Joseph Malone VC

b. 11/01/1833 Eccles, Lancashire. d. 28/06/1883 Pinetown, South Africa.

Joseph Malone (1833-1883) was born in Eccles, Manchester on 11th January 1833. He became a Farrier and worked with horses after a basic education, and remained in this trade prior to enlisting with the 13th Light Dragoons at Manchester on 28th March 1851.

Joseph Malone VC

In 1854, he travelled with his Regiment to the Crimea after hostilities broke out between the Allied forces and the Russians. At dawn on the 24th September 1854, a month before the Battle of Balaklava, Malone and three other Privates of the 13th Lancers had captured an escort of the enemy’s cavalry and also the baggage they were taking to Sebastopol.

Shortly after this action, he was promoted to Corporal on 14th October 1854. Eleven days later, he found himself at the Battle of Balaklava and in the midst of the Charge of the Light Brigade. During the Battle, Malone had his horse shot from under him, and was trapped, before Private James Nunnerley dragged his horse off him and allowed Malone to move forward. Malone then assisted both John Berryman and John Farrell, both from the 17th Lancers, to move a badly wounded officer, Captain Webb, out of the range of the Russian guns.

For these actions, Malone was awarded the VC. His medal was announced in the London Gazette on 24th February 1857, though he missed the first investiture at Hyde Park in June 1857, he was invested with the medal by Queen Victoria at Windsor on 28th November 1857. On his return from the Crimea, he had been posted to the riding establishment at Maidstone, where he remained until 10th June 1858. After briefly serving at a similar establishment in Dublin, he was transferred into the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons on 7th September 1858. Two days later, he embarked for India with his new Regiment and would serve there until 1867.

Whilst in India, he married Eliza Weir, daughter of Captain Archibald Weir of the 6th Dragoons, at Mhow on 3rd May 1860. The marriage saw them have seven children (Kate, Joseph, Ada, Edward, Archibald, Eva, and Arthur) with the youngest born in 1875. The first two of his children were born in India, but as a reflection of his varied army service his other children were born in various parts of the UK. By the time of the 1881 Census, the family were based at the Royal Artillery Barracks at Cheriton, Kent with Joseph as a Riding Master, and they had two domestic servants.

On the 7th November 1882, Joseph was posted from the Canterbury Cavalry Depot to South Africa. His family had to remain behind in England and would sadly not see Joseph again. Less than a year later, on 28th June 1883, Joseph died suddenly in the Officers Mess at Rugby Hotel, Pinetown, Natal from bronchitis at the age of 50. He was buried the following day at the Old Cemetery (St Andrews)  in Pinetown. His medals are held by the Ashcroft Collection.





Derek Walker – Image of the Malone VC Grave in St Andrew’s Churchyard, Pinetown, South Africa.