Who was John Barry?


John Barry, VC (01 February 1873 to 08 January 1901) born St Mary’s parish, Kilkenny, Ireland, was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.


Barry was 27 years old, and a private in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, British Army during the Second Boer War when the following deed took place on 07/08 January 1901 at Monument Hill, South Africa, for which he was (posthumously) awarded the VC:

During the night attack on the 7th and 8th January, 1901, on Monument Hill, Private Barry, although surrounded and threatened by the Boers at the time, smashed the breach of the Maxim gun, thus rendering: it useless to its captors, and it was in doing this splendid act for his country that he met his death.[1][a]

His VC is on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery in the Imperial War Museum, London.


[a] On 08 August 1902, as a result of a revision in the policy in the war office which allowed posthumous awards of the Victoria Cross, Private Barry along with other men who had fallen during the recent war in South Africa, in the performance of acts of valour which would in the opinion of the Commander in Chief have entitled them to a Victoria Cross had they survived.

[1] “No. 27462”. The London Gazette. 8 August 1902. p. 5086.

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