George Bell Chicken

George Bell Chicken

George Bell Chicken VC (May 2,1833 - May 1860) 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.


Born on 2 March 1833 at Howden Pans, Wallsend, Northumberland, he became a Master Mariner at the early age of 20, and was 25 years old at the time of his action, and a civilian in the Indian Naval Brigade during the Indian rebellion of 1857-1858 when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 27 September 1858 at Suhejnee, near Peroo, Bengal, Chicken attached himself to a mixed party of troopers of mounted police and cavalry. They routed a force of about 100 mutineers and in the pursuit which followed Chicken forged ahead and charged into the middle of about 20 of the enemy, killing five before he was knocked off his horse and badly wounded. He would have been cut to pieces if four of the troopers had not galloped up and rescued him.

Further information

He was one of only five civilians, and the last, to be awarded the VC. His VC is described as "the only Naval VC to be won on horse-back".

Chicken was lost at sea in May 1860 when his schooner "Emily" was reportedly lost with all hands in the Bay of Bengal. The VC was sent to his father, a master mariner of Shadwell, on 4 March 1862. The VC and Mutiny medal came up for sale in Canada in 1997. The auctioneer was Bud Haynes of Alberta and the price was $C95,000.

The medal

As far as can be ascertained, his medal is not on public display. However, it is now known there are at least three versions of his medal in circulation.

ee also

Charles George Baker

External links

* [ George Bell Chicken, V.C. (1833 - 1860)] "(extremely detailed biography & research information)"
* [ Find-A-Grave profile for George Bell Chicken]

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