b. 1826 Ballymena,Northern Ireland. d. 28/07/1858 Calcutta, India
Alexander Wright (1826-1858) sadly is a recipient of the Victoria Cross of whom very little is known including having no known image of him. What we do know is that he was born in Ballymena, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) in 1826, and prior to the outbreak of the Crimean conflict, he had enlisted as a Private in the 77th Regiment of Foot (later The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own)).
On 22nd March 1855 at the Siege of Sebastopol, he distinguished himself for the first time that year with his actions in repelling a Russian sortie. On the 19th April 1855, he was one of the volunteers who successfully took several Russian rifle pits that night under heavy fire. He then was recommended for his great encouragement of the men to hold the pits under a terrible fire until reinforcements arrived. He was wounded during the action. He was also recommended for a gallantry award for his actions on the 30th August 1855, though the details of this are not known.
Wright was recommended for and duly received the Victoria Cross on 24th February 1857. Wright was unable to attend the first investiture of the VC in June 1857 as his regiment had been posted to the Indian Mutiny which had broken out. It is not known if Wright ever received his medal, as he was killed in action on 28th July 1858 during intense fighting in Calcutta. Sadly, his body was not recovered and he has no known grave. His medals are held by the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment RHQ in Canterbury, Kent, though are not on public display.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: BODY LOST OR DESTROYED.
NO IMAGE AVAILABLE
Ballymena War Memorial (courtesy of Mark Campbell)