08 May 2011

Victoria Cross: G. F. Day


Commander, Royal Navy

Born: 20 June 1820, Southampton, Hampshire
Died: 18 December 1876, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

Citation: With great enterprise and gallantry, landed, and successfully carried out a reconnoissance, within the enemy's lines at Genitchi [on 17 September 1855].
This service was performed by Commander Day, with the view of ascertaining the practicability of reaching the enemy's gun-vessels, which lay within the Straits of Genitchi, close to the town. It was performed by Commander Day alone on a dark but fine night, with the assistance of a pocket-compass.
After traversing four or five miles of low swampy ground, occasionally up to his knees in water, he at length advanced to within about 200 yards of the vessels. From the perfect silence on board them, it was his conviction that they were without crews, and when he returned, it was with the full impression that the expedition was a feasible one. This opinion, however, he was induced to change on the following day, in consequence of the increasing activity which was apparent in the direction of the vessels, and therefore he determined on making a second visit to the spot. On this occasion the night was a squally one, and the journey longer and more difficult than before. On reaching the spot, finding the vessels manned, and their crews apparently on the alert, he decided that any attempt to surprise them was out of the question.
(Despatch from Admiral Lord Lyons, 9th October, 1855, No. 844.)
N.B.—It was while attempting a reconnoissance on the same ground, that Captain L'Allemand, of the French steam-vessel "Mouette," lost his life.

[London Gazette issue 21971 dated 24 Feb 1857, published 24 Feb 1857.]

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