Thomas Wilkinson (VC 1855)

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Thomas Wilkinson
Born 1831
York, England
Died 22 September 1887 (aged 5556)
York, England
BuriedYork Cemetery
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Marines
Years of service 1847–1871
Rank Sergeant Instructor
Unit Royal Marine Artillery
Battles/wars Crimean War
Awards Victoria Cross
Légion d'honneur (France)

Thomas Wilkinson VC (1831 – 22 September 1887) was a British soldier and an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest 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.

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.

Commonwealth of Nations Intergovernmental organisation

The Commonwealth of Nations, normally known as the Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.

Wilkinson was about 24 years old, and a bombardier in the Royal Marine Artillery (RMA), Royal Marines during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. [1]

Bombardier (rank) military rank

Bombardier is a military rank that has existed since the 16th century in artillery regiments of various armies, such as in the British Army and the Royal Prussian Army. It is today equivalent to the rank of corporal in other branches. The rank of lance-bombardier is the artillery counterpart of lance-corporal.

Royal Marines marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom

The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is the amphibious light infantry and one of the five fighting arms of the Royal Navy. The Royal Marines were formed in 1755 as the Royal Navy's infantry troops. However, the marines can trace their origins back to the formation of the English Army's "Duke of York and Albany's maritime regiment of Foot" at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company on 28 October 1664.

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 7 June 1855 at Sebastopol, Crimea, Bombardier Wilkinson was especially recommended for gallant conduct with the advanced batteries. He worked at the task of placing sandbags to repair damage done to the defences under a most galling fire. [2]

Sevastopol Place in City with special status, Disputed:

Sevastopol is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and a major Black Sea port. The city is administered as a federal city of the Russian Federation following Crimea's annexation by Russia in 2014, though Ukraine and most of the UN member countries continue to regard Sevastopol as a city with special status within Ukraine.

He later achieved the rank of Sergeant Instructor.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea, England.

Royal Marines Museum

The Royal Marines Museum is a museum on the history of the Royal Marines from their beginnings in 1664 through to the present day. A registered charity, it is also a designated service museum under the terms of the National Heritage Act 1983 and receives Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Defence. During 2011 it formally became part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, an executive non-departmental public body of the Ministry of Defence. The museum's galleries are currently closed, pending relocation.

Southsea town in Hampshire, England

Southsea is a seaside resort and geographic area, located in Portsmouth at the southern end of Portsea Island, Hampshire, England. Southsea is located to the south of Portsmouth city centre and to the east of Old Portsmouth. It developed as a fashionable Victorian seaside resort in the 19th century, originally named Croxton Town, but later borrowed the name of nearby Southsea Castle to promote itself and grew into a dense residential suburb and large distinct commercial and entertainment area, separate from the centre of Portsmouth. The 'Southsea' name of the area originates from Southsea Castle; a fort, located on the seafront and constructed in 1544 to help defend the Solent and approaches to Portsmouth Harbour.

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References

The Register of the Victoria Cross is a reference work that provides brief information on every Victoria Cross awarded until the publication date. Each entry provides a summary of the deed, along with a photograph of the recipient and the following details where applicable or available - rank, unit, other decorations, date of gazette, place/date of birth, place/date of death, memorials, town/county connections, and any remarks. The book was first published by the quarterly magazine, This England in 1981, a revised and enlarged edition in 1988 and a third edition in 1997. There is no editor noted on the cover page or the title page but Nora Buzzell is acknowledged in all three edition specially in the 1988 and 1997 editions as compiled and researched for This England by Nora Buzzell.