22 May 2011

Victoria Cross: J. A. Wood


Captain, 20th Bombay Native Infantry

Born: 10 June 1818, Fort William, Calcutta, India
Died: 23 January 1878, Poona, India

Citation: On the 9th of December, 1856, Captain Wood led the Grenadier Company, which formed the head of the assaulting column sent against Bushire. He was the first man on the parapet of the fort, where he was instantly attacked by a large number of the garrison, who suddenly sprang on him from a trench cut in the parapet itself.
These men fired a volley at Captain Wood and the head of the storming party, when only a yard or two distant from that Officer; but, although Captain Wood was struck by no less than seven musket balls, he at once threw himself upon the enemy, passed his sword through the body of their leader, and, being closely followed by the men of his company, speedily overcame all opposition, and established himself in the place. Captain Wood's decision, energy, and determined valour, undoubtedly contributed in a high degree to the success of the attack. His wounds compelled him to leave the force for a time; but, with the true spirit of a good soldier, he rejoined his regiment, and returned to his duty at Bushire before the wounds were properly healed.

[London Gazette issue 22409 dated 3 Aug 1860, published 3 Aug 1860.]

Note: Bushire, or Bushehr, is on the southwestern coast of Iran, on the Persian Gulf.

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