- Name: William McWHEENEY
- D.O.B: 31st December, 1836
- D.O.A: 5th December, 1854
- D.O.D: 17th May, 1866
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division
The early stages of the Siege of Sevastopol, Russia 9-20 October 1854
9-20 October 1854
The Crimean War
Having marched round Sevastopol and established bases on or near the Crimean coast south of the city, the Allies moved to convert the encirclement of the port into a proper siege. The Russian Commander, Prince Menshikov, had evacuated the bulk of his army from the town on 25 September 1854 and in October the Allies began work on a system of siegeworks. On 17 October, a major Allied bombardment of the town began as a prelude to an unsuccessful French assault.
Volunteered as sharpshooter at the commencement of the siege, and was in charge of the party of
the 44th Regiment; was always vigilant and active, and signalised himself on the 20th October,
1854, when one of his party, Private John Keane, 44th Regiment, was dangerously wounded in
the Woronzoff Road, at the time the sharpshooters were repulsed from the Quarries by
overwhelming numbers. Serjeant M‘Wheeney, on his return, took the wounded man on his back,
and brought him to a place of safety. This was under a very heavy fire.
He was also the means of saving the life of Corporal Courtney. This man was one of the
sharpshooters, and was severely wounded in the head, 5th December, 1854. Serjeant M‘Wheeney
brought him from under fire, and dug up a slight cover with his bayonet, where the two remained
until dark, when they retired.
Serjeant M‘Wheeney volunteered for the advanced guard of General Eyre’s Brigade, in the
Cemetery, on the 18th June, 1855, and was never absent from duty during the war.
(The spelling of McWheeney’s name in the Citation is as given in the Gazette).