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 Timothy O'Hea

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Timothy O'Hea

  • Birth 1843 Schull, County Cork, Ireland
  • Death Dec 1874 South Australia, Australia
  • Burial Nockatunga Station, Bulloo Shire, Queensland, Australia
  • Memorial ID 7768252

Peacetime Victoria Cross Recipient. He received the award in January 1867 for his actions as a private in the 1st Battalion, The Prince Consort's Own Rifle Brigade of the British Army on June 9, 1866 at Danville, Quebec, Canada, the only Victoria Cross to ever be awarded on Canada. Born in Schull, County Cork, Ireland, he joined the British Army in 1861 and was sent to Quebec, Ontario, Canada. In June 1866 following an attack by the Fenian Brotherhood (an unofficial army of Irish-American Civil War veterans who wanted to capture and occupy Canadian provinces in an attempt to force England to relinquish Ireland), he was assigned to provide an armed escort of a train that was carrying munitions. When the railcar carrying the munitions caught fire after stopping at Danville, he took action to extinguish the fire and prevent the munitions from exploding. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "On 9 June 1866 at Danville, Quebec, Canada, a fire broke out in a railway car containing 2000 lb (900 kg) of ammunition, between Quebec and Montreal. The alarm was given and the car was disconnected at Danville Railway Station. While the sergeant in charge was considering what should be done, Private O'Hea took the keys from his hand, rushed to the car, opened it and called for water and a ladder. It was due to this man's example that the fire was suppressed." In 1868 he left the British Army and returned to Ireland. In 1872 he went to New Zealand where he joined a mounted constabulary unit and served in the last Maori War. Two years later he travelled to Sydney Australia and, along with ex-British soldier Lewis Thompson, set out in December 1974 for the Simpson Desert in the Northern Territory of South Australia to determine what happened to Prussian explorer Ludwig Leichardt who had disappeared there 25 years earlier. During the expedition, his party became lost and he collapsed and died of thirst and exposure to the elements in the vicinity of the Tirari Desert at the age of 31. His Victoria Cross is on display at the Royal Green Jackets Museum in Winchester, Hampshire, England.

Bio by: William Bjornstad





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 16 Aug 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7768252
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Timothy O'Hea (1843–Dec 1874), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7768252, citing Timothy O'Hea Gravesite, Nockatunga Station, Bulloo Shire, Queensland, Australia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .