b. 01/11/1823 Woolwich, London. d. 14/10/1870 Plymouth, Devon.
Andrew Henry (1823-1870) was born on the 1st November 1823 in Woolwich, London, and from a young age entered the Royal Artillery. He was promoted to Sergeant Major and served throughout the Crimean War campaign, including the Battles of Alma, Balaklava and Inkerman, and the Siege of Sebastopol. For his services at the Battle of Inkerman, he was given a commission in the Land Transport Corps on 15th May 1855, and became a Second Captain on 28th November 1855.
He was gazetted for the Victoria Cross on 24th February 1857 for defending the guns of his battery against overwhelming numbers of the enemy, and he continued to do so, despite suffering 12 separate bayonet wounds. He was soon the only British soldier left, fighting in a sword in one hand, whilst pulling a bayonet from his leg with the other. He was the Sergeant Major of the G Battery of the 2nd Division at the time of the action and remarkably survived the battle.
Henry was one of the 62 men who attended the first investiture of the VC at Hyde Park on 26th June 1857. Henry became a Captain in the Royal Artillery in 1859, before transferring into the Coast Brigade of Artillery the following year. He was then for many years stationed in the Western District, and commanded the 4th Division of the Coast Brigade, and was greatly liked and respected by his men. Sadly, Henry died suddenly on Friday night, 14th October 1870, aged just 46. He was buried with full military honours in Plymouth Cemetery on 19th October 1870. There was a large attendance of officers from the garrison and from Her Majesty’s ship which were docked in Plymouth Docks. His obituary appeared in The Times on 15th and 20th October 1870.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ROYAL ARTILLERY MUSEUM, WOOLWICH, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: FORD PARK CEMETERY, PLYMOUTH, DEVON. SECTION F, GRAVE 35/R2
Andrew Henry's medals including VC on display at the Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich (Jan 2015).
Andrew Henry's portrait at the Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich (Jan 2015).
RA Chapel, Woolwich
Kevin Brazier (May 2016)