Mark Scholefield VC

b. 16/04/1828 London. d. 15/02/1858 on board HMS Acorn.

Mark Scholefield (1828-1858) is another VC recipient of whom very little is known. He was born in London on 16th April 1828, and it is known that he was to enlist with the Royal Navy from a young age, and would find himself posted to the Crimean peninsula in 1854.

Scholefield VC Medal IWM

Scholefield would display supreme gallantry on the 5th November 1854 in the midst of the fog which had descended on the Battle of Inkerman. During the battle, the Right Lancaster Battery came under heavy, sustained attack from the Russians. A large amount of the men in the battery were either killed or wounded, and there was a high risk that the guns would fall into enemy hands. At this point, five men from the Royal Navy including Mark Scholefield, James Gorman and Thomas Reeves, all mounted the banquette, and under heavy fire from the enemy, they used the wounded men’s muskets to fire on the enemy. The wounded men helped maintain the fire by re-loading the muskets whilst sheltering under the parapet. They managed to drive off the Russians assault.

Scholefield, alongside Reeves and Gorman, was awarded the Victoria Cross. Sadly, the other two men involved were both killed in the action, and under the terms of the Royal Warrant at the time, posthumous awards were not permitted. The citation appeared in the London Gazette on 24th February 1857.

Scholefield was not able to attend the first investiture of the VC at Hyde Park on 26th Junee 1857 as he was serving at sea at the time. Sadly, Scholefield would not hold the VC for long. He died only 8 months later, on 15th February 1858, on board HMS Acorn. Scholefield was buried at sea and has no known grave. His medals are part of the Ashcroft Collection in the Imperial War Museum.