b. 1832 Belfast, Northern Ireland. d. 11/05/1895 Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Patrick Carlin (1832-1895) was born in the Belfast Workhouse sometime during 1832. Sadly, very little is known about him except that he enlisted with the 1st Battalion, 13th Regiment of Foot (later Somerset Light Infantry) at the time of the Indian Mutiny. Less than a year later, he would perform the act of gallantry that would see him awarded the VC (citation 26th October 1858).
On 6th April 1858, during the action at Azamgarh, a Naik of the 4th Madras Rifles was badly wounded and in need of assistance. Private Carlin ran to his aid, and whilst he was carrying the injured man on his shoulders, he used the Naik’s sword to kill a mutineer sepoy who had fired at him.
Carlin received his medal just over 2 months later (and several months before his citation was published) at almost the exact spot of his VC exploits by Sir Colin Campbell. This was almost unprecedented, particularly for the Mutiny as years could separate the act and the award. Little else is known about Carlin except that he returned to his native Ireland, where he died in the Belfast Union Infirmary on 11th May 1895. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Friar’s Bush RC Cemetery, Belfast, though the exact site of his grave is unknown so there is no marker. His medals are held by the Somerset Light Infantry Museum, Taunton Castle.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY MUSEUM, TAUNTON.
BURIAL PLACE: FRIAR’S BUSH GRAVEYARD, BELFAST, N IRELAND. (UNMARKED)