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The battle's great claim to a place in British military history is that it was here that the first Victoria Cross (VC) was won - Britain's highest medal for bravery at war. On this day the first Victoria Cross (the VC is Britains highest medal for bravery at war), was won by Charles Davis Lucas, a 20 year old Irish Mate on board HMS Hecla. On 21 June 1854 the ship was bombarding Bomarsund and the fire was returned from the shore. A live shell landed on Hecla's upper deck, with its fuse still hissing. All hands were ordered to fling themselves flat on the deck, but Mr. Lucas ran forward and hurled the shell into the sea. Thanks to his action no one was killed or seriously wounded. Charles Lucas later achieved the rank of Rear-Admiral in the Navy. Read more