b. 1822 Inch, Stanraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. d. 23/10/1879 London.
John Ross (1822-1879) was born in 1822 in Inch, near Stanraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. In c.1849 he enlisted as No 997 in the Corps of the Royal Engineers, and rose to the rank of Corporal prior to the outbreak of the hostilies on the Crimean Peninsula in 1854.
On arrival in the Crimea, Ross was heavily involved in the Siege and Capture of Sebastopol during the majority of 1855. Ross would perform three separate acts of gallantry during that time which would all feature in his subsequent recommendation for a high gallantry award.
On the 21st July 1855, Corporal Ross went out on a night patrol in charge of a working party of 200 men each carrying an entrenching tool and gabion and before morning they had connected the 4th parallel of the right attack with an old Russian rifle pit in front. For this action, General Simpson awarded Ross the princely sum of £2. On the 23rd August 1855, he was in charge of the advance of the 5th parallel right attack on the Redan and helped place and fill 25 gabions under a very heavy enemy fire. General Simpson rewarded him with £3 for this second action. Finally, on 8th September 1855, he crept up to the Redan under the cover of darkness and returned to report its evacuation, and also brought back a wounded man he had found in the open ground.
Ross was recommended for and was awarded the Victoria Cross on 24th February 1857 for all three actions. His VC was inscribed with all three dates of his actions. He received the medal in person from Queen Victoria at the first investiture at Hyde Park on 26th June 1857. Ross also received the French War Medal and Crimean Medal for his actions. He was afterwards promoted to Sergeant , and spent his retirement living in London.
Ross died on 23rd October 1879, aged 57 in London, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Islington Cemetery. He is named on a family headstone in the same cemetery. This headstone was renovated in the early 2000s. Ross’ medals are held by and displayed at the Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham, Kent.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ROYAL ENGINEERS MUSEUM, CHATHAM, KENT.
BURIAL PLACE: ST PANCRAS AND ISLINGTON CEMETERY, LONDON.
John Ross' medals including VC on display at Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham, Kent (April 2014).
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
SECTION I, BLOCK 2, GRAVE 9765.
Royal Engineers Roll of Honour Board, Chatham