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Local Victoria Cross Recipient Remembered 140 Years On


 

 

A forgotten war hero, John Sullivan, of the Crimean War will have his final resting place marked on Saturday July 6th in Nohoval Graveyard after 140 years.

 

 

The Bantry born, O’ Sullivan, was awarded both the Victoria Cross and the Order of the Legion d’Honneur by the French government for his bravery, during the Crimean War (1853 to 1855).

 

 The former Royal Navy seaman’s final resting place has remained something of a mystery, until local historian Fergal Brown joined in the search.

 

‘Initially, it was thought that O’Sullivan was buried in Glasnevein, until Shane McCormack, a Victoria Cross researcher discovered this assumption to be inaccurate,’ said Fergal.

 

‘So, then we started looking properly and discovered in an obscure newspaper report on the funeral stating that he was buried in Nohoval, and further land registry documents showed where he had lived in Ballindeasig.’

 

It is believed that O’Sullivan bought a farm in the area, following his discharge from the Royal Navy, but not before he acquired another citation for bravery, when he jumped over board to save a fellow seaman who had fallen into the water.

 

In 1884, O’Sullivan committed suicide in Nohoval to which Fergal attributes to possible PTSD, acquired during his service on the Crimean Peninsula.

 

 Evidence for Fergal’s argument may well be found in  his citation for the Victoria Cross, stating: ‘he planted a flag to help sight guns on to a Russian position while under heavy fire’.

 

The loss of his final resting place points to the nature of his death, with his body interred in the Protestant graveyard, as he would have been denied access to the Catholic cemetery.

 

However, on Saturday, July 6th, at 2pm in the Old Cemetery in Nohoval  a ceremony to unveil a headstone to his memory will be unveiled.

 

In addition to local Clergy attending the ceremony, they will be joined by the Cork Branch Organisation of Ex Servicemen of the Irish Defence Forces, Cork Branch Royal British Legion, M. Josselin Le Gall - Honorary French Consul based at Cork.   

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

    

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