b. 10/1830 Davaugh, Listowel, Ireland. d. 29/01/1857 Corfu, Greece.
John Connors (1830-1857) was born in October 1830 in Davaugh, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland. Little is known about his early life prior to enlisting in the Army. He enlisted with the 3rd Regiment of Foot (later The Buffs, East Kent Regiment) prior to the outbreak of the Crimean conflict in 1854.
Connors spent the majority of the Crimean conflict in the trenches at Sebastopol, and took part in many of the actions in eventually taking the city. On 8th September 1855, in the assault on the Redan, Connors was in the thick of the action, when he saw an officer of the 30th Regiment of Foot who was surrounded by a group of Russians. Connors charged across to the officer, and shot one of the Russians, and bayoneted another, and saved the officer’s life.
Connors rose to the rank of Corporal, and it was announced on the 24th February 1857, that he would be awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Redan. Sadly, Connors was not alive at the time of the gazetting of his award, having died on the 29th January 1857 on the island of Corfu. He fell from the battlements at Fort Neuf. He was buried in the British Cemetery on the island. His medal was sent by post to his next of kin. Little is known of the medal after this as it was reported destroyed. A replica VC is now held with his other campaign medals at the National Army Museum, Chelsea. Sadly, in recent years his headstone in Corfu has become broken and not maintained. The Victoria Cross Trust are hoping to raise awareness to rectify this situation.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: MEDAL HELD AT NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM, CHELSEA.
BURIAL PLACE: BRITISH CEMETERY, CORFU, GREECE.
National Army Museum – Connors’ official replacement VC medal.
Steve Brannagan – Image of the Connors’ headstone in the British Cemetery, Corfu in June 2023.