News & Blog

VC world record

Posted on Wed, 14 September 2022 by Phil Mussell - General News, Medal News

Noonan's of Mayfair have just announced that the "civilian" Victoria Cross awarded to Thomas Kavanagh has fetched £930,000 at their London saleroom (September 14). The Cross is one of only five awards to civilians and was the first to be awarded. 

Kavanagh, who was born on July 15, 1821 in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland, was employed as a clerk in the Lucknow Office prior to the Siege. In November 1857, he volunteered to leave the safety of the Residency disguised as a Sepoy (an Indian soldier serving under British or other European orders), accompanied by a Brahmin scout.  The pair jostled past armed rebels through the narrow Lucknow streets and talked their way past sentries in the moonlight, crossed deep rivers, tramped through swamps and narrowly avoided capture after startling a farmer who raised the alarm.  On finally reaching a British cavalry outpost, Kavanagh delivered Outram’s vital despatch to Sir Colin Campbell and ably guided his column to the relief of the Residency garrison.

The VC had been estimated at £300-400k