First Principals’ & The Victoria Cross

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At Buckinghamshire First Principals’ Chapter meeting held in Bletchley on Friday 19th April an intresting and informative talk entitled “Gallantry Medals of the British Army” was given by E.Comp. Mark Smith, Curator of the British Artillery Museum. Mark passed around the meeting for the companions to examine one of the first Victoria Crosses presented to Able Seaman George Hinkley who was 43 years old, and an able seaman in the Royal Navy serving in the Naval Brigade during the Taiping Rebellion when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 9 October 1862 at Fenghua, China, Able Seaman Hinckley of HMS Sphinx volunteered to go to the rescue of the assistant master of the Sphinx, who was lying in the open severely wounded. The able seaman went out under heavy and continuous fire and carried the assistant master to the shelter of a jess-house 150 yards (140 m) away. He then returned and carried a wounded army captain to safety.

The talk given by Mark was very well received by the Companions.

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