Military Wiki
William George Nicholas Manley
Born (1831-12-17)17 December 1831
Died 16 November 1901(1901-11-16) (aged 69)
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Service/branch British Army
Unit Royal Regiment of Artillery
Battles/wars Waikato-Hauhau Maori War, New Zealand

Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross
Order of the Bath

 Prussia Iron Cross, 2nd class

William George Nicholas Manley E.K. II, VC, CB (17 December 1831 – 16 November 1901) was born in Dublin Ireland and was a recipient of the Iron Cross and 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.


Manley was 32 years old, and an assistant surgeon in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, British Army during the Waikato-Hauhau Maori War, New Zealand when the following deed took place on 29 April 1864 near Tauranga, New Zealand, during the assault on the rebel ("pah") Gate Pā, for which he was awarded the VC.

For his conduct during the assault on the Rebel Pah, near Tauranga, New Zealand, on the 29th of April last, in most nobly risking his own life, according to the testimony of Commodore Sir William Wiseman, Bart., C.B., in his endeavour to save that of the late Commander Hay, of the Royal Navy, and others.

Having volunteered to accompany the storming party into the Pah, he attended on that Officer when he was carried away, mortally wounded, and then volunteered to return, in order to see if he could find any more wounded. It is stated that he was one of the last Officers to leave the Pah.[1]

Honours and Awards[]

Blue plaque honouring William Manley VC in Cheltenham

CITATION (Iron Cross - 2nd Class) Franco-Prussian War "For services with the British Ambulance Corps caring for the wounded of the 22nd Division in the actions of Chateau-neuf and Bretoncelle, on 18th and 21st December 1870, and the battles of Orleans and Cravant, on 10th December 1870." It was reported in the Daily Mail of 24 January 2006, that Manley was awarded the German Iron Cross (E.K II) for tending the wounded during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. He is the only recipient of both the VC and the Iron Cross. He also earned himself 18 medals, including the most prestigious medals of France and Afghanistan. Manley eventually achieved the rank of surgeon general.

After having been awarded a set of high ranking medals unmatched in history, he was offered a knighthood by Queen Victoria. However, he did not accept the title, as he did not believe that he could afford the lifestyle of a knight and therefore he politely refused.


Manley died in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on 16 November 1901, and his medals are on display in the medals gallery of Firepower - The Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich, south east London.


External links[]

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