Private Francis Fitzpatrick, V.C. collection of medals including a copy of his VC (1859-1933) (PF115)
Collection of medals awarded to the war hero
Irish-born Private Francis Fitzpatrick, V.C. (1859-1933) served with the 94th Foot during the Basuto War, November to December 1879. This war saw the capture of Sekukuni's Town, on 28 November 1879, when a force of some 1,400 Imperial troops from the 94th, 80th and 21st Foot, 800 Colonials and thousands of native levies assembled to attack, under the command of General Sir Garnet Wolseley.
Approximately 3,000 huts were captured, but Sekukuni escaped, only to be captured four days later. The battle resulted in the deaths of 13 soldiers, another 35 were injured.
The V.C. London Gazette 24 February 1880 recorded Fitzpatrick's gallantry in saving a fellow soldier:
'In recognition of their gallant conduct during the attack on Sekukuni's Town on the 28th November last, in carrying out of action Lieutenant Dewar, 1st Dragoon Guards, when badly wounded. At the time when he received his wound, Lieutenant Dewar had with him only Privates Flawn and Fitzpatrick, and six of the Native Contingent, and, being incapable of moving without assistance, the natives proceeded to carry him down the hill, when about thirty of the enemy appeared in pursuit about 40 yards in the rear, whereupon the men of the Native Contingent deserted Lieutenant Dewar, who must have been killed but for the devoted gallantry of Privates Flawn and Fitzpatrick, who carried him alternately, one covering the retreat and firing on the enemy.'
Privates Fitzpatrick and Flawn were awarded the Victoria Cross for their gallantry in saving Lieutenant Dewar. Their Commanding Officer, Lietenant-Colonel P. R. Anstruther, presented their Crosses at Lydenburg, Transvaal on 17 September 1880.
Fitzpatrick later served throughout the 1st Boer War, between 1880 and 1881. Returning to England in 1882, he was discharged in May 1888. He relisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders for the 2nd Boer War.
This is a collection of medals of the Q.S.A. to Victoria Cross Recipient Private F. Fitzpatrick, 94th Foot and Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Mounted as Worn with a late 19th Century Victoria Cross named copy and Zulu War Medal.
A late 19th Century period copy of Fitzpatrick's Victoria Cross is included. The reverse of the suspension bar is engraved 'Private Francis Fitzpatrick 94th. Foot', and the reverse of the Cross is engraved '28th. Novr. 1879'.
The South Africa 1877-79 medal features a single clasp, dated 1879, the reverse reads 'Victoria Regina' and shows the face of the Queen. The medal is contemporarily and competently renamed in large serif capitals, 'V.C.' inscribed in Gothic script (V.C. Pte. Francis Fitzpatrick. 94th. Foot.).
The Queen's South Africa 1899-1902 medal has two clasps, marked with 'Cape Colony', and 'South Africa 1902'. The medal bears the face of the monarch and bears the text 'Victoria Regina et Imperatrix'. The reverse shows a Greco-Roman goddess holding a wreath to approaching soldiers, with the text 'South Africa' above. The medal is officially inscribed in Gothic script, 'V.C.' (Pte. F. Fitzpatrick. V.C. A. and S. Highrs).
Some contact marks, but generally nearly very fine, mounted as worn.
In 1881, Fitzpatrick's original Victoria Cross and South Africa 1877-79 medals were lost in action. He received official replacements in 1881. The original Cross was subsequently found and returned to the recipient, and the replacement returned to the War Office.
At some stage Fitzpatrick sold his original V.C. and then had a copy made for his own use. The later V.C. copy is included in this collection.
The original Victoria Cross and South Africa 1877-79 medal are now held by the National Army Museum.
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