Victoria Cross from Crimean War may fetch 100,000 pounds





One of the earliest Victoria Crosses presented to a British serviceman is to be sold.

Commander John Bythesea's honour was presented for his bravery during the Crimean War when he led a raid to capture important dispatches sent by the Tsar of Russia.

In August 1854 Commander Bythesea, later a rear-admiral, was serving on the frigate Arrogant stationed in the Baltic when he volunteered to take on the mission.

He convinced the ship's captain, Hastings Yelverton, that a large force would attract too much attention and jeopardise the mission. So he recruited a lone stoker, William Johnstone, to help him.

The two went ashore to an island and, after enlisting the help of a farmer, ambushed the Russian couriers. They captured the dispatches armed with a single pistol...

The medals [Britain's highest military honor] are made from bronze taken from cannon captured at Sebastopol during the Crimean war.

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