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John Byrne VC DCM (1832 – 10 July 1879), born at Castlecomermarker, County Kilkennymarker, was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to Britishmarker and Commonwealth forces.


He was about 22 years old, and a private in the 68th Regiment of Foot (later The Durham Light Infantry), British Army during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 5 November 1854 in the Crimeamarker, at the Battle of Inkermanmarker, 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.

Further information

He later achieved the rank of corporal. He died at Caerleonmarker, Monmouthshiremarker.

The medal

The only medal on display is his New Zealand campaign medal, held in the DLI museum.

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