The Royal Irish Regiment

Captain Thomas Esmonde VC

Thomas Esmonde was serving with the 18th Royal Irish Regiment in the Crimea and was in the well-known attack on the Russian Redan fortress on 18th June 1855. He repeatedly rescued wounded men under heavy fire from the Russian rifles and artillery. Two days later, on 20th June he commanded a night-time covering party which was in danger of being exposed to enemy fire after a fire-ball landed near them. He rushed forward to extinguish it and led the men away before artillery fire was brought to bear on them. His award of the Victoria Cross was gazetted on 25th Sep 1857.

He was born in Pembrokestown, County Waterford on 25th May 1829 and died on 14th Jan 1873, in Bruges. He reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and the coloured photo shows him in staff officer's uniform with ADC aiguillettes. Another Esmonde also won the VC in 1942, his great-nephew, Eugene.

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by Stephen Luscombe