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James Gorman, V.C.

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Saturday 21st October 1882

"DEATH OF A NAVAL VETERAN

Yesterday there were buried at Balmain Cemetery the mortal remains of the late James Gorman V.C. one of the few possessors of that highest of English distinctions, the Victoria Cross.

Gorman had for 16 years occupied the position of third in command on board the training ship "Vernon" where he was greatly esteemed for his sterling good qualities both by officers and boys.

Lately he was appointed to the charge of the gunpowder magazine at Spectacle Island, where he died on Wednesday last after an illness of but short duration. Prior to his settling in the colony, he led a most eventful life, having been present as one of the Naval Brigade during the Crimean War, also at the Chinese War, and having seen some stirring events in other parts of the world. He was the possessor of the Crimean medal with clasps for Inkerman and Sebastopol; the Turkish medal, presented by the Sultan; the Chinese war medal with clasp for Canton; and the Victoria Cross with yearly gratuity of 10 pounds for distinguished valour. He was one of the "Albion's" crew at the outbreak of war with Russia and volunteered to form one of the celebrated Naval Brigade, although at the time a mere youngster of 19 or 20 years of age.

During the campaign he performed many deeds of bravery, foremost among which may be specially noted - saving the life of the late Admiral (then Captain) Lushington R.N., when that officer was unhorsed and surrounded by the enemy; and the splendid deed of heroism, for which her Majesty decorated him with the Victoria Cross, protecting at the imminent risk of his life the wounded soldiers and sailors at the Lankester Battery on the great day of Inkerman.

Three times were the English forced by overwhelming numbers to evacuate this work, and the dead and wounded lay in heaps; at length notwithstanding the order to retire, Mr Gorman with four other brave fellows, stood their ground until reinforcements arrived, and this important post was saved.

Many of our wounded soldiers and sailors owed their lives that day to the veteran who has now passed away, as the fight of Inkerman was carried on in so relentless a way by the Russians that but few wounded men survived when at the mercy of the enemy.

Mr Gorman's portrait with representation of the fight at the Lankester Battery is to be seen at the Victoria Cross Gallery, London and also in the Illustrated London News. Amongst others present at the grave were the officers and a strong detachment of boys from the "Vernon", the usual naval salute being given by a firing party composed of the boys.

The deceased was a member of the Leinster Marine Lodge of Australia (Freemasons), and the New South Wales Constitution was accordingly represented by a number of high officers of the craft.

Gorman leaves a widow and one daughter."

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Robert Curran
borclaud @ tpg.com.au