William Peel VC
Name: William Peel
Conflict: Crimean War
Gazetted: February 24, 1857
Service: Royal Navy
Place/date of birth: Mayfair, London/November 2, 1824
Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Captain
Date of bravery: October 18, 1854; November 5, 1854 and June 18, 1855
London Gazette citation:
William Peel, Captain [RN]
Sir Stephen Lushington recommends this Officer:
1st. For having on the 18th October, 1854, at the greatest possible risk, taken up a live shell, the fuze still burning, from among several powder cases, outside the magazine, and thrown it over the parapet (the shell bursting as it left his hands), thereby saving the magazines, and the lives of those immediately round it.
(Despatch from Sir S. Lushington inclosed in letter from Admiral Lord Lyons, 10th May, 1856).
2nd. On the 5th November, 1854, at the Battle of Inkerman, for joining the Officers of the Grenadier Guards, and assisting in defending the colours of that Regiment, when hard pressed at the Sandbag Battery.
(Sir S. Lushington is authorized to make this statement by the Lieutenant-General Commanding the Division, His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, who is ready to bear testimony to the fact.)
3rd. On the 18th June, 1855, for volunteering to lead the Ladder Party at the assault on the Redan, and carrying the first ladder until wounded.
Click here to see full Gazette entry.
Other decorations: KCB
Place/date of death: Cawnpore, India/April 27, 1858
Grave/memorials: Grave/headstone lost due to redevelopment at the Old British Cemetery, Cawnpore, India; name on family headstone at Deansgrange Cemetery, Dublin, Ireland; statues by William Theed at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London and in St Swithin’s Church, Sandy, Bedfordshire; memorial on seafront at Southsea, Hampshire; statue at Eden Gardens, Calcutta, India since removed
Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Gifted, 2022; original KCB, campaign medals and foreign awards, but old replica VC
Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum