George Henry Ingouville VC CGM

b. 07/10/1826 Saint Saviour, Jersey. d. 13/01/1869 at sea.

George Henry Ingouville (1826-1869) was born in St Helier, Jersey on 7th October 1826, the eldest son of Pierre (Peter) Ingouville and Elisa Maria. He had three brothers: Clement Philippe, Charles Edward (sadly died in infancy) and John George, who emigrated to South America, where he married and raised a family. George also had two sisters, Elisa Maria and Isabella Francois, both of whom remained unmarried throughout their lives. George joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 21 and sailed for four years before the mast in the ships “Hydaspeo”, “Duke of Wellington”, “Bahamian” and “Viscont Sandor”.

George H Ingouville

On 6th July 1851, he joined the Royal Navy as an able seaman, entering HMS Trafalgar where he remained until 16th April 1854 when he transferred to HMS Samson. It was during his service on the Samson that he was promoted to Captain of the Mast. Both HMS Trafalgar and HMS Samson were in the Black Sea during the Eastern Campaign and were present at the siege of Sebastopol.

On 1st February 1855, the newly promoted Ingouville joined HMS Arrogant and he was part of the fleet which entered the Baltic in March 1855 under the command of Real Admiral Dundas. On 13th July 1855, the boats of the HMS Arrogant were in action against the enemy’s gunboats and batteries at Viborg. Here, George Ingouville was to earn the VC. During the engagement an explosion took place in the magazine of Arrogant’s second cutter killing Mr Story the Midshipman in command. The cutter, half swamped and under heavy fire began drifting towards an enemy battery and would have been lost if Ingouville, although wounded, had not jumped into the sea and turned her about. The action also saw George Dare Dowell awarded the VC.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross on 24th February 1857, and was present at the first investiture at Hyde Park on 26th June that year. He was also awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, the Crimean Medal, Baltic Medal and Turkish Medal for his actions in the Crimea. In February 1857, he had left the Arrogant, and served on HMS Victory for two months. He was appointed to the Coastguard as a Boatman on 26th April 1857 and on 20th November was sent to prison for desertion. He would rejoin the Coastguard on 29th December. In March 1858, he was stationed at Birling Gap, Sussex, but would soon be imprisoned again for desertion. He again deserted later that year.

Following his third desertion, he joined the HMS Atholl until January 1859, before joining HMS Marlborough. Whilst serving on the Marlborough, he married Mary Anne, daughter of Captain Matthew Le Rossignol. The marriage took place on 4th April 1861 in Brighton. Shortly afterwards, he joined HMS Challenger, and finished his naval career on 12th August 1863 on HMS Pike.

On 13th January 1869, Ingouville drowned at sea off the coast of France. It was believed his body was washed ashore, but no burial records exist for him. His Victoria Cross was held by the family for over 100 years before it was donated to the Maritime Museum, St Helier, Jersey. The location of his other medals is unknown.