Brevet-Major Charles Henry Lumley VC


Victoria Cross

For having distinguished himself highly by his bravery at the assault on the Redan, 8th September, 1855, being among the first inside the work, where he was immediately engaged with three Russian gunners reloading a field piece, who attacked him; he shot two of them with his revolver, when he was knocked down by a stone which stunned him for the moment, but on recovery, he drew his sword, and was in the act of cheering the men on, when he received a ball in his mouth, which wounded him most severely.

Date of Acts of Bravery:

8th September 1855 [Redan, Sevastopol] [Sebastopol] Crimea

London Gazette: 24th February 1857 [Supplement 21971, page 661]

VC Presented: 26th June 1857
By: Queen Victoria, Hyde Park, London

Rank VC won: Captain

Rank end of career: Major

Born: Forres, Morayshire, 1824
Died: 17 October 1858, Brecon, Powys
Buried: North East corner, Brecon Cathedral Churchyard, Priory Hill, Powys, Wales


Victoria Cross [No 102 ] [held QORWK Museum, Maidstone]
Crimea Medal,1 clasp Sebastopol
Turkish Crimea Medal [Sardinian issue]
Legion d’Honneur [1814 style]

Charles Henry Lumley

Charles Henry Lumley was born at Forres House, Forres, Morayshire, Scotland in 1824. He joined the Army as an Ensign on 30th August 1844, became a Lieutenant on 10th December 1847, a Captain on 29th December 1854, a Brevet-Major on 2nd November 1855 and a Major on 4th December 1857. He transferred to the 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) sometime after becoming a Major and died by his own hand at Brecon, Wales on October 17th, 1858. He was buried at Brecon Cathedral Churchyard, Powys.

His VC passed to his cousin, Mr W A Ellis and it was sold at Christie's in London on 30th July 1963 for £550, being bought by Baldwin's. His Legion d’ Honneur and Crimean Medal were also bought. They are now in The Queens Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum, at Maidstone, Kent.
Extract from the Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian Saturday 30th October 1858.
Suicide of Major Lumley of the 23rd at Brecon, Powys

On Sunday night a painful feeling was excited in the town of Brecon, by a melancholy occurrence at the barracks, where several companies of the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers are stationed. It appears that Major Lumley, officer in command, not being very well, did not accompany the troops to attend Divine Service, but Mrs Lumley went to church. On her return, she missed the Major, and on search being made he was found, having discharged a pistol close under his right ear, and the bullet having passed upward into his head. Life was not extinct, but he lingered until midnight, when he expired. The gallant officer had been severely wounded by a musket ball which had passed through the roof of his mouth, at the attack on the Redan, where he had gallantly distinguished himself, and latterly his health had been much affected by the close attention he had devoted to the drill of the numerous recruits under his command. A Coroner’s jury returned a verdict of “Temporary Insanity” at the inquest held on Monday, and Major Lumley was buried with military honours on Wednesday.