Michael Daniels
Edward St John Daniel VC
 The story of the first man to forfeit the Victoria Cross



Unanswered Questions


In the life of Edward St John Daniel, many unanswered questions and avenues for further research remain.  Perhaps you might be able to help in some way? Do please contact me if you know anything of interest.

  • What other evidence might there be relating to Daniel's "disgraceful offence"?
  • How and when did Daniel return to England after deserting at Corfu?
  • When was Daniel's VC medal returned to the Admiralty?
  • How did Lord Cheylesmore acquire Daniel's VC medal?
  • What evidence is there of Daniel's life in Australia?
  • Are there other records relating to Daniel's career in the Taranaki Military Settlers?
  • Did Daniel receive his Land Grant after serving with the Taranaki Military Settlers? If so, where was it and what happened to the land? The Nominal and Descriptive Roll of the Taranaki Military Settlers (NZ National Archives, Ref AD 31/8, p. 354) includes the following record for Edward St John Daniels [sic]: "Land Order issued 67/682". However, no details of the actual land allocation are given. The Crown Grants to be issued to the Forces at Patea - Nominal Roll of No.3 Company Taranaki Military Settlers (Archives NZ Wellington Reference AAYS 8660 AD 31/9/9b Item 2 – [undated] records a blank allocation for Private Ed. St. John Daniels [sic] with the note: "Waiting approval of Government".
  • Are there other records relating to Daniel's career in the NZ Armed Constabulary?
  • When did Daniel's brother Henry Beauchamp Daniel and his wife Louisa emigrate to New Zealand? They lived in Tauranga from 1881, where Louisa was known for her singing and music tuition. There is a possibility that the couple lived for some time previously in Otago, South Island, A Mrs Daniel is recorded as singing at an amateur concert at Waitati in October 1879 (Otago Daily Times, 27 Oct 1879, col.6, bottom line).
  • Henry Beauchamp Daniel is reported not to have practised as a solicitor during his 26 years in Tauranga. What did he do there? In 1881 he was only 42. However, in 1894, he was working as a solicitor's clerk (Bay of Plenty Times, 6 June 1894, p. 4).
  • What is the provenance of the "cabinet photograph" purported to be of Edward St John Daniel in later life? Are there other original copies of this photograph?
  • Are there other photographs of Edward St John Daniel or his immediate family?
  • Is there other evidence that could confirm Jack London's tale of the Victoria Cross winner, as recounted in The People of the Abyss (1903).

Michael Daniels


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