Summary

Victoria Cross military medal awarded to Drummer Michael Magner, 33rd regiment, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, April 13, 1868, during the Abyssinia Campaign.

Lieutenant General Lord Napier reported that while the head of the column of attack was checked by the obstacles at the gate, a small line of officers and men of the 33rd Regiment and an officer of Engineers broke away from the main approach to Magdala. They climbed up a cliff, reached the defences and forced their way over the wall, and through a strong and thorny fence, therein turning the defenders of the gateway. The first two men to enter were Drummer Magner and Private Bergin of the 33rd Regiment. They were both awarded Victoria Crosses (London Gazette, 28 July 1868).

Michael Magner migrated with his wife and children to Tasmania, Australia in 1886 and remained there until moving to Victoria in 1893. He died in Fitzroy, Victoria on 6 February 1897 at the age of 56 and was buried in Melbourne General Cemetery.

Physical Description

A bronze cross Pattee with loop to crimson ribbon. The obverse features a crowned lion standing to left with head facing on the Royal Crown; around below on a semi-circular scroll, FOR VALOUR. The reverse has engraved on the suspension bar DRUMMER MICHAEL MAGNER ... and on the circular panel at the centre of the cross APRIL 1868

Obverse Description

Bronze cross Pattee with loop to suspension bar for crimson ribbon. Features a crowned lion standing to left with head facing on the Royal Crown; around below on a semi-circular scroll, 'FOR VALOUR'.

Reverse Description

Engraved on suspension bar 'DRUMMER MICHAEL MAGNER' and on the circular panel at the centre of the cross PRIL 1868.

Edge Description

Plain

Significance

Statement of Significance:
The Victoria Cross was instituted as the premier award for gallantry in January 1856 and made retrospective to the beginning of the Crimean War in 1854. The medals are made from bronze cannons captured from the Russians during the Crimean War.

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