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A Tribute to

Andrew Moynihan VC

1831 - 1867
Photo Of Victoria Cross

'...he personally encountered and killed five Russians, and rescued from near the Redan a wounded officer, under heavy fire.'

Dukinfield has proud memories of Andrew Moynihan who came to Crescent Road as a child, his family having moved from Wakefield. He went to the Wesleyan Methodist School in Ashton and worked at Flash Hall Mills on Old Street before moving to James Ogden's Mill at Hall Green.

Photo of Andrew Moynihan VCAged seventeen he joined the army enlisting in the 90th Regiment the Perthshire Volunteers who were stationed in Ashton. The following six years were spent in Ashton and in 1853 he married Ellen Parkin at Ashton Parish Church. 1854 brought the outbreak of the Crimean War, Moynihan was sent to the front and in September 1855 his gallantry merited the Victoria Cross. The citation reads :

'When a sergeant, 90th Light Infantry, at the assault on the Redan on 8th September 1855, he personally encountered and killed five Russians, and rescued from near the Redan a wounded officer, under heavy fire.'

The Redan was a heavily armoured fortress defending the entrance to Sebastopol which the British Army were assigned to attack. An initial attack failed in June 1855 but in September 1855 they made headway led by Moynihan. The Russians drove them back and wounded Lieutenant Swift. Moynihan fearlessly re-entered the building to rescue Swift and was bayoneted twice then taken captive. A renewed British attack secured Moynihan's release. Again the Russians retaliated pushing the British back to their trenches and again Moynihan helped save a wounded colleague despite his own injuries. By the end of the day he had twelve wounds.

Moynihan had a hero's welcome on his return to Dukinfield in 1856. A special reception took place at the Astley Arms and presentations to him included an inscribed watch from the local people. The following year he received his Victoria Cross from Queen Victoria. Blue Plaque for Andrew Moynihan

Moynihan later served during the Indian Mutiny and was then stationed in Ireland and Gibraltar. His final posting was to Malta in the 1860's. His rank was that of Captain and he was also musketry instructor for the island.

Tragically in 1867 Moynihan contracted 'Malta Fever' by drinking unsterilised goat's milk. He died in May aged only thirty six leaving a widow and several children. He is buried in La Braxia Cemetery.

Blue Plaque

A blue plaque to commemorate the life of Andrew Moynihan is sited on the Astley Arms, Chapel Hall, Dukinfield.