Victoria Cross Holders of the King's Own Royal Regiment
Private Thomas Grady VC
Victoria Cross awarded to Private Thomas Grady, number 3319, 4th
(King’s Own) Regiment of Foot
Private Thomas Grady, born at Cheddah in Galway, Ireland, in 1835,
originally enlisted under age in the 99th Foot (2nd Battalion The
Wiltshire Regiment) at Liverpool on 8th June 1853. He transferred to the
4th King’s Own on 13th February 1854. Whilst serving in the trenches in
front of Sebastopol during the Crimean War he was recommended for the
Victoria Cross by Captain Lushington RN:
“For having, on the 18th October 1854, volunteered to repair the
Embrazures of the Sailor’s Battery on the left Attack, and effected the
same, with the assistance of one other Volunteer, under a very heavy
fire from a line of batteries.”
Shortly afterwards Tom Grady received a second VC recommendation:
“For gallant conduct on the 22nd November 1854, in the repulse of the
Russian attack on the advanced Trench on the Left Attack, when on being
severely wounded, he refused to quit the front, encouraging, by such
determined bearing, the weak force engaged with the Enemy to maintain
The award to Grady of a VC and Bar would have been more appropriate, but
the original VC warrant did not permit the award of a Bar for a second
act of gallantry if the act occurred before the approval and
presentation of the original VC. In this case both acts of gallantry
were considered together by the War Office; the award was approved on
17th June 1857 and announced in the London Gazette of 23rd June 1857.
Grady also received the Distinguished Conduct Medal with a gratuity of
£5, but no record survives of the citation.
He completed his service on 21st September 1856 and was despatched to
pension at Aldershot on 28th October 1856. He was decorated by Queen
Victoria at the first VC presentation in Hyde Park, London on 26th June
1857 and later emigrated to Australia. He died near Melbourne on 18th
May 1891. Tom Grady’s gallantry became firmly entrenched in Regimental
folklore and tradition with the publication, around 1905, of a poem by
Ellis Williams, a former Colour Sergeant in the Regiment, entitled ‘How
Tom Grady Cleared the Gun’. His Victoria Cross was donated by his family
to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra in 1986.
Private Thomas Grady with his Victoria Cross, Distinguished Conduct
Medal and Crimean Medals.
Accession Number: KONEG0464
Contemporary illustration of Private Grady and his comrade repairing the
embrasures under a heavy fire from the Russian Batteries.
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