Forfeitures of the Victoria Cross
Should a holder of the Victoria Cross do anything to discredit the honour in any way he should be made to foreit the honour. This was stated in the Royal Warrant for the Victoria Cross 29 January 1856.

Eight holders of the VC forfeited the award.

They are as follows;


Midshipman DANIEL Edward St. John. (Reg No.)

Royal Navy (Naval Brigade) Crimea 1854.

Daniel was convicted of desertion also of evading a court martial.

His citation for the VC reads: On the 18 of October 1854, at Sebastapol, in the Crimea, Midshipman Daniel was one of the volunteers from HMS Diamond, who, under the command of the Captain, (Captain W Peel VC) brought in powder from a waggon under very heavy fire, a shot having disabled the horses. On November the 5 at the battle of Inkerman, he, as ADC to the Captain remained by his side throughout a long and dangerous day. On the 18 of June 1855 he was again with his captain in the first scaling party at the assault on the Redan, binding up his superior officer's severely wounded arm and taking him back to a place of safety.

Note: Notice that all these events took place before the introduction of the VC in 1856.

Honour Gazetted, 24 February 1857.

Born: Clifton, Bristol. 17 January 1837.

Died: Hokitika, New Zealand. 20 May 1868.


: Unmarked grave in Hokitika Municipal Cemetery. NZ.

Connections: Clifton, Bristol.

Searjeant McGUIRE James. Indian Mutiny 1857.

McGuire was convicted of the theft of a cow.

His citation for the VC reads: On the 14 September 1857 at Delhi, India, when the troops were waiting at the Kabal Gate, reserve ammunition was being carried up on to the ramparts to be put into a small magazine, but before it could be safely stowed away, three boxes exploded and two were set on fire by enemy shot. Serjeant McGuire and a drummer (Dmr.Miles.RYAN VC) who were part of the ammunition guard, seeing the danger of the fire spreading, seized

the two boxes which were alight and threw them over the ramparts into the canal, thus saving many lives.

Honour Gazetted, 24 December 1858.

1 Bengal Fusiliers. (Later The Royal Munster Fusiliers.)

Born: Enniskillen, Ireland......1827.

Died: Londonderry, Ireland 22 December 1862

No record of memorials.

Private BAMBRICK Valentine. Indian Mutiny 1858.

Convicted of assault and theft of a comrades medals. 3 Deember 1863.

His citation for the VC reads: On the 6 May 1858 at Bareilly, India, Private Bambrick showed conspicuous bravery when, in a serai (Inn) he was attacked by three Ghazees, one of whom he cut down. He was wounded twice on this occasion.

Honour Gazetted 24 December 1858

1 Battn. 60 Regiment. (Later King's Royal Rifle Corps.)

Born: Cawnpore, India. 13 April 1837.

Died: Pentonville (Prison) London. 1 April 1864.

Memorials: Islington Cemetery (Unmarked grave.)

Committed suicide in his cell at Pentonville.

Farrier MURPHY Michael, (Later Farrier Major) Indian Mutiny 1858

Convicted of theft of theft of 10 bushels of oats. 5 March 1872.

His citation for the VC reads: On the 15 April 1858, near Azimgurh, India when Koer Singh's army was being pursued, the adjutant of the 3 Sikh Cavalry was wounded, dismounted and surrounded by the enemy. Farrier Murphy, together with a private (Private S. Morley VC.) immediately went to his aid. The Farrier cut down several of the enemy and although he himself was severely wounded, the two men never left the wounded officer until further assistance arrived, thereby saving him from being killed on the spot.

Honour Gazetted 27 May 1859.

2 Battn., Military Train. (Later Royal Army Service Corps.)

Born: Cahir, Tipperary, Ireland.....1831

Died: Darlington, County Durham. 4 April 1893.

Memorials: Darlington North Municipal Cemetery.

Connections: Cahir, Tipperary; Darlington.

Private LANE Thomas. China 1860

Convicted of desertion on active service and theft of a horse, arms and accoutrements 7 April 1881

His citation for the VC reads: On the 21 August 1860 at the Taku Forts, China, Private Lane and a lieutenant (Lieutenant M Burslem VC) of his regiment displayed great gallantry in swimming the ditches of the North Taku Fort and attempting, during the assault and before an entrance had been effected by anyone, to enlarge an opening in the wall, through which they eventually entered. In doing so they were both severely wounded.

Honour Gazetted: 13 August 1861

67 Regiment. (Later the Royal Hampshire Regiment.)

Born: Cork, Ireland.....May 1836.

Died: Kimberley, South Africa. 13 April 1889

No known Memorials.

Became a member of Kimberley Police force after leaving the army.

Private CORBETT Frederick (Alias EMBLETON David)

3 Battn., King's Royal Rifle Corps. Egypt 1882.

Convicted of embezzlement and theft from an officer. 30 July 1884.

His citation for the VC reads: On the 5 August 1882 at Kafr Dowar, Egypt, during a reconnaissance, a lieutenant was mortally wounded; he fell in the open and there was no time to move him. Private Corbett therefore asked, and obtained permission to remain by him, and although under constant fire, he at once tried to stop the bleeding of the officer's wounds. When orders to retreat were received, Private Corbett helped to carry the officer off the field.

Honour Gazetted: 16 February 1863.

Born: Camberwell, London. ?1856.

Died: London ? shortly after 1904

No known memorials.

Gunner COLLIS James Royal Horse Artillery Afghan War.

Convicted of bigamy 18 November 1895.

His citation for the VC reads: On the 28 July 1880 during the retreat from Maiwand to Kandahar,(Afghan War) when the officer commanding the battery was trying to bring in a limber* with wounded men under cross-fire, Gunner Collis ran forward and drew the enemy's fire on himself, thus taking their attention away from the limber.

* Limber , the detachable part of a gun carriage that contains equipment and the ammunition box.

On Collis' death his sister made a plea to King George to restore the decoration to her brother. The King was deeply touched and felt that once the medal had been awarded it should not be forfeited. His Private Secretary, Lord Stamfordham sent a letter on the 26 July 1920 he expressed his views with some force. "The King feels so strongly that, no matter the crime committed by anyone on whom the VC has been conferred, the decoration should not be forfeited. Even were a VC to be sentenced to be hanged for murder, he should be allowed to wearhis VC on the scaffold."

Private RAVENHILL George. 2 Battn., Royal Scots Fusiliers Boer War 1899

Convicted of theft of iron. 24 August 1908

His citation for the VC reads: On 15 December 1899 at Colenso, South Africa, Private Ravenhill went several times under heavy fire from his sheltered position as one of the escort to the guns, to assist the officers and drivers who were trying to withdraw a number of guns when the detachments serving them had all been killed, wounded or driven from them by infantry fire at close range. Private Ravenhill also helped limber up one of the guns which was saved.

Honour Gazetted: 4 June 1901.

Born: Birmingham 21 February 1872.

Died: Birmingham 14 April 1921.

No known memorials.

No mention of the Forfeiture of the VCs are mentioned in The Register Of The Victoria Cross.(Published by This England.) There is a simple statement on the bottom of the War Office list. All eight men are still listed in the register and the period covered is from the decoration' s inauguration in 1856 until August 1914..