- Name: John HARRISON
- D.O.B: 24th Jan, 1832
- D.O.A: 16th Nov, 1857
- D.O.D: 27th Dec, 1865
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Leading Seaman, HMS Shannon, Naval Brigade, Royal Navy
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
Shah Najaf Mosque, Lucknow, India 16 November 1857
16 November 1857
The Indian Mutiny 1857-59
While the battle for the Secunderabagh was still going on, Captain Peel’s naval brigade advanced towards the Shah Najaf Mosque, which the mutineers had fortified, and bombarded it with six 24-pounders, under Lieutenant T Young, as well as mortars and rockets. They made little initial impression on its stout walls. An attack by the 93rd (Highland) Regiment was equally unavailing. The British guns were brought right up to the Mosque and Peel called for volunteers to climb a nearby tree to dislodge snipers on its walls, who were causing havoc amongst the gun crews. Lieutenant Nowell Salmon, Leading Seaman John Harrison and Able Seaman Richard Southwell responded, though Southwell was killed almost immediately. The British were, in fact, on the point of retiring when Sergeant J Paton, 93rd Highlanders, discovered a small gap in one of the walls. He led in a party of Highlanders, who opened the main gates of the Mosque as its last defenders withdrew. Five VCs were awarded for gallantry in this action.
For conspicuous gallantry at Lucknow, on the 16th of November, 1857, in climbing up a tree, touching the angle of the Shah Nujjiff, to reply to the fire of the enemy, for which most dangerous service, the late Captain Peel, K.C.B., had called for volunteers.