Personal info

  • Name: William James Montgomery CUNINGHAME
  • D.O.B: 18th May, 1834
  • D.O.A: 20th Nov, 1854
  • D.O.D: 11th Nov, 1897
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 1st Battalion The Rifle Brigade, 4th Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
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Tryon's Pits, Sevastopol, Russia 20 November 1854

20 November 1854

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The Crimean War 

The Battle of Inkerman effectively ended both Allied and Russian hopes of a quick resolution to the conflict in the Crimea. The Allies had no option but to continue with the siege of Sevastopol, partial though it was, as Russian troops could march in and out at will from the open north side of the harbour. Since the Russians were unable to undertake another sortie in strength, Colonel Todleben sent out his men far in advance of Russian lines to dig rifle pits from which they could harass the Allies as they worked on their own positions. So effective was this tactic that Raglan ordered the capture of those at the western end of the British line, in front of the Left Attack on the ridge between the ravine, through which ran the Woronzov Road, and the Pickett House Ravine to the west. On 20 November 1854, Lieutenants Tryon and C T Bourchier attacked the pits with 100 men of the Rifle Brigade, with Lieutenant W J M Cuninghame bringing up another 100 men. The pits were captured and named after the gallant Tryon, who was killed in the fighting. Under heavy fire, they were then converted into British positions by Lieutenants Bourchier, Cuninghame and Lennox. The Citations for Bourchier and Cuninghame are identical but are shown separately in the Gazette, as they are here and in the same order.

Citation

 Highly distinguished at the capture of the Rifle Pits, 20th November, 1854. His gallant conduct was recorded in the French General Orders. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 24 February 1857. 24 February 1857, Numb. 21971, p. 662

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