Born: June 27,1828
At: Eyrecourt, Country Galway, Ireland
Died: February 14, 1915
At: Westport, County Mayo, Ireland
Burial: Aughaval Cemetery, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Favourite Recreation: Angling
Rank: Colour Sergt., N.C.O., Sergeant-Major
Regiment: 75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment (later The Gordon Highlanders), 3rd Connaught Rangers, Permanent Staff
Victoria Cross Publically Displayed: National War Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland)
Cornelius Father: Edward Coughlan
Cornelius Mother: Catherine
Children of Cornelius and Margaret:
The surname Coughlan seems to have been mispelled as many times as Arnsby :-) Coghlan, Coughlin...
For this site we have chosen 'Coughlan'.
Cornelius' daughter Margaret and her husband 'Ned' Arnsby named their first son 'Con' - Cornelius Coughlan Edmund Arnsby. Young Con was named 'Cornelius Coughlan' after his maternal grandfather and 'Edmund' after his paternal grandfather and his father.
We assume that Margaret Coughlan Arnsby would use the correct spelling of her surname.
Big 'Thank You' to Dave for sending us a copy of young 'Con's' Birth Certificate.
At the age of 28, on June 8th, 1857 at Delhi, India, Colour-Sergeant Coughlan gallantly ventured under fire, with three others, into a serai (a type of native Inn or travellers rest) occupied by the enemy in great numbers and rescued a private of their Regiment who was severly wounded.
On 18th July he encouraged a party to charge down a lane lined on each side with huts and raked by crossfire. He went with the party into an enclosure filled with the enemy and accounted for all of them. He then returned under crossfire to collect dhoolies and carry off the wounded.
Extract from "London Gazette." - 11th November 1862
Colour Sergt. Cornelius Coughlan, 75th Regiment recommended for the Victoria Cross, for gallantly venturing under a very heavy fire, with three others into a Serai occupied by the enemy in great numbers, and removing Pte. Corbett, 75th Regiment, who lay severely wounded; also for cheering and encouraging a party who hesitated to charge down a lane in Subjee Monda at Delhi, lined on each side with huts, and raked by a cross fire, then entering with the said party, into an enclosure filled with the enemy, destroying every man; for having also on the same occasion returned under a cross fire to collect doolies to carry off the wounded, a Service which was successfullly performed, and for which this N.C.O. received great praise from the Officers of his Regiment.
Devonport, 4th January 1863
Certified True Extract
15th October 1936.
District Orders Devonport, 4th January 1863
The Major General commanding the Western District, having had the honour, in compliance with Her Majestry's command transmitted through the Right Hon. the Secretary of State for War, to present this day on a General parade, the most honourable decoration of the Victoria Cross to a most deserving N.C.O., Colour Sergt. Cornelius Coughlan of the 75th Regiment; desires to record the fact in District Orders. This is the first occasion during the three years he has commanded the District, that the honour of presenting the V.C. has devolved on him. He used the word "honour" advisedly, for our beloved Sovereign has been graciously pleased to express her deep regret that she is unable to decorate Colour Sergt. C. Coughlan herself. The Major General acts therefore as her representative, and he takes the opportunity of impressing on the Soldiers under his command, that the acts of bravery, for which Colour Sergt. Coughlan obtained the prize anxiously sought for by all ranks of Her Majesty's Naval and Military Service, and which are recorded by the subjoined extract from the London Gazette of the 11th November 1862, were not mere instances of reckless daring, but exhibitions of cool courage productive of much benefit to the Service. It is by such deeds the V.C. is to be won, and not uselessly risking valuable life. The Major General feels it incumbent on him to record the high character borne by Colour Sergt. Coughlan in his Regt.; Lt. Col. Radcliff considers him a pattern N.C.O., and states, since he entered the Regiment he has never even been reprimanded.
Certified True Copy.
15th October 1936.
In 1867, the Officer's in Cornelius Coughlan's Regiment presented him with an inscribed gold pocket watch for Esteem (pictures below).
Newspaper Report written after his death:
COGHLAN, CORNELIUS, Colour-Sergt., was born in June, 1828; the son of Edward and Catherine Coghlan. He was educated at Eyrecourt, County Galway, and entered the 75th (Stirlingshire) Regt., now the 1st Batln., the Gordon Highlanders, serving in it for 21 years. For his services in the Mutiny Campaign, 1857-8, her received the Victoria Cross and the Indian Mutiny Medal with two clasps for Delhi and the Relief of Lucknow. He was wounded on the left knee 8 June, 1857. His Victoria Cross was gazetted 11 Nov, 1862;--Cornelius Coghlan, Sergt., 75th Regt. Dates of Acts of Bravery; 8 june 1857 ; 18 July, 1857. For gallantly venturing, under a heavy fire, with three others, not a serai occupied by the enemy in great number, and removing Private Corbett, 75th Regt., who lay severely wounded. Also for cheering and encourage a part which hesitated to charge down a lane in Subjee Miundee, at Delhi, lined on each side with huts, and raked by a cross-fire; then entering with the said party into an enclosure filled with the enemy, and destroying every man. For leaving, also, on the same occasion, returned under a cross-fire to collect dhoolies and carry off the wounded ; a service which was successfully performed, and for which this man received great praise from the officers of his regiment." He served 13 years in India ; four years as Sergeant-Major ; 10 years as Colour-Sergeant ; two years as Private. He also served as Sergeant-Major for 21 years in the 3rd Connaught Rangers, Permanent Staff. His favourite recreation was angling. Sergt.-Major Coughlan died 14 Feb., 1915.
Pictures for Cornelius and Margaret Coughlan