Personal info

  • Name: Joseph TREWAVAS
  • D.O.B: 15th Dec, 1835
  • D.O.A: 3rd Jul, 1855
  • D.O.D: 20th Jul, 1905
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Seaman, HMS Agamemnon, attached HMS Beagle, Royal Navy
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
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The Genitchi Strait, Sea of Azov, Russia 3 July 1855

3 July 1857

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The Crimean War 

An important Russian supply route into the Crimea ran south from the town of Genitchi over a pontoon bridge across a shallow strait to the Spit of Arabat, a narrow tongue of land which lay between the Putrid Sea and the Sea of Azov. In early July 1855 a squadron of gunboats, including the four-gun screw steamer HMS Beagle, was sent to destroy this bridge. There was not enough depth of water for the Beagle to approach it and, after two previous attempts had failed, a four-oared gig commanded by Gunner John Hayles, accompanied by a small paddle-steamer armed with one gun, approached the pontoon. The steamer’s gun was soon inoperative. Under heavy fire from Russian troops on the shore Seaman J Trewavas leapt from the gig onto the bridge and took an axe to the hawsers that secured it.

Citation

 “Particularly mentioned as having cut the hawsers of the floating bridge in the Straits of Genitchi, under a heavy fire of musketry, on which occasion he was wounded.” This service was performed by the crews of the Captain’s gig, and of one of the paddle-box boats of the “Beagle,” under a heavy fire of musketry at about a distance of eighty yards; the beach being completely lined with troops, and the adjacent houses filled with Riflemen. Joseph Trewavas is especially mentioned in the despatches as having been the person who cut the hawser. (Despatch from Admiral Lord Lyons of 10th July, 1855, No. 546.) 

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