the sparks which flew from the blazing houses. He was the first man to enter the village of Jugdispore on that day under most galling fire. On 14 March 1858 in the retreat from Arrah he helped to carry an ensign who was mortally wounded, for two miles.

DIAMOND, Bernard  1857;  Bolandshahr, India

On 28 September 1857 at Bolandshahr, India, Sergeant Diamond and a gunner (FITZGERALD, R.) worked their gun after every other man belonging to it had been either killed or wounded. They performed the action under very heavy fire of musketry, and thereby cleared the road of the enemy.

DIVANE, John  1857;  Delhi, India

On 10 September 1857 at Delhi, India, Private Divane headed a successful charge by the Beeloochee and Sikh troops on one of the enemy's trenches. He leapt out of our trenches, closely followed by the native troops and was shot down from the top of the enemy's breastworks.

DONOHOE, Patrick   1857;  Bolandshahr, India

On 28 September 1857 at Bolandshahr, India, Private Donohoe went to the assistance of a lieutenant who was severely wounded, and with some other men he brought that officer to safety through a large body of the enemy's cavalry.

DOOGAN, John      1881;  Laing's Nek, South Africa

On 28 January 1881 at Laing's Nek, South Africa, during the charge of the mounted men, Private Doogan saw an officer to whom he was servant dismounted and in danger among the Boers because his horse had been shot. Private Doogan rode up, although he was himself severely wounded, dismounted and pressed the officer to take his horse, receiving another wound while doing so.

DOWLING, William    1857;  Lucknow, India

On 4 July 1857 at Lucknow, India, Private Dowling went out with two other men and spiked the enemy's guns and killed a subadar of the enemy by one of the guns. On 9 July he again when out, with three men, to spike one of the enemy's guns, but had to retire as the spike was too small. He was, however, exposed to the same dangers. Also on 27 September he spiked an 18-pounder gun during a sortie, under very heavy fire.

DOYLE, Martin   1918;  Reincourt, France

On 2 September 1918 at Reincourt, France, when command of the company fell on Company Sergeant-Major Doyle, all the officers having become casualties, he extricated a party of his men who were surrounded by the enemy, and carried back, under heavy fire, a wounded officer. Later he went forward under intense fire to the assistance of a tank and when an enemy machine-gun opened fire on the tank, making it impossible to get the wounded away, he captured it single-handed and took three prisoners. Subsequently when the enemy counter-attacked, he drove them back, taking many more prisoners.

DUFFY, James    1917;  Kereina Peak, Palestine

On 27 December 1917 at Kereina Peak, Palestine, whilst the company was holding a very exposed position, Private Duffy, a stretcher-bearer, and another stretcher-bearer went out to bring in a seriously wounded comrade. When the other stretcher-bearer was wounded, Private Duffy returned to get another man, who was killed almost immediately. The private then went forward alone and, under very heavy fire, succeeded in getting both wounded men under cover and attended to their injuries. His gallantry undoubtedly saved both men's lives.

DUFFY, Thomas   1857;  Lucknow, India

On 26 September 1857 at Lucknow, India, a 24-pounder gun which had been used against the enemy on the previous day was left in an exposed position and all efforts to reach it were unsuccessful, so heavy was the fire maintained on it by the mutineers. Private Duffy, however, who went out with two others, managed to fasten a rope to the gun in such a manner that it could be pulled away and was saved from falling into the hands of the enemy.

DUNLAY, John (or DUNLEY, or DUNLEA)   1857;  Lucknow, India

On 16 November 1857 at Lucknow, India, Lance-Corporal Dunlay was the first man of the Regiment to enter one of the breaches in the Secundra Bagh, with a captain whom he most gallantly supported against superior numbers.

DUNVILLE, John Spencer  1917;  Epehy, France

On 24/25 June 1917 near Epehy, France, in order to ensure the absolute success of the demolition of the enemy's wire, Second Lieutenant Dunville placed himself between an NCO of the Royal Engineers and the enemy's fire and, thus protected, the NCO was enabled to complete a work of great importance. Second Lieutenant Dunville, although severely wounded, continued to direct his men in the wire cutting and general operations until the raid was successfully completed. He subsequently died of his wounds.

DYNON, Denis  1857;  Chota Behar, India

On 2 October 1857 at Chota Behar, India, Sergeant Dynon, with a lieutenant (DAUNT, J.C.C.), acted with conspicuous gallantry in the capture of two guns, particularly the second which they rushed and took, pistolling the gunners who were mowing down the detachment, one third of which was hors de combat at the time.

EDWARDS, Frederick Jeremiah     1916;  Thiepval, France

On 26 September 1916 at Thiepval, France, part of the line was held up by machine-gun fire and all the officers had become casualties. There was confusion and indication of retirement. Private Edwards, grasping the situation and on his own initiative, dashed out towards the gun, which he knocked out with his bombs. This very gallant act, coupled with great presence of mind and disregard of personal danger, made further advance possible and cleared up a dangerous situation.

EMERSON, James Samuel    1917;  La Vacquerie, France

On 6 December 1917, on the Hindenberg Line north of La Vacquerie, France, Second Lieutenant Emerson led his company in an attack and cleared 400 yards of trench. Though wounded, when the enemy attacked in superior numbers he met their attack with eight men, killing many and taking six prisoners. For three hours afterwards, all other officers having become casualties, he remained with his company, refusing to go to the dressing station, and repeatedly repelling bombing attacks. Later, leading his men to repel another attack, he was mortally wounded. His heroism inspired his men to hold out until reinforcements arrived.

ERVINE-ANDREWS, Harold Marcus  1940;  Dunkirk, France

During the night of 31 May/1 June 1940 near Dunkirk, France, the company commanded by Captain Ervine-Andrews was heavily outnumbered and under intense German fire. When the enemy attacked at dawn and crossed the Canal de Bergues, Captain Ervine-Andrews, with volunteers from his company, rushed to a barn and from the roof shot 11 of the enemy with a rifle and many more with a Bren gun. When the barn was shattered and alight, he sent the wounded to the rear and led the remaining eight men back, wading for over a mile in water up to their chins.

ESMONDE, Eugene    1942;  Straits of Dover, England

On 12 February 1942 in the Straits of Dover, off England, Lieutenant Commander Esmonde led his squadron of six Swordfish to the attack of two German battle cruisers and the cruiser Prinz Eugen, which were entering the Straits strongly escorted by surface craft. Detached from their escorting fighters (just 10 in number) by enemy fighters, all the aircraft of the squadron were damaged, but even after Lieutenant-Commander Esmonde's plane sustained a direct hit he still continued the run-in towards his target until it burst into flames and crashed into the sea. The squadron went on to launch a gallant attack, but none of the six aircraft returned.

ESMONDE, Thomas 1855;  Sebastopol, Crimea

On 18 June 1855 at Sebastopol, Crimea, after being engaged in the attack on the Redan, Captain Esmonde repeatedly assisted, at great personal risk, in rescuing wounded men from exposed situations. Also, on 20 June while in command of a covering party he rushed to a spot where a fireball from the enemy had just lodged, and extinguished it before it could betray the position of his men, thus saving the party from a murderous fire of shell and grape which was immediately opened where the fireball had fallen.

FARRELL, John 1854;  Balaclava, Crimea

On 25 October 1854 at Balaclava, Crimea (Charge of the Light Brigade), Sergeant Farrell, whose horse had been killed under him, stopped on the field and amidst a storm of shot and shell helped a troop sergeant major (BERRYMAN, J.) and another sergeant (MALONE, J.) to move a severely wounded officer (who subsequently died) out of range of the guns. Killed In action, Secunderabad, India - 31 Aug 1865

FEGEN, Edward Stephen Fogarty    1940;  Atlantic

On 5 November 1940 in the Atlantic, Captain Fegen, commanding HMS Jervis Bay, was escorting 37 merchantmen, when they were attacked by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. Captain Fegen immediately engaged the enemy head-on, thus giving the ships of the convoy time to scatter. Out-gunned and on fire Jervis Bay maintained the unequal fight for three hours, although the captain's right arm was shattered and his bridge was shot from under him. He went down with his ship but it was due to him that 31 ships of the convoy escaped.

FitzCLARENCE, Charles  1899;  Mafeking, South Africa

On 14 October 1899 near Mafeking, South Africa, Captain FitzClarence went with a partially-trained squadron to the assistance of an armoured train. The enemy was in greatly superior numbers and the squadron was, for a time, surrounded and in great danger. The captain, however, so inspired his men that not only was the train relieved, but a heavy defeat was inflicted on the Boers. On 27 October he led his squadron in a successful night attack and on 26 December he again distinguished himself, and was severely wounded. Killed in action, Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium - 12 Nov 1914

FitzGERALD, Richard 1857;  Bolandshahr, India

On 28 September 1857 at Bolandshahr, India, Gunner Fitzgerald and a sergeant (DIAMOND, B.) worked their gun after every other man belonging to it had been either killed or wounded. They were under very heavy fire, but cleared the road of the enemy.

FITZGIBBON, Andrew   1860;  Taku Forts, China

On 21 August 1860 at the capture of the Northern of the Taku Forts, China, Hospital Apprentice Fitzgibbon accompanied a wing of the 67th Regiment when it took up a position within 500 yards of the fort. He then proceeded, under heavy fire, to attend a dhoolie-bearer, whose wound he had been directed to bind up, and while the regiment was advancing under the enemy's fire, he ran across the open ground to attend to another wounded man. In doing so he was himself severely wounded. Acknowledged to be one of the two youngest winners of the VC (aged 15 years, 3 months), the other being FLINN, T.

FITZPATRICK, Francis   1879;  Sekukuni's Town, South Africa

On 28 November 1879 during an attack on Sekukuni's Town, South Africa, Private Fitzpatrick and another private (FLAWN, T.) with six men of the Native Contingent, were with a lieutenant of the 1st Dragoon Guards when he was badly wounded. The natives carried the wounded officer at first, but when the party was pursued by about 30 of the enemy they deserted and the lieutenant would have been killed but for the gallantry of the two privates - one carrying him and the other covering the retreat and firing on the enemy.

FLINN, Thomas     1857;  Cawnpore, India

On 28 November 1857 at Cawnpore, India, during a charge on the enemy's guns, Drummer Flinn, although wounded himself, engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter with two of the rebel artillerymen. Acknowledged to be one of the two youngest winners of the VC (aged 15 years, 3 months), the other being FITZGIBBON, A..

FORREST, George 1857;  Delhi, India

On 11 May 1857 at Delhi, India, Lieutenant Forrest was one of nine men who defended the Magazine for more than five hours against large numbers of rebels and mutineers, until, on the wall being scaled and there being no hope of help, they fired the Magazine. Five of the gallant band died in the explosion and one shortly afterwards, but many of the enemy were killed. See also BUCKLEY, J. and RAYNOR, W. Killed in action, Dehra Dun, India - 3 Nov 1859

FOWLER, Edmund John    1879;  Zlobane Mountain, South Africa

On 28 March 1879 at the Zlobane Mountain, South Africa, Private Fowler, with a captain and a lieutenant (LYSONS, H.) dashed forward in advance of the party which had been ordered to dislodge the enemy from a commanding position in natural caves up the mountain. The path was so narrow that they had to advance in single file and the captain who arrived first at the mouth of the cave was instantly killed. The lieutenant and Private Fowler undismayed by the death of their leader, immediately sprang forward and cleared the enemy out of their stronghold.

GARDINER, George1855;SebastopolCrimea

On 22 March 1855 at Sebastopol, Crimea, Sergeant Gardiner acted with great gallantry upon the occasion of a sortie by the enemy, in having rallied the covering parties which had been driven in by the Russians, thus regaining the trenches. On 18 June during the attack on the Redan he himself remained and encouraged others to remain in the holes made by the explosions of the shells, and from whence they were able to keep up a continuous fire until their ammunition was exhausted, and the enemy cleared away from the parapet.

GARLAND, Donald Edward1940;AlbertCanalBelgium

On 12 May 1940, over the Albert Canal, Belgium, one bridge in particular was being used by the invading army, with protection from fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft and machine-guns. The RAF was ordered to demolish this vital bridge, and five Fairey Battle bombers were despatched with Flying Officer Garland leading the attack. They met an inferno of anti-aircraft fire, but the mission was accomplished, due to the expert leadership of Flying Officer Garland and the coolness and resource of his navigator (GRAY, T.). Only one bomber managed to get back to base, the leading aircraft and three others did not return.

GARVIN, Stephen1857;DelhiIndia

On 23 June 1857 at Delhi, India, Colour-Sergeant Garvin volunteered to lead a small party of men under heavy fire to the 'Sammy House' in order to dislodge a number of the enemy who were keeping up a destructive fire on the advanced battery of heavy guns. This action was successful. Colour-Sergeant Garvin was also commended for gallant conduct throughout the operations before Delhi.

GILL, Peter 1857;BenaresIndia

On 4 June 1857 at Benares, India, Sergeant-Major Gill volunteered, with another sergeant-major (ROSAMUND, M.) and a private (KIRK, John) to rescue a paymaster and his family from their bungalow and take them to the safety of the barracks. During the same evening he saved the life of a quartermaster-sergeant by cutting off the head of the sepoy who had just bayoneted him He is also said to have twice saved the life of a major who was being attacked by sepoys. Killed in action, Moror, Gwalior, MP, India26 Jul 1868

GORE-BROWNE, Henry George1857;LucknowIndia

On 21 August 1857 at Lucknow, India, during the Siege of the Residency, Captain Browne led a sortie for the purpose of spiking two heavy guns which were doing considerable damage to the defences. The guns were protected by high palisades, the embrasures being closed with sliding shutters. On reaching the battery, Captain Browne removed the shutters, jumped into the battery and spiked the guns. It is supposed that about 100 of the enemy were killed in this operation.

GOUGH, Charles John Stanley1857;KhurkowdahIndia

On 15 August 1857 at Khurkowdah, India, Major Gough saved the life of his brother (GOUGH, H.H.) who was wounded, and killed two of the enemy. On 18 August he led a troop of the Guide Cavalry in a charge and cut down two of the enemy's sowars after a hand-to-hand combat with one of them On 27 January 1858, in a charge, he attacked one of the enemy's leaders and pierced him with his sword which was carried out of his hand in the melee. He defended himself with his revolver and shot two of the enemy. On 23 February at Meangunge he went to the assistance of a major and killed his opponent. Brother of Lieutenant H.H. Gough, VC; father of Bt/Major J.E. Gough, VC.

GOUGH, Hugh Henry1857;AlumbaghIndia

On 12 November 1857 at Alumbagh, India, Lieutenant Gough charged across a swamp and captured two guns which were defended by a vastly superior body of the enemy. His horse was wounded in two places and he himself received sword cuts through his turban. On 25 February 1858 at Jellalabad he set a magnificent example to his regiment when ordered to charge the enemy's guns. He engaged himself in a series of single combats until at length he was disabled by a musket ball through his leg while charging two sepoys with fixed bayonets.

GOUGH, John Edmund1903;Daratoleh, Somaliland (now Somalia)

On 22 April 1903 after the action at Daratoleh, Somaliland (now Somalia), Major Gough who was in charge of the column, came back to help two captains (WALKER, W.G. and ROLLAND, G.M.) who were with a mortally wounded officer. They managed to get him on a camel, but he was wounded again and died immediately. Killed in action, EstairesFrance22 Feb 1915

GRADY, Thomas1854;SebastopolCrimea

On 18 October 1854 at Sebastopol, the Crimea, Private Grady volunteered to repair the embrasures of the Sailors' Battery on the Left Attack and carried out this task under very heavy fire from a line of batteries. On 22 November during the repulse of a Russian attack, although severely wounded, Private Grady refused to leave the front and his example encouraged the weak force which was engaging the enemy to maintain their position.

GRAHAM, Patrick1857;LucknowIndia

On 17 November 1857 at Lucknow, India, Private Graham brought in a wounded comrade under very heavy fire.

GRANT, Peter1857;LucknowIndia

On 16 November 1857 at Lucknow, India, Private Grant showed great personal gallantry at the Secundra Bagh in killing five of the enemy with one of their own swords when they were attempting to follow the colonel as that officer was carrying a Colour which he had captured.

GREEN, Patrick1857;DelhiIndia

On 11 September 1857 at Delhi, India, when a picket at Koodsia Bagh, Private Green although surrounded by many of the enemy, successfully rescued a comrade who had fallen, wounded, as a skirmisher.

GRIFFITHS, William1867;Little Andaman, India

On 7 May 1867 at the island of Little Andaman, eastern India, in the Bay of Bengal Private Griffiths was one of a party of five (BELL, David, COOPER, J., DOUGLAS, C.M. and MURPHY, T.) of the 2/24th Regiment, who risked their lives in manning a boat and proceeding through dangerous surf to rescue some of their comrades who had been sent to the island to find out the fate of the commander and seven of the crew, who had landed from the ship Assam Valley and were feared murdered by the cannibalistic islanders. Killed in action, Isandhlwana, Zululand22 Jan 1879

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