Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Daniel Cambridge - Victoria Cross 4th June 1882

Daniel Cambridge VC (27 March 1820 – 4 June 1882) born in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ireland, 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.

Cambridge was 35 years old and a Bombardier in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, British Army when he carried out the actions during the Crimean War for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

On 8 September 1855 at Sebastopol, Crimea, Cambridge volunteered for the spiking party on the assault on the Redan. He remained with the party after being severely wounded twice, but had refused to leave until the general retirement was ordered, and even then he repeatedly went back into the open to carry wounded men to safety. In the latter part of the day, he sprang forward to bring in another wounded man. While carrying the helpless infantryman to the safety of the trench Daniel was seen to stagger. Subsequently Daniel was found to have been shot a third time, in his right jaw, and, incapacitated, he took no further part in the action.

Later in 1857 Daniel was promoted to Master Gunner with the 8th Coastal Battery, Athlone, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. On 21 February 1862 Daniel was posted to Fort Tarbert, Co. Kerry, Ireland.
In 1861 Cambridge received the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for 22 years of military service.
On 12 July 1865 Daniel wrote to JA Brown, author of "England's Artillerymen", from Fort Tarbert, Co. Kerry:
... I was three times wounded on 8th September. However, it is very little difference now although I suffer from my wounds and still will from what doctors say until my last. I was twice wounded when asked to retire to the rear but that I did by all means declined to do although hard pressed to do so by several officers. But finding I had the strength to stand another chance I advanced a third time with the 3rd Buffs when I received a gunshot wound in my right jaw and by the assistance of several doctors I have at present got 185 bits of bone out of my jaw. And I can assure you that I suffer very much from my head. I may say all over.
Cambridge was pensioned as a Master Gunner after completing thirty-two years' service on 27 June 1871. In that same year Cambridge was appointed to the sovereign’s bodyguard the Yeomen of the Guard.

Cambridge died from the wounds received in the Crimean War on 4 June 1882 at 57 Frederick Place, Plumstead, aged 62 years, and was survived by his wife, Ann, formerly Bigham, and their children William (born in Woolwich in 1854), Mary (Athlone 1857), Agnes (Athlone 1859), Daniel (Athlone 1861), Catherine (Tarbert 1865) and Elizabeth (Tarbert 1865).

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