Chicken by name but not by nature, he participated in a cavalry charge, no less, riding ‘into the middle of a considerable number of rebels… killing five before he was himself cut down’ at Suhejnee on September 27, 1858. He survived his wounds only to perish when his schooner went down in the Bay of Bengal in May 1860.
The medal, sold for £80 at Glendinings in 1923 and again in Canada in 1987 for Can$95,000, was Morton & Eden’s top lot of the year at £280,000. This is one of just five ‘civilian’ VCs to be awarded and one of just two in private hands.
The other, issued to Thomas Kavanagh for his deeds at the Siege of Lucknow also in the Indian Mutiny, was sold for a record £750,000 (plus 24% buyer’s premium) at Noonans on September 14.