b. 01/1827 Portglenone, County Antrim, Ireland. d. 25/01/1892 Masterton, New Zealand
Bernard Diamond (1827-1892) was born in January 1827 in Portglenone, County Antrim, Ireland. He worked as a labourer until at the age of 20 he enlisted with the Bengal Horse Artillery in 1847 in time to take part in the battles of the Second Sikh War. In 1854, he was promoted to Sergeant and married a widow named Mary Collins.
On the 28th September 1857, Sergeant Diamond found himself at Bulandshahr, India during the Mutiny. During an attack by the determined rebels, Diamond, alongside Gunner Fitzgerald worked their gun tirelessly under extremely heavy musket fire. They manned the gun so successfully that they were able to clear the road of the enemy. They managed to do this alone, after all other men on the gun were either killed or wounded.
Diamond was gazetted for the VC on 24th April 1858 but when and where he was presented with his medal is unknown. Diamond went on to fight at Agra, Cawnpore and the Relief of Lucknow. He received three wounds, one of which was to the head. This resulted in him losing the sight in one eye and he was medically discharged in 1861. In 1875, Diamond and his family emigrated to New Zealand and settled in Masterton on the North Island. Diamond died there on 25th January 1892, aged 64. He was buried in Archer Street Cemetery, Masterton, and his medals are held and displayed at the Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum, Waiouru.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: QEII ARMY MEMORIAL MUSEUM, WAIOURU, NEW ZEALAND.
BURIAL PLACE: ARCHER STREET CEMETERY, MASTERTON, NEW ZEALAND. BLOCK P, ROW 3
Bernard Diamond's medals including VC on display at the Army Museum of New Zealand.
Block P Row 3 is where Diamond's grave is.
RA Chapel, Woolwich
Ballymena War Memorial courtesy of Mark Campbell