John Coleman VC
John Coleman was born in St Mary in the Marsh on12 July 1798, John Coleman won the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces. He was awarded the VC at the siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean war.
Coleman was 57 years old, and a sergeant in the British Army, 97th Regiment (Queen's Own Royal West Kent) [now Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment] during the Crimean War when the Russians attacked a working party and for his heroism he was awarded the VC.
The Citation in The London Gazette dated 24 February 1857 read:
Conspicuous for great coolness and bravery on the night of the 30th August, 1855, when the enemy attacked a "New Sap" and
drove the working party in ; he remained in the open, perfectly exposed to the enemy's rifle pits, until all around him had been
killed or wounded. He finally carried one of his Officers, who was mortally wounded, to the rear.
John Coleman was one of 62 recipients of the Victoria Cross presented on Friday 26 June 1857 by Queen Victoria at her first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park, London.
He was killed in action at Lucknow, India, in 1858. There is a discrepancy over date of death as some records suggest 4 June 1882. His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum in Maidstone, Kent.
John Coleman c1850 (ack. 14)
Depiction of the Siege of Sebastopol