Thomas Reeves (VC)

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Thomas Reeves
Inkermann.jpg
Depiction of the battle of Inkerman
Born1828
Portsmouth, Hampshire
Died4 August 1862 (aged 3334)
Portsea, Hampshire
Buried
International Ferry Port, Portsea
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  Royal Navy
Years of service1846 - 1860
Rank Captain of the Foretop
Battles/wars Crimean War
Awards Victoria Cross

Thomas Reeves VC (1828 – 4 August 1862) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Victoria Cross highest military decoration awarded for valour in armed forces of various Commonwealth countries

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Contents

Details

Reeves was approximately 26 years old, and a seaman in the Royal Navy serving with the Naval Brigade during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC:

Seaman (rank) Military rank

Seaman is a military rank used in many navies around the world. It is considered a junior enlisted rank and, depending on the navy, it may be a single rank on its own or a name shared by several similarly-junior ranks.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

Crimean War military conflict fought between October 1853 – March 1856

The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. It has widely been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a "greater confusion of purpose", yet led to a war noted for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery".

On 5 November 1854 at the Battle of Inkerman, Crimean Peninsula, when the Right Lancaster Battery was attacked and many of the soldiers were wounded, Seaman Reeves, with two other seamen (James Gorman and Mark Scholefield) and two others who were killed during the action, mounted the defence work banquette and, under withering attack from the enemy, kept up a rapid, repulsing fire. Their muskets were re-loaded for them by the wounded soldiers under the parapet and eventually the enemy fell back and gave no more trouble. [1] [2]

Battle of Inkerman battle on 5 November 1854 during the Crimean War

The Battle of Inkerman was fought during the Crimean War on 5 November 1854 between the allied armies of Britain, France and Ottoman Empire against the Imperial Russian Army. The battle broke the will of the Russian Army to defeat the allies in the field, and was followed by the Siege of Sevastopol. The role of troops fighting mostly on their own initiative due to the foggy conditions during the battle has earned the engagement the name "The Soldier's Battle".

James Gorman (VC) Recipient of the Victoria Cross

James Gorman VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Mark Scholefield Recipient of the Victoria Cross

Mark Scholefield VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He later achieved the rank of captain of the foretop. His VC is on display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum, London.

A petty officer (PO) is a non-commissioned officer in many navies and is given the NATO rank denotion OR-5. In many nations, they are typically equal to a corporal or sergeant in comparison to other military branches. Often they may be superior to a seaman, generally the lowest ranks in a navy, and subordinate to a more senior non-commissioned officer, such as a chief petty officer.

Imperial War Museum military museum in London

Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a British national museum organisation with branches at five locations in England, three of which are in London. Founded as the Imperial War Museum in 1917, the museum was intended to record the civil and military war effort and sacrifice of Britain and its Empire during the First World War. The museum's remit has since expanded to include all conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces have been involved since 1914. As of 2012, the museum aims "to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and 'wartime experience'."

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References

  1. "No. 21971". The London Gazette . 24 February 1857. p. 653.
  2. Memorials in Portsmouth Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine

Find A Grave is a website that allows the public to search and add to an online database of cemetery records. It is owned by Ancestry.com. It receives and uploads digital photographs of headstones from burial sites, taken by unpaid volunteers at cemeteries. Find A Grave then posts the photo on its website.