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John Thornton Down VC (2 March 1842 – 28 April 1866) was an Englishmarker 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.

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He was 21 years old, and an Ensign in the 57th Regiment of Foot (later The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)), British Army during the Invasion of Waikato (one of the campaigns in the New Zealand Wars), when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 2 October 1863 at Poutoko, New Zealandmarker, Ensign Down and a drummer (Dudley Stagpoole) volunteered to rescue a wounded comrade from the rebel natives. They succeeded in bringing in this wounded man who was lying about 50 yards from the bush, although the enemy kept up a very heavy fire at short range and from fallen logs close at hand.

He was killed in action, Otahuhu, New Zealandmarker, on 28 April 1866.

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