This is the official FDC of William Hall plus some extra stamps of my theme to cover airmail postage. I thank Ms. Laura again for this fantastic cover.
William Hall was born circa 1825 to African-American parents who had been liberated from the U.S. slave trade. He launched his seafaring career at a young age, first joining the crew of an American trading vessel in 1844. In 1852, he enlisted in the British Royal Navy as an able seaman.
In 1857, while serving on the HMS Shannon, Hall volunteered with a relief force sent to Lucknow, India, where a British garrison was besieged by mutineers. Two survived the attack, Seaman Hall and Lieutenant Thomas Young, but only Hall was left standing, and he continued to fight until the relief of the garrison was assured. For this outstanding display of bravery, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
On the stamp, Hall is shown against a seascape, with the HMS Shannon in the background. He is wearing his Victoria Cross, the Indian Mutiny Medal, the Turkish Crimea Medal and the Crimea Medal.
Click here to learn more about the stamp in detail from Canada Post site.
HMS Shannon - HMS Shannon was a Liffey-class steam frigate of the Royal Navy.
Under the command of Sir William Peel, Shannon played an important role in the Indian Mutiny landing a naval brigade which fought at the Siege of Lucknow, including the Storming of the Sikandar Bagh. Five Victoria Crosses were won by the following crew of HMS Shannon: Lieutenant Thomas Young, Lieutenant Nowell Salmon, Leading Seaman John Harrison, Able Seaman Edward Robinson and Able Seaman William Hall, the first Black person and the first Canadian sailor to be awarded a Victoria Cross.
Click here to know more about HMS Shannon at Wikipedia.
Source: Canada Post and Wikipedia