Orders and medals, Coins and medals

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Victoria Cross

Orders and medals

Object connections:

Collection Orders and medals, Coins and medals
ExhibitionsTraders: The East India Company and Asia
User collections Traders Remixed - Pride by YouthAdvisoryGroup
The Company in crisis by NMMExhibitions
Gallery locationTraders Gallery (Floor plans)
EventsIndian Mutiny, 1857-1858

Object details:

Object ID MED2081
Description Victoria Cross awarded to John Harrison (1832-65). Petty Officer Harrison won his Victoria Cross at the Shah Nujeff mosque in 1857. At the time he was a Leading Seaman serving with the Naval Brigades when volunteers were asked for to climb a tree near the mosque in order to reconnoitre the enemy's position and to try to dislodge the mutineers who were throwing grenades down upon the gun crews of the Naval Brigades. Harrison, a Lieutenant and an Able Seaman volunteered. They succeeded in this dangerous mission but the seaman was killed and the Lieutenant, Nowell Salmon, who was also awarded the VC, was wounded in the thigh. Harrison was born in 1832 and entered the Navy as a Boy Second Class in 1850. He was promoted to Boatswain's Mate and Petty Officer in 1858. He was discharged from the Navy in 1859 and died on 27 December 1865. The Museum also holds the following medals awarded to Harrison: Baltic Medal 1854–55 (MED2082), Crimean War Medal 2 bars Azoff, Sebastopol (MED2083), India Mutiny Medal Bar Lucknow (MED2084), China Medal, Turkish Crimean Medal (MED2085). The medal comprises a bronze Maltese Cross fitted with a loop, ring and a blue ribbon suspended from a bar of ornamental laurel leaves by a V. In the centre of the obverse face is a Royal Crown surmounted by a lion, crowned passant, guardant, both within a ribbon, together with the inscription, ‘FOR VALOUR’. The reverse is inscribed, ‘BOATSWAINS MATE J.HARRISON R.N.’, along with the date, ‘16 NOVR 1857’. It is fitted with a decorative silver brooch pin.
Date made

Artist/Maker Hancocks & Co
Place made London
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials bronze; ribbon
Measurements Overall: x x x 36 mm
  • Victoria Cross (MED2081)
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