In November 2016 we discussed a Victoria Cross medal uncovered in the river Thames by a London mudlark. This article provides an update on efforts to identify the medal's
Research is continuing to try and link a Victoria Cross with one of the bravest Kilkenny men of all time.
This follows the recovery, from the mud on the banks of the River Thames in London, of one of the earliest medals ever awarded.
It was awarded to a hero of the Crimean War and worth at least £100,000 despite being badly weathered and it could belong to a Kilkenny man.
The medal was one of 16 Victoria Crosses awarded to British troops after a major battle on that date during the Crimean War.
But who won the medal and how it ended up in the River Thames remain a mystery.
Of those awarded for actions during the Battle of Inkerman, two are unaccounted for – those won by Castlecomer man, Private John Byrne of the 68th Durham Light Infantry, and a Scottish man,
Private John McDermond.
The date of the battle was engraved on the reverse of the medal. But the recipient’s name was engraved on the suspender bar, which is missing. Pte Byrne won his VC for running across the
battlefield to find a wounded colleague whom he carried to safety under heavy gunfire.
Then aged 22-years-old, he survived and fought in other campaigns – Pte Byrne won a Distinguished Conduct Medal for fighting Maoris during the Tauranga campaign in New Zealand in 1864 and this is
held in the Durham Light Infantry museum.
He died at Crown Street, Newport, Monmouthshire and no one seems to know what happened the family. If you do you might contact Kilkenny People at sean.keane@kilkennypeople.
To read the complete article, see:
Recovered Victoria Cross may belong to Castlecomer man
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
VICTORIA CROSS MEDAL FOUND IN THAMES RIVER (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v19n47a17.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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