b. 01/01/1830 Wakefield, Yorkshire. d. 18/05/1867 Malta.
Andrew Moynihan (1830-1867) was born on 1st January 1830 in Wakefield, Yorkshire. At an early age, the Moynihans moved to Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, and settled in Crescent Road. Andrew attended the Wesleyan Methodist School in Ashton and worked at the Flash Hall Mills on Old Street before moving to James Ogden’s Mill at Hall Green.
At the age of 17 in 1847, Andrew decided to enlist in the 90th Regiment of Foot (Perthshire Volunteers) who were stationed in Ashton. The first six years of his service were in Ashton and in 1853 he married Ellen Parkin at Ashton Parish Church. After just a year of married life, Andrew was sent to the Crimea on the outbreak of war there.
He had risen to the rank of Sergeant and was in the trenches at Sebastopol when he performed the gallantry which would lead to the award of the VC. On 8th September 1855, Moynihan was involved in the assault on the Redan. The Russians drove the initial attack back and Lieutenant Swift was wounded. Moynihan fearlessly re-entered the building to rescue Swift and was bayoneted twice and taken captive. A renewed British attack secured Moynihan’s release. Again the Russians pushed the British back to their trenches and again Moynihan helped to save a wounded comrade despite his own injuries. At the end of the day, Moynihan was found to have twelve separate wounds.
Moynihan was mentioned in despatches, awarded the Crimean Medal with clasp, Turkish Medal and the French War Medal. On 24th February 1857, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for the gallantry at the Redan, and was present at the first investiture on 26th June 1857 at Hyde Park. Shortly afterwards, he was promoted to Ensign and transferred to the 8th Regiment of Foot which was sent to suppress the Indian Mutiny. He arrived in India in November 1857 and was present at the defeat of the rebels in the ravines of the Chumbal, attack and capture of Bhugah and Sevrale. He also served in the Oude Campaign of 1858-59, including the attack and capture of the fort at Sandee.
He was then stationed in Ireland and Gibraltar, before his final posting to Malta in the early 1860s. He was promoted to Captain and held the position of musketry instructor for the island. Tragically, Moynihan only lived to the age of 36, when he contracted Malta Fever from drinking unsterilized goat’s milk, and died on 19th May 1867 at his home in Floriana. He was laid to rest on 20th May at Ta Braxia Cemetery. His medals are held by the Cameronians Museum, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: CAMERONIANS MUSEUM, HAMILTON, SCOTLAND.
BURIAL PLACE: LA BRAXIA CEMETERY, MALTA. SECTION S, GRAVE 182.
Thomas Stewart – Image of the Moynihan VC Medal Group at the Cameronians Museum, Hamilton, Scotland.