Pvt Patrick McHale (1826-1866)

British Army, Awarded Victoria Cross in India 1857

Patrick McHale was born in Killala, County Mayo and was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He was approximately 31 years old, and a Private in the 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment (later The Northumberland Fusiliers), British Army during the Indian Mutiny.

On 2 October 1857 at Lucknow, India, Private McHale was the first man at the capture of one of the guns at the Cawnpore Battery.

On 22 December 1857, he was the first to take possession of one of the guns that had sent several rounds of grape through his company.

At every attack Private McHale was the first to meet the enemy, among whom his boldness caused consternation. His sustained bravery became a byword among his comrades.

He died at Shorncliff, Kent, England, on 26 October 1866, and was buried at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery, near Folkstone, Kent.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Fusiliers Museum of Northumberland,.Alnwick, England.