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Cornelius Coughlan: Wikis


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Cornelius Coughlan
27 June 1828 – 14 February 1915
Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
Place of birth Eyrecourt, County Galway
Place of death Westport, County Mayo
Resting place Westport Old Cemetery
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Sergeant Major
Unit 75th Regiment of Foot
Connaught Rangers
Battles/wars Indian Mutiny
Awards Victoria Cross

Cornelius Coughlan VC (27 June 1828 in Eyrecourt, County Galway - 14 February 1915) was an Irish 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 was 28 years old, and a Colour Sergeant in the 75th Regiment of Foot (later The Gordon Highlanders), British Army during the Indian Mutiny when the following deeds took place on 8th June and 18th July 1857 at Delhi, India for which he was awarded the VC:

For gallantly venturing, under a heavy fire, with three others, into a Serai occupied by the Enemy in great numbers, and removing Private Corbett, 75th Regiment, who lay severely wounded. Also for cheering and encouraging a party which hesitated to charge down a lane in Subzee Mundee, at Delhi, lined on each side with huts, and raked by a cross fire; then entering with the said party into an enclosure filled with the Enemy, and destroying every man. For having also, on the same occasion, returned under a cross fire to collect dhoolies, and carry off the wounded ; a service which was successfully performed, and for which this man obtained great praise from the Officers of his Regiment.


Queen Victoria felt moved to write a personal letter to Sgt Major Coughlan on hearing about his acts of bravery.

Further information

The soldier returned from India to serve for two decades in the Connaught Rangers in his native Ireland achieving the rank of sergeant-major.

He died in Westport, County Mayo on 14 February 1915 and is buried locally.

The medal

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National War Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland).

Coughlan remembered

In August 2004, the previously unmarked grave of Sergeant Major Coughlan was recognised in a formal ceremony attended by the Irish defence minister and the British ambassador and conducted by a Roman Catholic priest and a Protestant clergyman.[2]

More than 200 people, including descendants, watched as 10 re-enactors dressed in the period costume of the Connaught Rangers, fired a volley of shots over his grave.


  1. ^ London Gazette: no. 22680, p. 5346, 11 November 1862. Retrieved on 19 September 2009.
  2. ^ Daily Telegraph

Listed in order of publication year

External links



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