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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 182

A Crimea D.C.M. awarded to Private J. Connell, 88th Foot, recorded as wounded in action during the Final Attack on the Redan, 8 September 1855, when the Regiment’s D.C.M. winners wore their medals into action

Distinguished Conduct Medal, V.R. ( Connell. 88th Regt) suspension repinned, with edge bruising and contact marks, good fine

Spink, April 1984.

DCM recommendation dated 21 January 1855.

John Connell served with the 88th Foot during the Crimean War, and having already distinguished himself earlier in the war, is recorded in The Crimean Campaign With The Connaught Rangers as being wounded in action during the Final Attack on the Redan, 8 September 1855:

‘My friend M. was, like the rest of us, carried into the ditch of the Redan, and was in the act of scrambling out of it with no little effort, when a sturdy officer of one of the regiments put his foot most inopportunely upon M.’s shoulder, and sent him back into the ditch. When he shortly afterwards met M. in the trenches, he made the “amende” by offering him a “refresher” out of his flask.

Immediately upon our reaching the trenches, after quitting the Redan, we received instructions to keep up a continuous fire upon the salient, and Russian accounts stated this incessant fire caused many casualties among them. About five pm we were relieved by the 79th Highlanders, and marched back to camp, under the command of Major E. H. Maxwell, our ranks considerably thinned, having left behind us so many of our brave fellows, besides those who had been carried off wounded. It was a remarkable fact that almost, if not every, man of ours , in possession of a Distinguished Conduct Medal, was either killed or wounded.... Sergeant Major Cooney, wounded, lost a leg; Corporal Hourigan, wounded; Sergeant Price, killed; Sergeant Wrenn, killed; Corporal Connelly, wounded, lost an arm; Private Mills, O’Rourke, and Connell, wounded; altogether, two killed and seven wounded. Fifteen men had been awarded the D.C. Medal [sic] in April 1855; nine were present at the last attack on the Redan; and, of the remaining six, two had been killed in the trenches; one died of sickness, and three had been invalided.’

Connell is not recorded in the latest published transcription of the casualty roll, however it is interesting to note that 9 (including Connell) of the Regiment’s 15 D.C.M. winners wore their awards for the Final Attack on the Redan, and as recorded by Abbott’s Recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal 1855-1901, ‘as is the way with all soldiers, it was not long before medals began to be lost. Thus on 30th October 1856 replacements were sent to the Crimea for Corporal D. Hourigan and Private W. Mill [sic], both of the 88th Foot, who had lost their medals in the assault on the Redan on 8th September 1855.’

Connell transferred from the 88th Foot to the 41st Foot in January 1857, then to the 44th and in India to the 47th Foot.

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