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Joseph Trewavas
Born (1835-12-14)December 14, 1835
Died July 20, 1905(1905-07-20) (aged 69)
Place of birth Mousehole, Penzance, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
Place of death Mousehole
Buried at Old School Cemetery, Paul
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Rank Able Seaman
Battles/wars Crimean War
Awards Victoria Cross
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
Légion d'honneur (France)
Other work Cornwall County Councillor

Joseph Trewavas VC CGM (14 December 1835 – 20 July 1905) was a British) 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.


Trewavas was 19 years old, and a seaman in the Royal Navy during the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 3 July 1855 in the Straits of Genitchi, Sea of Azov in the Crimea, Seaman Trewavas of HMS Beagle was sent in a 4-oared gig to destroy a bridge, and so cut the Russians' main supply route. This was the third attempt, the first two having failed. As the gig ground against the bridge, Seaman Trewavas leapt out with an axe and began to hew away at the hawsers holding the pontoons together, and although the enemy kept up a heavy fire, particularly on Trewavas himself, he continued until his task was completed, and the two severed ends of the pontoon began to drift apart. He was wounded as he got back into the gig.

Further information

He later achieved the rank of able seaman. He was a member of Cornwall County Council and a member of the County Fisheries Committee.

The medal

The medal is housed in the Penlee House Gallery & Museum in Penzance. It is generally not on display, but can be seen on appointment.

HMS Beagle (left) with HMS Wrangler by Sir Oswald Brierly, 1855

See also


External links

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