George Richardson VC
Born 1 August 1831 Derrylane, near Killeshandra, Co. Cavan, Ireland
Died 28 January 1923 Westminster Hospital, London, Ontario
Interred Prospect Cemetery, Toronto Veterans Section 7, Plot 2751
Sergeant George Richardson, VC, was the son of John and Anne Richardson. In 1831 he enlisted with the 34th Border Regiment of the line in 1855.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross at Careworn, India on April 27, 1859 for saving the life of his commanding officer despite having suffered crippling injuries. “At Kewanie, Trans-Gogra, on the 27th of April. 1859, for determined courage in having, although severely wounded,—one arm being disabled,—closed with and secured a Rebel Sepoy armed with a loaded revolver.”
He was, in fact, recommended for the Victoria Cross on four separate occasions during the mutiny. He immigrated to Canada and joined a Canadian army unit and achieved the rank of sergeant. He died in London, Ontario, Canada on 28 January 1923.
He emigrated to Canada in 1862 and first settled in Montreal. In 1865, when it was thought that Fenians would invade Canada, he enlisted and served as a Sergeant in the Prince of Wales Rifles at Sandwich, Ontario. He was granted homestead land near Lindsay, Ontario by the state government for his military service.
In 1916 his house was destroyed by fire and Richardson then 85 carried his wife out; she died of shock. Richardson lost the partial sight of one eye due to burns. His original medals were lost in the fire and replaced by the War Office in 1918.
He placed Canada’s wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier in Arlington Cemetery, Washington in 1921 and was a personal friend of the Canadian Minister of Defence Sir Sam Hughes.
He died of pneumonia aged 92 in Westminster Hospital, Westminster Township, London, Ontario on 28th January 1923 and was then the oldest living recipient of the Victoria Cross.