John Edmund Commerell


John Edmund Commerell

Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Edmund Commerell VC, GCB (January 13, 1829 - May 21, 1901), 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.

Details

He was 26 years old, and a Commander in the Royal Navy during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 11 October 1855 in the Sea of Azov, Crimea, Commander Commerell of HMS "Weser", with the Quartermaster (William Thomas Rickard) and a seaman, went to destroy large quantities of forage on the shore of the Putrid Sea. After a difficult and dangerous journey they reached their objective - a magazine of corn - and managed to ignite the stacks, but the guards were alerted and immediately opened fire and gave chase. The pursuit was so hot that the men had difficulty in escaping, but they finally reached their ship and the lookouts later reported that the fodder store had burned to the ground.

Further information

In 1866, he commanded the frigate HMS Terrible assisting the "Great Eastern" to lay the fifth (and first successful) Atlantic cable.

*He later achieved the rank of Admiral of the Fleet.
*Note:Prior to 1918 Naval VC's had a purple ribbon, crimson was for the army, today all VC's are worn with a crimson ribbon
*He was Member of Parliament for Southampton from 1885 to 1888

References

* [http://www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/stewart/kent.htm Location of grave and VC medal] "(Kent)"
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=11294163 Find-A-Grave profile for John Edmund Commerell]


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