THE LORD ASHCROFT VC COLLECTION HAS ACQUIRED THE VICTORIA CROSS AWARDED TO MIDSHIPMAN DUNCAN BOYES, ROYAL NAVY, THROUGH A SPINK SALE IN LONDON.
21 July 1998

Medal entitlement of Midshipman Duncan Boyes,
Royal Navy ( Naval Brigade )

  • Victoria Cross


The Victoria Cross awarded to Midshipman Duncan Boyes, Royal Navy ( Naval Brigade ) has been acquired by the Lord Ashcroft VC Collection through a Spink auction in London. The sale hammer price realised £45,000 and the Victoria Cross has gone on display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery in the Imperial War Museum, London.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 21 April 1865 ], Shimonoseki, Japan, 6 September 1864, Midshipman Duncan Gordon Boyes, Royal Navy ( Naval Brigade ).

For the conspicuous gallantry which, according to the testimony of Captain Alexander CB, at that time Flag Captain to Vice-Admiral Sir Augustus Kuper KCB, Mr Boyes displayed on the occasion of the capture of the enemyís stockade.

He carried a Colour with the leading Company, kept it in advance of all, in the face of the thickest fire, his Colour-Serjeants having fallen, one mortally, the other dangerously wounded; and he was only detained from proceeding yet further by the orders of his superior Officer.

The Colour he carried was six times pierced by musket balls. Thomas Pride, Captain of the After-guard, the survivor of the two Colour-Serjeants who supported Mr Boyes in the gallant rush which he made in advance of the attack, is also recommended for the Victoria Cross for his conduct on this occasion.

Duncan Boyes was invested with his Victoria Cross by CinC Portsmouth, Admiral Sir Martin Seymour, on the 22nd September 1865.


Duncan Boyes died on the 26 January 1869 by commiting suicide after suffering a nervous breakdown, which followed his court-martial for breaking into the Bermuda Naval Yard without a pass at Dunedin, New Zealand. Boyes was initially buried in the South Cemetery, Dunedin, but was re-interred in the Servicemenís Section, Anglican Southern Section, Block 6, Plot 24, Andersonís Bay Cemetery, New Zealand in 1954.

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Iain Stewart, 21 July 1998