22 June 2008

Victoria Cross: L. O'Connor


Lieutenant (then Serjeant), 23rd Regiment

Born: 21 January 1831, Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland
Died: 1 February 1915, Piccadilly, London

Citation: Was one of the centre Serjeants at the Battle of the Alma [in the Crimea, on 20 September 1854], and advanced between the Officers, carrying the colours. When near the redoubt, Lieutenant Anstruther, who was carrying a colour, was mortally wounded, and he was shot in the breast at the same time, and fell; but, recovering himself, snatched up the colour from the ground, and continued to carry it till the end of the action, although urged by Captain Granville to relinquish it, and go to the rear, on account of his wound; was recommended for, and received his commission for his services at the Alma. Also behaved with great gallantry at the assault on the Redan, 8th September, 1855, where he was shot through both thighs.

(London Gazette Issue 21971 dated 24 Feb 1857, published 24 Feb 1857.)

Note: This was the first Victoria Cross to be awarded to a member of the British Army.

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