#OnThisDay 1855 At the Siege of Sebastopol during the Crimean War, Private John Lyons, from Carlow, picked up a live shell that landed in his trench among his fellow soldiers of the 19th Regiment of Foot & threw it out, saving his & many lives. For this he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Lyons and his brother joined the Army in 1842 and over the following decade, John served in Malta and Corfu in the Mediterranean, Barbados and St Vincent in the West Indies and Montreal and Ottawa in Canada before returning to England in 1851. There he served in many garrisons including the Tower of London. Then in May 1854, he departed for the Crimean War where he took part in the battles of Inkerman and Alma before his heroic deed at Sebastopol.
Lyons died on 20th April 1867 in Naas, Kildare aged 44.
In the photo below from 1867, it is the only known photograph of him. Propped up in a chair in full uniform with medals. There is one catch to it though…
Lyons is dead in it.