New Zealand and the Victoria Cross

Page 3 – Victoria Cross winners with NZ connection

VC winners with NZ connection

NZ-born VC winners who served with other forces

VC winners who subsequently served with NZ forces

VC winners with other connection to NZ

See also: Victoria Cross (VC) winners during New Zealand’s 19th-century wars

Midshipman Edward St John Daniel, Royal Navy

Date of actions: 5 November 1854 and 18 June 1855 (Crimea)
Date of award: 24 February 1857

Edward Daniel became the first man (of eight) to be stripped of the VC for disgraceful conduct and desertion on 4 September 1861. After moving to New Zealand, the former naval officer served with the Taranaki Military Settlers (1864–1867) and the Armed Constabulary (1867–1868). He died from the effects of alcohol at Hokitika in 1868.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Lieutenant George Dare Dowell, Royal Marine Artillery

Date of action: 13 July 1855 (at sea near Vyborg, Russia)
Date of award: 24 February 1857

George Dowell won his VC during the Crimean War, rescuing the crew of a stricken cutter during an attack on forts near Vyborg in the Gulf of Finland. He later moved to New Zealand, dying in Auckland in 1910.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Sergeant Bernard Diamond, Bengal Horse Artillery, Bengal Army

Date of action: 28 September 1857 (Bulandshahr, India)
Date of award: 27 April 1858

Irishman Bernard Diamond served in the Bengal Army during the Indian Mutiny. He and a gunner both won the VC for holding off a fierce enemy attack in which the other members of their gun crew were killed or wounded. After his military service Diamond emigrated to New Zealand, dying in Masterton in 1892.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Sergeant-Major Charles Pye, 53rd Regiment of Foot

Date of action: 17 November 1857 (Lucknow, India)
Date of award: 24 December 1858

Charles Pye won a VC for his bravery in bringing up ammunition under fire during the Indian Mutiny. He emigrated to New Zealand with his family in August 1862. Pye was a captain in the Colonial Defence Force cavalry during the New Zealand Wars. The farming locality of Pyes Pa, south of Tauranga, is named after him.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Private Timothy O’Hea, 1st Battalion, The Prince Consort’s Own Rifle Brigade

Date of action: 9 June 1866 (Canada)
Date of award: 1 January 1867

Timothy O’Hea won a non-combat VC for putting out a fire in a railway car containing ammunition at Danville, between Quebec and Montreal. After his discharge from the British Army he moved to New Zealand, where he served in the Armed Constabulary (1872–1873).

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Captain Henry Cecil Dudgeon D’Arcy, Frontier Light Horse, South African Forces

Date of action: 3 July 1879 (Ulundi, southern Africa)
Date of award: 9 October 1879

Henry D’Arcy was the first New Zealand-born winner of the VC. The Whanganui-born soldier was awarded the VC in 1879 while serving with the Frontier Light Horse during the Zulu Wars in southern Africa. He may have faked his death in 1881.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Sergeant Horace Robert Martineau, Protectorate Regiment

Date of action: 26 December 1899 (near Mafeking, southern Africa)
Date of award: 6 July 1900

Englishman Horace Martineau won his VC in 1899 for rescuing a comrade under fire during the South African (Boer) War, an action that cost him an arm. Despite this disability he enlisted in the NZEF on the outbreak of war in 1914; he was visiting New Zealand at the time. Martineau fell sick on Gallipoli and was sent back to New Zealand. He died in Dunedin on 7 April 1916.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Second Lieutenant William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse, Royal Flying Corps

Date of action: 26 April 1915 (over Belgium)
Date of award: 22 May 1915 (posthumous award)

William Rhodes-Moorhouse was the first airman to the win the VC. He was of Māori descent, his grandmother being Otahui of Ngāti Ruanui. The 27-year-old was awarded the VC for his attack on a German rail junction in Belgium. Severely wounded during the raid, Rhodes-Moorhouse died the following day. He left behind a baby son, who was to be killed in action flying for the RAF during the Battle of Britain.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Captain Alfred John Shout, 1st Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

Date of action: 9 August 1915 (Gallipoli, Turkey)
Date of award: 15 October 1915 (posthumous award)

Wellington-born Alfred Shout won his VC at Gallipoli on 9 August 1915. A veteran of the South African (Boer) War, Shout was living in Australia when war broke out in 1914. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, winning a VC during the Battle of Lone Pine, in which he suffered fatal injuries.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Private Thomas Cooke, 8th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

Date of action: 24–25 July 1916 (Pozières, France)
Date of award: 9 September 1916 (posthumous award)

Thomas Cooke won a posthumous VC while serving with the AIF during the Somme offensive of July 1916. Born in Kaikōura, Cooke moved to Australia in 1912. After enlisting in the AIF he arrived in France with the 8th Battalion. He won a VC after being killed while continuing to fire his Lewis gun single-handed under very heavy fire near Pozières.

See also: full citation (pdf); Australian Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing Bureau File, 1914-1918 War (AWM pdf); more information

Captain (Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) Bernard Cyril Freyberg, Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, commanding Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division

Date of action: 13–14 November 1916 (Beaucourt, France)
Date of award: 15 December 1916

Educated in Wellington, Bernard Freyberg distinguished himself during the first battle of the Somme, earning a VC for his role in the capture of Beaucourt village. After the outbreak of the Second World War he offered his services to the New Zealand government, which appointed him commander of 2NZEF (1939–1945). After the war he served as Governor-General of New Zealand (1946–1952).

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Acting Lieutenant William Edward Sanders, Royal Naval Reserve

Date of action: 30 April 1917 (At sea, south of Ireland)
Date of award: 22 June 1917

William Sanders is the only New Zealand seaman to have won the VC. Having gone to sea at the age of 16, the Aucklander applied to join the Royal Naval Reserve early in the war. In 1916 Sanders was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant. Given command of the converted schooner HMS Prize, Sanders won his VC on 30 April 1917 during an engagement with the German submarine U-93. In August 1917 Prize was sunk by another U-boat, with the loss of all on board.

See also: citation (pdf); full account in London Gazette (pdf); more information

Lieutenant Percy Valentine Storkey, 19th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

Date of action: 7 April 1918 (Hangard Wood, France)
Date of award: 7 June 1918

Napier-born Percy Storkey was serving in the 19th Battalion, AIF when he won a VC during an assault on Hangard Wood, near Villers-Bretonneux, on 7 April 1918. When his company commander was killed, Storkey took over, leading a flanking party behind the German positions. His six-man team launched a surprise attack that inflicted 30 casualties and captured more than 50 Germans.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

Lance-Corporal Lawrence Carthage Weathers, 43rd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

Date of action: 2 September 1918 (near Péronne, France)
Date of award: 26 December 1918

Lawrence Weathers was born at Te Kopuru, near Dargaville. He moved to Australia as a child and was working as an undertaker when war broke out. After enlisting in the AIF, Weathers arrived on the Western Front in November 1916. He won his VC north of Péronne on 2 September 1918, throwing grenades into an enemy trench and capturing 180 prisoners.

See also: full citation (pdf); more information

How to cite this page

'Victoria Cross winners with NZ connection', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/victoria-cross/victoria-cross-winners-nz-connection, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 5-Aug-2014