• Si Biggs

Bombardier Thomas Wilkinson RMA VC

Updated: Jun 10

Bombardier Thomas Wilkinson RMA VC – Crimea


Unit/ Formation: Victoria Cross


Location: Russia

Period/ Conflict: Crimean War


Year: 1855


Date/s: 7 June 1855





Thomas Wilkinson VC (1831 – 22 September 1887) Wilkinson was about 24 years old, and a bombardier in the Royal Marine Artillery (RMA), Royal Marines during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.


On 7 June 1855 at Sebastopol, Crimea, Bombardier Wilkinson was especially recommended for gallant conduct with the advanced batteries. He worked at the task of placing sandbags to repair damage done to the defences under a most galling fire.


His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Marines Museum.


“Honour to the brave,” the inscription reads “To the memory of Thomas Wilkinson, pensioner RMA, who died in the City of York 22 September 1887 and was interred with full military honours.”

Bombardier Wilkinson was later promoted to sergeant instructor, before being invalided out of the Marines on October 12, 1859.


He returned to York where he had been born, according to the York Cemetery Trust he became manager of Rymer’s coal and sand yard in North Street.


He received his Victoria Cross personally by Queen Victoria in 1857.


He died in September 1887, at the age of 55, he was buried in a public grave, along with ten other people

“Honour to the brave, To the memory of Thomas Wilkinson, pensioner RMA, who died in the City of York 22 September 1887 and was interred with full military honours.”




The officers and men of the Royal Marine Artillery clubbed together to pay for a headstone. The stone at York Cemetery was erected by them, says an inscription;

“as a token of respect to their late comrade, who received the Victoria Cross, Legion of Honour, Crimean and Turkish medals, for his conspicuous bravery during the Crimean War”.

Bombardier Thomas Wilkinson RMA VC - Crimea 7th June 1855

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