b. 1830 Killead, Ireland. d. 08/04/1857 Malta.
Charles McCorrie (1830-1857) whose citation misspelt as Charles McCurrie, was born in Killead, County Antrim, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) in 1830. Sadly, not much is known about Charles’ short life outside of the military. He enlisted at a young age with the 57th Regiment of Foot (later Middlesex Regiment) in c.1850, and was part of the Regiment which was posted to the Crimea on the outbreak of war in 1854.
McCorrie spent the majority of his time in the Crimea serving in the trenches outside the gates of Sebastopol during the Siege. On the night of 23rd June 1855, he was on duty in the trenches, when a live shell which had been thrown from the Russian battery, landed in amongst McCorrie and his comrades. McCorrie, without hesitation, picked up the shell and threw it over the parapet, where it exploded, and no one was hurt.
McCorrie, who was awarded the Crimean Medal with 2 clasps (Inkerman and Sebastopol) and the Turkish Medal, was one of the first men gazetted for the new Victoria Cross on 24th February 1857. McCorrie, at the time of the award, was serving in Malta, and arrangements were made to post his medal to the island so that it could be presented to him by Lieutenant General J L Pennefather, the GOC of Malta. Sadly, before the medal could be presented, McCorrie died aged just 27 on 8th April 1857. The medal was duly returned to the War Office in London. McCorrie’s medal location is now unknown. It appeared for auction at Sothebys in London in 1879, but was withdrawn from sale and has not appeared since.
McCorrie was buried in an unmarked grave is the Msida Bastion Cemetery, Valletta. In 2011, the Malta Heritage Society (known in Malta as Din I-Art Helwa) commissioned a memorial stone through the efforts of local man Julian Gatt, who asked the Victoria Cross Society to support an appeal for funds. After an article in the Victoria Society Journal in October 2011, the money was raised. In a ceremony at Msida Bastion Cemetery on 16th April 2012, the memorial stone was unveiled by HRH Duke of Gloucester. It coincided with his visit to the island to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Malta’s award of the George Cross in 1942. As a result, the ceremony was also attended by 9 recipients of the George Cross – Jim Beaton GC, CVO, JP, Jack Bamford GC, Alf Lowe GC, Tony Gledhill GC, Kim Hughes GC, Barry Johnson GC, Margaret Purves GC, Michael Pratt GC and Jim McDonald (Chairman of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC Foundation).
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: MSIDA BASTION CEMETERY, VALLETTA, MALTA.
Paul Quinn – Images of the Killead Road Sign and the VC Stone in Killead.