Lt. William Hope VC

Hope VCSubject:
Lieutenant William Hope VC

Louis William Desanges


oil on canvas

William Hope was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 12th April 1834. Following his University education at Trinity College, Cambridge, Hope enlisted with the Royal Fusiliers on his 21st birthday.

Hope was one of the first recipients of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest military award for bravery, when Queen Victoria presented it to him in 1857. He won the VC during the Crimean War's assault on Redan, through taking a severely wounded Adjutant officer to safety whilst under heavy fire on open ground. It was this battle which cost Lt. Colonel Lacy Yea his life.

Hope eventually reached the rank of Colonel and later invented the shrapnel shell for rifle guns. He was a major supporter of the Volunteer Movement and even commanded the 1st City of London Artillery Volunteers. This painting depicts the moment Hope saves a fellow Fusilier, the action which earned him the prestigious award.