Product images of Union flag
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Manufactured in the UK
British Union Flag (post 1801 pattern). The colour of the naval brigade of HMS 'Euryalus' carried during an attack on Japanese batteries in the strait of Shimonoseki. It is accompanied by a brass plate reading: 'THE COLOUR CARRIED BY MR DUNCAN GORDON BOYES, MIDSHIPMAN HMS EURYALUS 6TH SEPTEMBER 1864 ON WHICH OCCASION HE GAINED THE VICTORIA CROSS'. The colour is made of crepe woven silk, with a canvas hoist. It is hand-sewn with a cord and tassel attached. The flag was said to have been pierced by six musket shots and was originally displayed in a glass case.
As a midshipman on HMS 'Euryalus', Duncan Gordon Boyes was part of a naval brigade sent on shore to spike the Japanese guns at Shimonoseki during a dispute over access to the strait. The naval brigade at number 5 battery was the subject of a Japanese counter attack from a valley in the rear of the battery. Marines advanced up one side of the valley and Captain Alexander of the 'Euryalus' led the sailors up the other side driving the enemy back to a stockaded barracks which was eventually taken by the British. Boyes carried the brigade colour under fierce fire which killed one of the colour sergeants and wounded the other. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for this action at the age of seventeen. In 1867 Boyes and another midshipman were dismissed from the service for breaking into the Naval Yard at Bermuda late at night after being refused admittance at the main gate because they did not have a pass. He was then sent out to his brothers' sheep station in Otago for the benefit of his health as he was prone to depression. Not long afterwards he had a nervous breakdown and took his own life.
Original size: 889 mm x 1143 mm
- Image reference: L0107
- National Maritime Museum