Sergeant-Major John Grieve VC

John Grieve took part in the charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaklava on 25 Oct 1854. He held the rank of sergeant-major at the time. He saw that an officer was isolated and surrounded by Russian cavalry and went to his aid. He cut at the neck of one Russian so hard that the head was taken clean off. He must have unnerved the other enemy horsemen with this violent action because they melted away. He was one of the first recipients of the newly instituted Victoria Cross, gazetted on 2 Aug 1857.

John Grieve was born on 3 May 1822 in Musselburgh, Midlothian. He joined the Scots Greys and rose through the ranks to sergeant-major. On 4 Dec 1857 he was given a commission as cornet without purchase. In this rank he was appointed adjutant on 18 Feb 1859. He was promoted to lieutenant on 30 Jan 1863. The photo shows him as Lieutenant Grieve VC in 1865, the year he retired (26 May). He died in Inveresk, Midlothian on 1 Dec 1873. His medal is displayed in the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

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