Birkenhead RSA

Victoria CrossAssistant Surgeon
Royal Regiment of Artillery
Rangiriri - 20 November, 1863

William TempleAssistant Surgeon Temple was born at Monaghan, County Monaghan, Ireland, on 7 November 1833, and was 30 years old, and an Assistant Surgeon in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, British Army, during the Waikato-Hauhau Maori War, New Zealand, when the action for which he was awarded The Victoria Cross took place.

The citation from the London Gazette dated 23 September 1864 reads:

"For gallant conduct during the assault on the enemy's position at Rangiriri, in New Zealand, on the 20th of November last, in exposing their lives to imminent danger, in crossing the entrance of the Maori keep, at a point upon which the enemy had concentrated their fire, with a view to render assistance to the wounded, and, more especially to the late Captain Mercer, of the Royal Artillery.

Lieutenant Pickard, it is stated, crossed, and re-crossed the parapet, to procure water for the wounded, when none of the men could be induced to perform this service, the space over which he traversed being exposed to a crossfire; and testimony is borne to the calmness displayed by him, and Assistant-Surgeon Temple, under the trying circumstances in which they were placed."

View Gazette extract

Assistant Surgeon Temple later achieved the rank of Surgeon General in the Indian Army.

He died at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, on 13 February 1919, and is buried at Highland Road Cemetery, Portsmouth, England.

His Victoria Cross is not publicly held.

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