b. 1823 Kilkenny, Ireland. d. 04/03/1858 Cawnpore, India.
John Ryan (1823-1858) was born in 1823 in Kilkenny, Ireland. He enlisted with the 1st Madras Fusiliers (later Royal Dublin Fusiliers) and was with the Regiment in India when the Mutiny broke out.
On 26th September 1857 at the relief of Lucknow, Private John Ryan had noticed that his officer, Lieutenant Arnold, who was leading the charge across the canal bridge, had been hit in both legs by grapeshot, and was lying in the open. Ryan dashed across the street with the support of Private Peter McManus, and under heavy musketry fire, they managed to drag Arnold out of his litter, and carried him to a nearby gatehouse. Arnold was hit again in the thigh, but both Ryan and McManus were unhurt. They then brought in another disabled man, who sadly was hit and mortally wounded twice whilst they attempted to rescue him. Unperturbed, they went out and rescued an officer and four other men from heavy fire.
Ryan was recommended for the VC and it was published with McManus on the 18th June 1858. He was promoted to Sergeant and had his medal presented to him by General Sir James Outram. Sadly, like McManus, Ryan did not live too long after the award of his medal. He was killed in action at Cawnpore on 4th March 1858 (note – prior to the publication of his citation) and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Old British Cemetery in Cawnpore (now Kanpur). His medals are held by the National Army Museum, Chelsea.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM, CHELSEA, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: OLD BRITISH CEMETERY, KANPUR, INDIA. (UNMARKED)