Samuel Morley VC

b. 12/1829 Nottingham. d. 16/06/1888 Nottingham.

Samuel Morley (1829-1888) was recorded as being born in Radcliffe on Trent, Nottinghamshire. It is believed that he was born in December 1829, but some records have him baptised in June 1829, a full six months earlier. Samuel grew up and became an agricultural labourer and was recorded as this occupation on the 1851 Census.

Samuel Morley VC

At the age of 25, he travelled to Nottingham to enlist, this happening on 25th January 1855. He joined the 8th Hussars, which was serving in the Crimea, as a “Battle Casualty Replacement”. After the War, like many ex-cavalrymen, he transferred to the 2nd Battalion Military Train. In 1857, the Corps were sent to Hong Kong, but were diverted to Calcutta to help quell the Mutiny.

On 15th April 1858 at Azimghur, he became involved in a chaotic situation which would lead to the award of two VCs, though at very different dates. On that day, Koer Singh’s rebel army was evacuating Azimghur when a squadron of the Military Train and a half troop of Horse Artillery were sent in pursuit. They caught up with them and overtook them, and immediately became involved in action with the rebel rearguard. Suddenly, the commanding officer of the 3rd Sikh Cavalry, Lieutenant Hamilton was knocked off his horse and immediately surrounded by the enemy. They began hacking and cutting at him whilst he was on the ground. Samuel Morley noticed Hamilton’s plight, and despite being without a horse, rushed to his aid on foot. In conjunction with Farrier Murphy, they cut down one of the sepoys and fought hard to save Hamilton.

Interestingly, the two men were not immediately recommended for the VC. Farrier Murphy’s award was gazetted on 27th May 1859. Morley was not awarded the VC. When Morley heard that Murphy had been invested with the VC in January 1860, he put in a claim that he too should have been awarded the VC. A special board considered his request and agreed he should get the VC. His citation was published on 7th August 1860, and he was presented with his medal at Windsor Castle on 9th November 1860.

In 1862, Samuel transferred to the 16th Lancers but was “discharged by purchase” in 1864. After four months of civilian life, he re-enlisted with the Military Train until it disbanded in 1870. He died on 16th June 1888 at his home, 13 Garnet Street in Nottingham. He was buried in the General Cemetery, Nottingham. His medals are held by the Royal Logistic Corps Museum, Camberley, Surrey.





Thomas Stewart – Image of the Morley VC Medal Group at the Royal Logistic Corps Museum, Camberley, Surrey.