History of the Victoria Cross
Scots (Fusilier) Guards
Decorated for his gallant behaviours on September 20th 1854, at the battle of Alma, Crimea, when the formation of the line being thrown into disorder, Reynolds rallied the men round the Colours.
(Colour-Sergeant, now Major General, retired)
The Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Colour-Sergeant O?Connor is remarkable instance of a man rising from the ranks to one of the highest positions in the army by sheer merit and bravery. On September 20th 1954, at the battle of Alma, he snatched the fallen Colours from the hands of Lieut. Anstruther, whose blood dyed them as he fell. Although severely wounded himself, being shot in the breast, he persisted in carrying the Queen?s Colours throughout the day. On September 8th following, he behaved with marked gallantry at the Redan, where he was shot through both thighs.
General O?Connor was born on February 21st 1831. After serving through the Crimean War, he fought in the Indian Mutiny 1857-58, and the Ashantee Expedition 1873. He retired from the service in 1887.
EDWARD W. D. BELL
(Captain, afterwards Major General, C.B.)
23rd The Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Knight Of The
Legion Of Honour
Captain Bell won the Victoria Cross on the heights of Alma on September 20th 1854. Though more than decimated, the gallant Welsh charged up the hill in face of the Russian batteries and dense columns of infantry. The enemy was speedily in retreat. Captain Bell, seeing the enemy?s gunners in front of him preparing to ride off with one of their guns, which was actually limbered up, rushed forward, seized the leading horse, and, single handed captured the fieldpiece.
All his senior officers being killed or wounded, he found himself in command of the regiment, which he successfully brought out of action.
The gun was afterwards placed at Woolwich, the horses serving for some time in what was known as the ?Black Battery.?
Major-General Bell became Lieutenant in April 1842; Captain in December
1848; Brevet-Major 1854; Lieut. -Colonel in Jan 1858, Colonel in August 1862,
and Major General on March 6th 1868. Was appointed to the command of the Belfast District February
Awarded the Victoria Cross for many acts of bravery and devotion in the Crimean War. He was noticed for his conduct at the battles of Alma and Inkerman; highly distinguished himself on April 19th 1855, at the taking of the Russian rifle pits, earning special praise from Colonel Egerton at the time; was severely wounded, and remarked for his determined resolution at the two attacks on the Redan.
(Brevet Lieut. -Colonel, now General, G.C.B.)
During the first bombardment of Sebastopol on October 17th 1854, Sir Collingwood Dickson, seeing that his men were running short of ammunition, went repeatedly with great courage under a hurricane of shot and shell, and carried barrels of powder to them from the magazine. In addition to this he stood for hours exposed to all the dangers around him, directing the unloading and storing of ammunition. This was the first cross-awarded for the siege of Sebastopol.
General Sir Collingwood Dickson son of the late Major-General Sir A. Dickson, G.C.B., was born on November 20th 1817. Educated at R.M.A., Woolwich. Entered R.A., 1835, and was promoted Captain 1846; Brevet Lieut. ?Colonel 1854; Colonel, June 1855; General, October 1877; Inspector-General of Artillery 1870-75; colonel Commandant R.A., 1875. Retired in 1885.
(Captain, Afterwards K.C.B.)
Captain Peel was awarded the Victoria Cross for three specific acts of bravery. On October 18th 1854, at the greatest possible risk, he picked up a live shell (the fuse of which was still burning) from several powder cases outside the Magazine, and threw it over the parapet. The shell burst as it left his hands, but his brave and prompt action saved the Magazine and the lives of all near him.
At Inkerman, at the Sandbag Battery, the Grenadiers were hard pressed while defending the Colours. This officer was conspicuous for his assistance on this occasion, and specially noticed by H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, the Lieut. -General commanding the Division.
At the Redan, on June 18th 1855, he volunteered for the ladder party, carrying the first one himself, till he was struck down.
He took part in the relief of Lucknow in November 1857, and at the siege and capture in March 1858, dying of smallpox at Cawnpore, on his way to Calcutta on April 27th 1858.
Third son of the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel Bart, the distinguished Statesman, Sir William was born on November 2nd 1824, and passed away as above stated in his thirty third year.
(Private, afterwards Sergeant)
King?s (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
This brave Irishman, on October 18th 1854, volunteered to repair the embrasures of the battery on the Left Attack, assisted by another whose name has not been handed down. This act was accomplished successfully in clear daylight, under a heavy fire from a whole line of batteries. Again, on November 22nd, during the repulse of an attack on the most advanced trenches, although severely wounded he refused to quit his post among his comrades, but kept encouraging them to ?hold on,? and was the means of saving the position and preventing the guns from being spiked.
Sergeant Grady died some years ago in Victoria, New South Wales.
Decorated for his conduct on October 20th 1854, when he saved the life private John Keane who had been dangerously wounded when the Sharpshooters were forced to retreat from the ?Quarries.? He took Keane on his back and carried him for a long distance under heavy rifle fire until he could place him in safety. On December 5th 1854. Corporal Courtney, a sharpshooter, was severely in the head. McWheeney went out into the open and, under a terrific storm of lead, brought him some distance back. He then, with his bayonet, dug up the ground to form a slight cover for him, as they were by no means out of range and the fire was still very severe, and remained with him until darkness had set in, when he was able to retire with him into safety. On June 18th 1855, he volunteered for the advance guard of General Eyre?s Brigade in the Cemetery. The Gazette states that he was ?always vigilant and active,? and that he was ? never absent from duty during the war.?
At Balaklava October 25th 1854, in the heavy Cavalry charge one of Grieve?s officers being surrounded by Russian horsemen, he rode to his rescuer, cut off the head of one of them, disabled two others, and put them to flight, thereby saving the life of his officer.
(Private, afterwards Sergeant)
At the battle of Balaklava, Private McPherson of the 2nd Dragoons was severely wounded and surrounded by seven Russians. Private Ramage rode to his help, cut his way through the enemy and saved his comrade?s life. On the same day, when the Heavy Brigade was covering the retreat of the Light Cavalry, Private Gardiner?s leg was shattered by a round shot and he lay on the ground exposed to a very heavy cross fire. Ramage dashed to his rescue and carried him to the rear, the place where he had fallen being almost immediately covered by Russian Cavalry. He also, when the Heavy Brigade was rallying and the enemy retiring dismounted and brought in a prisoner from the Russian ranks.
Ramage died at Newbridge, Ireland, not long after receiving his decoration, which was sold in London on June 16th 1903 for ?61.
(Surgeon, afterwards Surgeon-General, K.C.B.)
(The Inniskilling) Dragoons
After the retreat of the Light Cavalry at the battle of Balaklava, on October 26th 1854, Lieut. -Colonel Morris C.B., 17th Lancers, was dangerously wounded and lying in a very exposed place. Surgeon Mouat went to his assistance and, in full view of the enemy, under a most severe fire, dressed his injuries, and by stopping a serious haemorrhage was able to save his life.
Surgeon-General Sir James Mouat, son of the late J. Mouat, M.D., was born in 1815, and died in London on January 4th 1899. Educated at University College and hospital, London in 1837 admitted a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, being elected to the Fellowship in 1852. Entered the Army in 1838, serving during the Crimean War, at Balaklava, Inkerman and Tchermaya. Afterwards was principal Medial Officer in New Zealand 1863-5, receiving the thanks of that Government for his special and valuable services during the war. Appointed Honorary Surgeon to Queen Victoria 1888, and created a Military K.C.B. in 1894. Knight of the Legion of Honour.
(Troop-Sergeant-Major, afterwards Major)
(The Duke of Cambridge?s Own) Lancers
Sergeant-Major Berryman was once of the many heroes who fought right through the Crimean War. He was ?mentioned? for Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman, and Mackenzie?s Farm, and at the last place captured three Russian soldiers close up to their own guns. At Balaklava his horse was shot under him in the charge, yet he remained with a wounded and dying officer (Captain Webb), whom he carried out of immediate range of the cannon. For his bravery at Inkerman, on February 24th 1857, he was specially mentioned in the London Gazette. Born on July 28th 1825, he died on June 27th 1896.
ALEXANDER ROBERT DUNN
(Lieutenant, afterwards Lieut. -Colonel)
On October 25th 1854 during the charge of the Light Cavalry at Balaklava, Lieutenant Dunn saved the life of Private Bentley by riding at, and cutting down, some Russians who were attacking him from the rear. Later on he saw Private Levett hard pressed by a Russian Hussar, and rode to his assistance, cutting down his assailant.
In 1858 Lieut.?Colonel Dunn raised and commanded the 100th Royal Canadian Regiment, now 1st Batt. Leinster. He served in the Abyssinian War of 1868 as Lieut. ?Colonel of the 33rd Regiment, and lost his life during one of the hard fought actions of that year.
On October 25th 1854 after the charges at the battle of Balaklava, when Farrell?s horse was shot from under him, Captain Webb was severely wounded. Farrell and Berryman (V.C.) carried the officer as far as the pain of his wounds would allow, and, when a stretcher was obtained, he assisted Berryman and a Private of the 13th Dragoons (Malcone V.C.) to carry him from the field. Farrell died at Secunderabad, India on August 4th 1865.
(Sergeant, afterwards Riding Master)
On October 25th 1854, while returning on foot from the charge at Balaklava, in which his horse had been shot, Malone stayed, under a severe fire, to take charge of Captain Webb, 17th Lancers (who had been mortally wounded), until others arrived to assist in removing him.
During the charge of the Light Cavalry at Balaklava, October 25th 1854, Parkes horse had been shot and he was dismounted, while that of Trumpet-Major Crawford had also fallen and its rider had lost his sword. Parkes dashed up to him, placed himself between him and two Cossacks and drove them off. When attempting to follow the retreat of the Light Cavalry, six Russians attacked them, but he kept them at bay, retiring slowly, until, after defending his friend for some time, his sword was shattered by a shot.
(Sergeant-Major, afterwards Quarter-Master 104th Bengal Fusiliers)
On October 26th 1854, after the battle of Balaklava, Sergeant-Major Wooden went to the assistance of Lieut. ?Colonel Morris, C.B., and rescued him when lying exposed to a very heavy fire thereby saving his life.
GERALD L;ITTLEHALES GOODLAKE
(Captain, afterwards Lieut. ?General)
1st Batt. Coldstream Guards
Knight Of The
Legion Of Honour
On the occasion of ?the powerful sortie? made chiefly against the second Division on October 26th 1854, Major Goodlake was in command of the Sharpshooters of his battalion in the ?Windmill Ravine? well in advance of the picket-house erected there. This he held against a large force, his men placing hors-de-combat no fewer than thirty-eight of the enemy and taking three prisoners. The Major during this combat was the only officer present, and most of his men were very young soldiers, the successors of their more matured comrades who fell at Alma and during the siege. In November following in the same place, when commanding almost the same men, he surprised a picket, the following extract from Kinglake?s Crimea gives an illustration of the invaluable work done by Captain Goodlake ad his Sharpshooters during the war-
MAJOR GOODLAKE V.C.
To assure himself against any ambush, Captain Goodlake (taking with him Sergeant Ashton) had gone up to examine the caves, leaving the rest of his sixty men halted across the bed of the chasm and partly, too, on each bank. Whilst thus left for a moment without their commander, the sight of the Russian Column thronging up round the corner below suddenly confronted Goodlake?s men. The hostile force seemed like a mob, numbering about six or eight hundred men, and was pressing forward along the bed of the ravine and also along each of its banks. Goodlake?s people retreated firing.
Goodlake himself, with Sergeant Ashton at his side, was still by the caves. Hemmed in by assailants and debarred by the craggy and difficult ground from any possibility of effectual retreat, he thought that he and the sergeant must submit to be made prisoners. Sergeant Ashton, however, suggested that if the captain and he were made prisoners they would be assuredly put to death, in vengeance for one of their recent exploits (referring to the fact that this little force under Goodlake had lately attacked a Russian picket, taking an officer and some of the men prisoners), and all notion of surrender being thereupon discarded, the alternatives of course was resistance. The Russians, whilst closing in upon their two adversaries, fired at them numbers of shots, which all, however, proved harmless. On the other hand Goodlake and the sergeant fired, each of them once, into the nearest clump of Russians, and then with the butt-ends of their rifles, knocked away the foremost of their assailants, and ran down to the foot of the bank. There, however, they were in the midst of a mob of Russians advancing up the ravine. To their great surprise, no one seized them; and it was evident that, owing to the grey cloaks and plain caps they both wore, the enemy mistaking them for his own fellow countrymen. Shielded by the illusion, and favoured, too, by the ruggedness of the ground and obstructive thickets of brushwood, which enabled them to be constantly changing their neighbours without exciting attention, they moved on unmolested in the midst of their foes; and, though strange, it is not the less true that this singular arch was continued along as distance of more than a half a mile. At length, with its two interlopers, the Russian throng came to a halt, and not without a reason, for it was confronted by the sixty men of the Guards, who, after the lengthened retreat they had made when their Chief was cut off from them, were now plainly making a stand and had posted themselves some thirty yards off, behind a little trench, which there seemed the bed of the gorge. Goodlake, with his trusty sergeant, soon crossed the intervening space, which divided the Russians from the English and found himself once more amongst his own people.
Lieut. ?General Goodlake, son of T. Goodlake, Esq., of Wadley, Berks was born on May 14th 1832. Entered the Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1848 exchanging into the Coldstream Guards in 1850; became Major in the Army, June 6th 1856; A.D.C. to Queen Victoria 1869; Major-General to the Land forces 1879; Lieut-General 1881; and died in 1890.
JOHN AUGUSTUS CONOLLY
(Lieutenant, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
49th (The Princess Charlotte of Wales) Regiment
On the attack by the Russians outside Sebastopol during the ?great sortie,? on October 26th 1854 (the day Balaklava), Lieutenant Conolly was in command of his company on outlying picket. The Russians hurled themselves on the Second Division. They were met, in the first instance, by the 49th, resolutely led by Conolly in frequent short, sharp charges, he himself engaging several of them in hand-to-hand fight, one after another, till at length, from loss of blood, he fell insensible, and had to be borne off the field. His gallant behaviour, no less than that of his men, elicited a General Order, in which all were deservedly praised. Soon afterwards he was promoted Captain into the Coldstream Guards as part reward for his bravery and devotion.
Died at the Curragh of Kildare, Ireland in 1888.
WILLIAM NATHAN WRIGHTE HEWETT
(Lieutenant, afterwards Vice-Admiral, K.C.B., K.C.S.I.)
Knight of The
Legion of Honour
At the great sortie from Sebastopol, on October 26th 1854, Lieutenant William Hewett was in charge of a battery. The Russians were swarming towards his post when the word was passed-by whom it was never ascertained-?Spike the guns and retire.? Hewett replied that ?such an order did not come from Captain Lushington, and he would not do it till it did.? He then pulled down the parapet and assisted by a few soldier, swung the gun round towards the advancing thousands, into which he poured so steady a fire that the advance was checked, and the battery saved. For his pluck at Inkerman on November 5th, he was specially ?named? in despatches.
Sir William Hewett died at Portsmouth on May 13th 1888, aged 54.
Son of William Hewett Esq, he was born at Brighton in 1834. Entered the Royal navy at the age of thirteen; became Captain in 1862; Rear Admiral 1878. Served in China in Burmah; also in Ashantee, including the capture of Coomassie; Egypt, 1882; and the Eastern Soudan 1884.
Decorated for his bravery on October 30th 1854, in personal encounter with the Russians and for nobly assisting Major Conolly of the Coldstream Guards. He died on August 30th 1901, and his Victoria Cross was sold in London on October 15th 1902.
Battalion Coldstream Guards
Decorated for his courage in volunteering, when engaged as a Sharpshooter in October 1854, to crawl up to within six yards of a Russian sentry, in order to enable his officer (Major Goodlake, V.C.) to effect a surprise. The danger he ran was fully explained to Private Stanlock, but it did not deter him from under taking the perilous adventure.
On November 5th 1854, at the battle of Inkerman, Lieut. ?Colonel Carpenter of the 41st Regiment was lying wounded and several of the enemy were robbing him. Beach was on picket at the time. Seeing what the Russians were about, he attacked and killed two of them, protecting the officer from further molestation until the arrival of some men of the 41st Regiment.
At the battle of Inkerman, November 5th 1854, the 68th were ordered to retire but Byrne returned towards the enemy and brought back a wounded soldier who would otherwise have fallen into their hands. On May 11th, following he engaged in a hand-to-hand fight with a Russian on the parapet of the work he was defending. He killed his opponent and took away his arms.
HENRY HUGH CLIFFORD
(Lieutenant, afterwards Major General, K.C.M.G.)
On November 5th 1854 at the battle of Inkerman, Lieutenant Clifford was conspicuous by his bravery in leading a charge against the Russian lines. He cut off the head of one man and the arm of another, and by his determined assault, and the splendid following of his men, drove the Russians back. During the contest he saved the life of a soldier who had been wounded.
Son of the 7th Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, he was born in Shropshire, on September 12th 1828, and died at Ugbrooke park, Chudleigh, in Devonshire on April 12th 1883
EDWARD ST. JOHN DANIEL
Recommended by Sir Stephan Lushington for conspicuous bravery on November 5th 1854, when a call for volunteers was made to bring up powder from a wagon which had been left in a most exposed position owing to the horses being all killed. Captain Peel (V.C.), who was in command of the battery at the time, specially reported the bravery of this young naval officer. He also accompanied Captain Pel as A.D.C. at the battle of Inkerman, and, at the attack on the Redan on June 18th 1855, when his officer was wounded, displayed the greatest devotion to him, placing a tourniquet on his arm under a terrific fire.
Daniel left the Navy in 1861, and his Bronze Cross found its way into the United Service Institute, Whitehall, where it now remains.
research had been required to correct incorrect stories written about this man
by historians over the past one hundred and twenty five years, these writers had
used a mixture of information on the lives of three men named James Gorman who
had served in the Royal Navy between the 2nd March 1848 and 21st
August 1860. And an impostor James Devereux of Southwark who claimed that he had
joined the Navy as James H Gorman and had been awarded a Victoria Cross for his
action?s at Sebastopol.
thirteen years, James Gorman was part of the first intake of two hundred boys to
be accepted into the Royal Navy as a apprentice on 2nd March 1848,
was promoted to Ordinary Seaman 2nd Class 13 May 1852 and, two months later, to
Able Seaman. It was with this rank
that he served as a member of the Naval Brigade in the Crimea.
Brigade, consisting of 1.020 officers and men from Her Majesty?s Ships Albion,
Britannia, Bellerophon, Diamond, London,
Queen, Rodney, Trafalgar
and Vengeance, were placed under the Command of Captain Stephen
Lushington of the Albion had been
formed at the request of Lord Raglan who had asked the Navy for assistance. At
first the sailors only worked around the camps in a non combatant role then as
more of the Soldiers were either killed or wounded they were replaced by the
Crimean War was the first engagement where newspaper correspondents were allowed
to accompany the troops and report first hand from the battlefield to London
Newspapers. Reports by William Howard Russell of The
Times were favoured by readers who believed them to be the most graphic. In
describing the Battle of Inkermann, Russell quoted Lushingtons own words, ?The battle commenced at half past seven on a cold misty
morning and was a determined attempt by the Russians to force the British from
the heights above the town of Sebastopol, a long day of heavy fighting followed
and the Russians were eventually driven back?.
brief and understated quote does little to describe one of the bloodiest and
confusing battles ever fought by the British.
Whose soldiers, outnumbered four to one, engaged in desperate hand to
hand fighting till they finally repulsed the Russians.
was when a lightly defended British position appeared to be overwhelmed by the
Russians, that James Gorman and his comrades performed their own desperate act
reported the determination of the five sailors from the Albion who, as the
Russians advanced up the Careenage Ravine inflicting heavy casualties on the
British, were ordered to withdraw and leave the wounded.
They replied that ?They wouldn?t trust any Ivan getting within
bayonet range of the wounded?.
five sailors then mounted the defence works Banquette.
With the help of the wounded soldiers lying in the trench below them, who
were reloading rifles and passing them up, they were able to keep up a continual
and rapid rate of firing. This drove the enemy back three times when they were
within 40 yards of the wounded soldiers. The Russians finally fell back and gave
them no more trouble.
did not come cheaply. Two of these brave sailors, Thomas Geoghegan who had just
returned from being treated for wounds he had received at Sebastopol and John
Woods were killed during this action while James Gorman, Thomas Reaves and Mark
the following week James Gorman again distinguished himself bringing Captain
Lushington to safety after Lushington had been surrounded and unhorsed by the
enemy troops. Gorman was badly wounded during this act of bravery. He was
returned to the Albion on 12 December
1854 where his left leg was amputated. Gorman then remained onboard the Albion while Reeves and Scholefield stayed ashore until September
the 7 June 1856, James Gorman, Thomas Reaves and Mark Scholefield were
recommended by Sir Stephen Lushington to Queen Victoria as being worthy
recipients of the Victoria Cross. On the 24 February 1857 their names appeared
amongst the 82 whom the Queen had conferred this very special honour.
Queen presented Thomas Reeves with his decoration at the inaugural presentation
in Hyde Park, London, 26 June 1857. On the same day two Victoria Crosses were
dispatched through the War Office to be presented to Gorman and Scholefield who
were both serving in the Second Opium War against China. 61 of the first 85
Victoria Crosses were awarded to Officers.
Gorman had already received his Crimea Medal with Clasps for Inkermann &
Sebastopol and the Turkish Crimea Medal, which had been presented to him by the
Sultan of Turkey. He was paid off at Sheerness, 21 August 1860, his 26th
migrated to Australia where the Premier of New South Wales Henry Parkes employed
him as drill master and gunnery instructor on the Nautical School Ship Vernon,
on 17 April 1867. Where in addition
to teaching the boys all facets of cutlass and rifle drill, he instructed the
boys in gunnery practice.
boys, the majority of whom were children of widows or woman, who had been
deserted by their husbands, came from all parts of the state and were required
to attend school for four hours each day in addition to learning a trade either
seamanship, carpentry, tailoring or shoemaking.
1869 while still acting as gunnery instructor, James was appointed as Master at
Arms in Charge of the lower deck. On
Monday 1 April 1878, James Gorman VC was promoted to the position of Second Mate
with a salary of 130 Pounds ($A260) per year.
retained this position as third officer of the NSS Vernon until 7 June 1881.
When disappointed that the Vernon was no longer teaching nautical skills to the
188 boys onboard, he transferred to the Ordinance Department, being appointed as
the foreman of the magazines on Spectacle Island for a yearly salary of 175
Pound ($A350). Spectacle Island was the first official Naval Stores Complex in
Australia and its powder magazine that was built in 1865 is still in use today.
his time on NSS Vernon 1130 boys were received on the Ship. To be trained and
educated for a minimum of two years. Aged twelve years or over, the boys were
then apprenticed to the Colony?s settlers as farmhands or servants or to
factories and businesses as labourers.
15 October 1882, aged 47 years James Gorman VC suffered a severe stroke. Three
days later he died.
His funeral was held on 20 October 1882 with a grave side service taking place in the Church of England section of the Balmain Cemetery in Norton Street, Balmain. Among the large crowd of mourners were the Officers and a strong detachment of the boys from the NSS Vernon. A firing party comprising of the boys gave the usual naval salute.
for James Gorman VC kindly provided by Harry Willey, author of "150 Years
of the Victoria Cross, 1857-2007 Crimea to Afghanistan". ISBN
(Sergeant Major, afterwards Captain, Land Transport Corps)
A the battle of Inkerman on November 5th 1854, sergeant-Major Henry displayed great bravery in defending the guns of his battery against overwhelming numbers of the enemy, during which he was terribly wounded. His undaunted courage is thus referred to in Kinglake?s Crimea-
?When the foremost of the enemy?s troops had so closely surrounded Henry?s guns as to be already but a few paces off, they charged in with loud shouts, undertaking to bayonet the gunners; but by Henry himself, and one at least of his people, they were encountered with desperate valour. Henry called upon the men to defend the gun. He and a valiant gunner named James Taylor drew their swords and stood firm. The throng of the Russians came closing in, very many of them for some reason bareheaded, and numbers of them, in the words of a victim, ?howling like mad dogs.? Henry with his left wrested a bayonet from one of the Russians and found means to throw the man down, fighting hard all the time with his sword arm against some of his other assailants. Soon both Henry and Taylor were closed in upon from all sides and bayoneted again and again, Taylor then receiving his death wounds. Henry received in his chest the up-thrust of a bayonet, delivered with such power as to lift him almost from the ground, and at the same time he was stabbed in the back and stabbed in the arms. Then, from loss of blood, he became unconscious, but the raging soldiery, inflamed by religion, did not cease from stabbing his heretic body. He received twelve wounds, yet survived.?
Andrew Henry ?rose from the ranks? to Lieutenant in the Artillery, May 15th 1855. Becoming Captain six months later. Possessed four clasps for the Crimea in addition to the Sultan?s medal.
At Inkerman, November 5th 1854, this soldier saved the life of colonel Hely, who was lying wounded and surrounded by a number of Russians. McDermond rushed to his rescue and killed the soldier who had disabled him.
During the battle of Inkerman, Madden led a party of his battalion and captured a Russian officer and fourteen soldiers, three of whom he personally accounted for.
(Major, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
Knight of The
Legion of Honour
At Inkerman, November 5th 1854, the Russians had surrounded a battery, driving part of one of our infantry Regiments through it. Major Miller, however, afterwards personally attacked three Russians, and led his men in charging the occupants of the battery, successfully preventing them from doing any damage to the guns.
Entered the Royal Artillery in December 1848, and became Captain in April 1855.
(Private, afterwards Captain 3rd Essex R.V.)
Battalion Grenadier Guards
Decorated for his bravery at Inkerman on November 5th 1854, when he followed Sir Charles Russell, V.C., into the Sandbag Battery. Was also present when the charge was made in defence of the Colours. It is stated that Private Palmer saved the life of Sir Charles Russell by killing the Russian who was about to bayonet him.
His Victoria Cross is now in the United Service Institute, London.
THE HONOURABLE HENRY HUGH MANVERS PERCY
(Colonel, afterwards Lord Percy)
On November 5th 1854 at the battle of Inkerman, Colonel Percy charged alone far ahead of his men into the Sandbag Battery, which was at the time strongly held by the enemy, who kept up a heavy fire of musketry. On the same day hr found himself, with many soldiers of various regiments who had charged too far, almost surrounded by the Russian.
Without ammunition and exposed to severe fire from the enemy, their position was most precarious, but Colonel Percy, by his knowledge of the ground and skilful leading, brought the men to where fresh ammunition could be obtained, and they were able to continue the fight.
H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge signified his approbation of his gallant conduct on the spot.
(Corporal, afterwards Colour-Sergeant)
Royal Marine Light
At the battle of Inkerman, Corporal Prettyjohn greatly distinguished himself by his cool courage, in going on ahead of the men and opening fire upon the enemy, killing four of them and so checking their advance.
He died on January 20th 1887.
Associated on November 5th 1854. At Inkerman in a heroic act described in the record of Gorman.
(Brevet Major, Now General, K.C.B, C.B.)
Decorated for gallant conduct on November 5th 1854, in saving the life of Colonel Hely of the 47th Regiment, who was wounded and surrounded by Russian soldiers. Also at Inkerman, at the commencement of the great battle, his bravery was most conspicuous. By his exertions and courageous leading, the advanced picket held the ground they had occupied, against the attack of the enemy.
Born in 1829, Sir Hugh Rowlands entered the army in 1849. For his services in the Crimean War, besides the decoration of the Victoria Cross, he received his Brevet-Majority, 5th Class Medjidie, and Turkish Medal, and was created Knight of the Legion of Honour. Served in the Kaffir and Zulu Wars, 1877-9, being mentioned in despatches; from 1884-9 was in command of a 1st class district in India, and from 1893-6 commanded the Scottish District.
SIR CHARLES RUSSEL, BART
(Brevet-Major, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
On November 5th 1854, at the battle of Inkerman, Sir Charles Russell offered to dislodge a party of Russians from the Sandbag Battery if any one would follow him. His call was quickly answered, Sergeant Norman V.C., Privates Anthony Palmer, V.C., and Bailey being the first. Bailey was killed, but under the courageous leadership of Sir Charles Russell the attack proved a complete success, the enemy being driven from their position.
At the battle of Inkerman, November 5th 1854, Scholefield was associated with Gorman (V.C.) and Reeves (V.C.) in a heroic act described in the record of Gorman.
(Lieutenant and Adjutant, afterwards General, K.C.B.)
Lieutenant Walker was awarded the Victoria Cross for a particularly courageous action at the battle of Inkerman on November 5th 1854. When the pickets gave the alarm, the 30th Regiment advanced in two battalions, the right under Colonel Mauleverer, and the left under Colonel Petullo. Lieutenant Walker was with the former battalion, which moved towards a low wall and lay down. Suddenly from out the thick fog, which had been hanging over the ground since daylight, two heavy columns of Russian Infantry appeared close upon them, and the 30th were ordered to open fire. In those days it was the custom to pile arms at night before the men?s tents, and the stoppers of the Rifles had been lost, causing the arms to become wet and useless. With the Russians coming closer and closer, the position became most critical, and under such disadvantages, there was a possibility of the men becoming nervous and out-of-hand. It was at this moment that Lieutenant Walker grasped the situation. He sprang up on the low wall, and calling on his men to follow him with the bayonet, led them straight at the Russian ranks. The suddenness of the appearance and attack of our men, and the fact that they could not see how small our party really was, caused a panic among the enemy, who, in spite of the exhortations of their officers, turned and bolted, followed some distance by the intrepid little party. The success of this affair was almost entirely due to the cool and courageous conduct of Lieutenant Walker, who, by his splendid example under sudden adverse circumstances, gave encouragement to his men, and turned what might have proved a serious reverse into a brilliant episode of the battle. Soon afterwards, Lieutenant Walker volunteered and led a party, which destroyed a Russian rifle pit, and for his conduct on this occasion was promoted, into the Buffs.
General Sir Mark Walker, son of Captain Alexander Walker, of Gore Port, county Westmeath, a distinguished peninsular officer, was born on November 24th 1827. Educated at Portarlington, he entered the army in 1846 and served as Adjutant of the 30th Regiment all through the Crimean War. At the battle of Alma his horse was shot under him and he was wounded. While serving in the trenches he was again wounded, this time so seriously as to necessitate amputation of the right arm. Frequently mentioned in despatches. Served through the China War of 1860 as Brigade Major. Commanded a Brigade at Kamptu 1875-9; at Aldershot 1883-4; and Gibraltar 1884-8. Colonel of the Sherwood Foresters from 1900, he died at Arlington Rectory, Barnstaple, on July 18th 1902, and is buried at Folkestone where he had lived for many years.
On November 5th 1854, at the battle of Inkerman, Brigadier-General Adams, C.B., was surrounded by Russians and in a perilous position. Walters went to the officer?s rescue and saved his life by bayoneting one of his assailants.
On November 10th 1854, before Sebastopol, this soldier performed the plucky act of throwing over the parapet a live shell which had fallen into the trenches.
CLAUDE THOMAS BOURCHIER
(Lieutenant, afterwards Colonel)
1st Battalion (The Prince Consort?s Own) Rifle Brigade
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
Lieutenant Bourchier was among those who captured and held the Russian rifle pits on November 20th 1854.
These places were appropriately called by the besiegers ?ovens,? or ?wasps? nests,? and from the Russian riflemen killed many of our men every night. To put an end to this, Major Bourchier determined that they should be captured and destroyed. In doing this he so highly distinguished himself that his name and his acts of bravery were promulgated in French General Orders. On the fall of Lieutenant Tryon he succeeded to the command of the two hundred men of his regiment engaged in effecting this important capture.
WILLIAM JAMES MONTGOMERY CUNINGHAME
(Captain, afterwards Colonel Sir William, Bart)
Battalion (Prince Consort?s Own) Rifle Brigade
On November 20th 1854, during the capture of the Russian rifle pits, Captain Cunninhame displayed great bravery. The fight was a most severe one, and his conduct was particularly distinguished. The affair attracted the attention of the French General, who recorded it in General Orders. Sir William Cunninghame, Bart., born in 1834, was present at the actions of Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman and Sebastopol.
WILBRAHAM OATES LENNOX
(Lieutenant, afterwards Lieut. ?General, K.C.B.)
On November 20th 1854, during the siege of Sebastopol, it became necessary to establish a lodgement in some dangerous rifle pits, overhanging the Woronzoff Road. Lieutenant Lennox was conspicuous, among many others, by his ?cool and gallant conduct? in repelling the numerous and persistent assaults of the enemy. This brilliant operation drew forth the compliment of a special order from Marechal Canrobert, of the French Army, at whose request the Rifle Brigade was selected to make the capture.
Sir Wilbraham Lennox, son of the late Colonel Lord J. G. Lennox, was born in 1830, and served through the Indian Mutiny; with the German Army in the Franco-Prussian War, 1870; and with the Turkish Army during the Russo-Turkish War 1877. Brigadier-General in Egypt 1884-7, and in command of the Forces at Ceylon 1887-8, Director-General of Military Education 1893-4.
Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
On the night of December 19th 1854, when placed on a single sentry duty a considerable distance in advance of the others in the White Horse Ravine (a task requiring much courage and vigilance, as the enemy?s picket was only 300 yards distant), three Russians crept up under cover of brushwood to reconnoitre our position. Without any noise, lest he should give the alarm, Private Norman went stealthily towards them, and single-handed, captured two of them.
WILLIAM JAMES LENDRIM
(Corporal, afterwards Quartermaster-Sergeant)
The Victoria Cross was awarded to this non-commissioned officer for intrepid conduct on April 11th 1855, before Sebastopol, in getting on to a parapet under a hail of lead and extinguishing a fire, which had broken out among the sandbags.
He was practically prominent in setting a fine example of courage to a party of one hundred and fifty French Chasseurs, whom he was superintending, on February 14th 1855, during the building of No. 9 Battery, Left Attack and replacing all the capsized gabions under heavy fire. (Awarded French War Medal.) On April 20th he was one of the four volunteers to destroy the farthest Russian rifle pit.
He died in October 1892 at Camberley, where he had long held the post of Quartermaster-Sergeant to the Staff College.
West Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge?s Own) Regiment
On March 22nd 1855, Sergeant Gardiner was orderly-sergeant to the field officers on trench duty. The Russian attack was sudden, and there was a momentary retirement out of the trenches. Gardiern hastened to the threatened point, rallied the men, led them against the enemy and regained the position at the point of the bayonet. On June 18th, his courage and devotion to duty was marvellous. He remained in front of the enemy, encouraging others to do the same, taking shelter in the holes made by the exploded shells, and making a parapet of the dead bodies of his comrades! From this gruesome entrenchment they kept yup a steady fire until their ammunition was exhausted.
This was done, according to the official account, under a fire by which nearly half the officers and one-third of the rank and file of the party of the Regiment were placed hors-de-combat.
Decorated for special bravery during the whole Crimean War. Greatly distinguished himself on the night of March 22nd 1855, in repelling a sortie and at the taking of the rifle pits on the night of April 19th 1855, being specially noticed on that occasion for the fine example he gave the men while holding the position under a terrible fire. Displayed great bravery also on August 30th 1855, when he was wounded.
Decorated for his bravery on March 29th 1855, when he threw a lighted shell, which had fallen into the trench over the parapet.
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
Sir S. Lushington recommended Sullivan for the Victoria Cross for an act of great bravery on April 10th 1855. A concealed Russian Battery was doing great execution on one of our advanced works, and, in order to enable our No. 5 Battery to open fire on it, Sullivan deliberately placed a flag on a mound in a most exposed position under a terrific fire. Commander Kennedy reported that Sullivan?s gallantry was always conspicuous.
Yorkshire) (Alexandra, Princess of Wale?s Own) Regiment
Samuel Evans volunteered, on April 13th 1855, to enter an embrasure in order to repair the damage done by a concentrated fire on one of our batteries before Sebastopol. Our gunners were nearly all killed, and while others wee being brought up to take their place, Evans and Callaghan entered the battery, and, leaping into the embrasure under a heavy fire, undauntedly preserved until the breach was mended. Callaghan fell during the war. Evans was one of the sixty-two who received the Cross-from Her Majesty the Queen on June 26th 1857. Originally a 26th Cameronian, which he joined in 1839, serving it in China in 1842, gaining his first Medal, followed by the Crimean with three clasps, the French and Turkish. He died at Edinburgh in his eighteenth year in October 1901.
MATTHEW CHARLES DIXON
(Captain, now Major General, retired)
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
Colonel Dixon was in command of a battery before Sebastopol, on April 17th 1855. On the afternoon of that date, during a terrible cannonade, a shell fom the enemy blew up his magazines, destroyed the parapet, killed and wounded ten men, dismounted or otherwise disabled five guns, and covered a sixth with earth. One solitary gun remained. With this he encouraged and helped his few remaining men to open fire on the enemy, keeping it in action, working as a gunner himself, until the sun went down, and being all the time (some seven hours) exposed to the concentrated fire of the enemy?s line of batteries.
Major-General Dixon, son of General Matthew Dixon, R.E., was born at Avranches in Brittany in 1821. Educated R.M.A., Woolwich. Joined the R.A. on March 19th 1839; became Captain 1848; Major 1855; colonel 1860, and Major General 1869.
(Colour-Sergeant, afterwards Captain)
Decorated for conspicuous bravery on April 19th 1855, when engaged in effecting a lodgement in the enemy?s rifle pits, in front of the left advance of the right attack on Sebastopol. Later on in the day, the Engineer officers being wounded and the command developing on him, he persisted on the Sap, in spite of the repeated attacks of the enemy.
He died in Glasgow on February 15th 1893, aged 70
Battalion Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort?s Own)
Among some almost impregnable rocks overhanging the Woronzoff Road the Russians had constructed rifle pits, and from these a harassing fire was kept up day and night upon our men. As this was becoming unbearable and greatly interfered with some works we were engaged upon, Bradshaw, on April 22nd 1855 (accompanied by Robert Humpston) attacked and captured one of the pits in broad daylight, holding it until support arrived, when the rest of these ?wasp?s nests?-as they were called-were destroyed.
For his gallant exploit he received a gratuity of ?5 and was promoted on the spot.
Battalion Rifle Brigade
A new battery was being erected by our men on the extreme right front of the 2nd Parallel Left Attack and every night the work was greatly impeded by the fire from some Russians in a rifle pit, situated among the rocks overhanging the Woronzoff Road, between the 3rd Parrallel Right Attack and ?the Quarries.? On April 22nd 1855, in broad daylight Robert Humpston and Joseph Bradshaw stormed and took it, and on further support being obtained, they eventually destroyed it. Both men received a gratuity of ?5 and were promoted, in addition to being awarded the Victoria Cross.
Battalion Rifle Brigade
Decorated for his conspicuous bravery when employed as a Sharpshooter in July 1855. Two Russians occupying a rifle pit went were most annoying by their continuous fire, and McGregor crossed the open space under a hail of bullets, took shelter under a rock and dislodged them, occupying the position himself.
THOMAS DE COURCY HAMILTON
(Captain, Afterwards Major-General) 68th Durham Light Infantry
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
On the night of May 11th 1855, the Russian made a most determined sortie from Sebastopol, but Captain Hamilton led a few men from a battery of which he held possession and boldly charged the enemy. His gallantry and daring conduct on this occasion was most conspicuous, and by his courageous initiative the works were saved from falling into the enemy?s hands.
Major-General Hamilton, son of the late James John Hamilton, Esq., Ballymacoll, Co. Meath, was born at Stranraer, Wigtonshire, and July 20th 1825. Educated privately. Joined the 90th Light Infantry, 1842, serving through the Kaffir War of 1846. Present with the 68th Light infantry at Alma, Balaklava, Inkerman and the siege and fall of Sebastopol, obtaining medal and four clasps and the Turkish medal. Retired 1874.
CECIL WILLIAM BUCKLEY
(Lieutenant, afterwards Captain) Royal Navy
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
On May 29th 1855, while serving as junior Lieutenant of the Miranda, Captain Buckley, accompanied by Lieutenant Burgoyne and Gunner John Robarts, landed and set fire to immense quantities of stores belonging to the Russians at Genitchi, in the Sea of Azoff. Captain Lysons, in his despatch, remarked that these stores were in a particularly favourable position for supplying the Russian Army, and that their destruction was of the utmost importance. This act was carried out in the presence of a very large force of the enemy and at imminent risk.
On June 3rd, following, Captain Buckley, this time in company with Henry Cooper (V.C.), boatswain, performed a similar act of bravery at Taganrog, the dangers of this second desperate undertaking being equally as great as the first.
His name appears first in the Gazette as being awarded the Victoria Cross, although Mr. Lucas performed the earliest act for which the decoration has been gained. The institution of the Victoria Cross was made retrospective to the commencement of the Crimean War.
Captain Buckley died at Funchal, Madeira, on December 7th 1872.
HUGH TALBOT BURGOYNE
(Lieutenant, afterwards Captain)
Hugh Talbot Burgoyne was Senior Lieutenant of the Swallow, in the Sea ofAzoff, in May 1855, and on the 29th of that month, with Lieutenant C. W. Buckley (V.C.) and Mr J. Robarts (V.C.), gunner, landed at Genitchi and destroyed, in spite of an over whelming force, vast quantities of Government stores and forage for use of the Russian Army in the Crimea. At Taganrog, on June 3rd, he performed a similar act of daring, in face of a still stronger force.
Captain Burgoyne, fifteen years afterwards, when in command of H.M.S. Captain, went down with that vessel off Cape Finisterre during the night of September 6th 1870. Of the officers and crew, 490 men, only eighteen were saved. The names of the men drowned are to be found recorded on a brass tablet in St. Pal?s Cathedral.
(Chief Gunner) Royal Navy
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
Mr J. Robarts on May 29 and June 3rd 1855 was one of the few who landed from the boats of the Miranda to destroy stores, forage and ammunition at Genitchi and Taganrog.
Mr Robarts died October 17th 1888.
(Boatswain) Royal Navy
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
Henry Cooper accompanied his commander, Lieutenant Buckley, R.N., in his gallant and desperate exploit at Taganrog, on the night of June 3rd 1855, when he landed in the face of a great force of Russians and fired the stores.
Cooper survived his chief by twenty-one years, having died at Tor Point, Devon, on July 15th 1893.
(Lieutenant, 5th Battalion Military Train)
Decorated for the heroic act on June 6th 1855, of unmasking the embrasures of a five-gun battery. The Russians commenced a terrific fire on his opening the first embrasure, and increased, and increased its ferocity in proportion as each additional one was opened. He performed the uncovering of the last one by boldly mounting the parapet and throwing down the sandbags, but was badly wounded by a shell, which burst while he was performing his task. The Cross-awarded him for this brave act has found its way to the United Service Institute, London.
Colonel Campbell, 90th Light Infantry, specially noticed the gallant conduct of Hughes on June 7th 1855 as the storming of ?the Quarries.? He twice went for ammunition across the open ground, also going to the front and bringing in Private John Hampton, who was lying wounded. On June 18th 1855, he volunteered to bring in Lieutenant Hobson of his regiment, who had been shot, and in performing this humane act was him severely wounded.
(Gunner and Driver)
On June 7th 1855, when in charge of the Magazine in one of the batteries, Arthur carried, of his own accord, barrels of powder and ammunition for the 7th Fusiliers several times across the open. On June 18th 1855 he volunteered for and formed one of the party who spiked the guns at the assault on the Redan. Arthur fought in the China War of 1860 and died at Savernake in March 1902, his Cross being sold in London on July 17th of that year for ?47.
HENRY MITCHEL JONES
Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
On June 7th 1855, during the attack on the ?Quarries? before Sebastopol, Captain Jones behaved with great coolness and daring in the face of overwhelming numbers. Repeatedly he led the men around hi to repel the continual assaults of the enemy during the night. Although suffering from severe wounds received earlier in the day, in order to encourage his men he remained unflinchingly all night long at his dangerous post, until after daylight next morning.
Retiring in 1857, Captain Jones ha occupied diplomatic positions in
Tabreez, Christiania, Philippopolis, Bangkok, Lima, and Quito.
Decorated for bravely taking up, on June 10th 1855, a live
shell which had fallen among the guard in the trenches and throwing it over the
(Bombardier) Royal Marine Artillery
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
Thomas Wilkinson was specially recommended for his brave conduct on June 5th 1855. He was in the advanced batteries, and when the breast-work was much injured by the Russian Artillery, most courageously repaired it under a very galling fire.
He died at York on September 22nd 1877.
Decorated for two acts of bravery. On June 16th 1855, when on duty before Sebastopol, he pursued and caught, less than two heavy cross fires, a soldier deserting to the enemy. On August 11th 1855, when in the most advanced trench before Sebastopol, he left it and went to the assistance of a soldier of the 95th Regiment who had fallen badly wounded, and succeeded in carrying him into safety, all the time under a heavy fire.
On June 18th 1855, after the attack on the Redan, Alexander went out of the trenches and brought in several wounded under a heavy fire.
He also on September 6th 1855, went out and assisted to bring in Captain Buckley, of the Scots Fusilier Guards, who was lying dangerously wounded in an exposed position. He never lived to receive the Cross-he so nobly earned, as he was killed in India on September 24th 1857, during the Mutiny.
The act of bravery and of humanity, which gained for this ?blue-jacket?, the Victoria Cross, on June 18th 1855, is given in the Record of Admiral Henry Raby V.C. On that day, with J. Taylor, V.C. he assisted in rescuing a young soldier of the 57th in front of the Redan. The three sallied out of the shelter of the trench and brought in the wounded man, who had been shot through both legs.
The distance they had to travel forward and back were about a hundred yards each way.
Curtis died at Buckland, Portsmouth on November 23rd 1896.
HOWARD CRAUFURD ELPHINSTONE
(Lieutenant, afterwards Major General, K.C.B.)
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
During the night of June 18th 1855, after an unsuccessful attack on the Redan, this brave officer collected together a party of volunteers of all corps and proceeded to bring back from under the enemy?s guns on the ramparts the scaling-ladders left behind during the assault, thereby saving them from falling into the hands of the Russians. No sooner had he finished his task than he again set forth, leading the same gallant men, to search for the wounded who were lying close up to the Redan, and whose cries for water could be heard in the distance from time to time. In this he was most successful, carrying in no less than twenty men himself. It is said to relate that Sir Howard Elphinstone was, on March 8th 1890, washed overboard and drowned when on a voyage to Madeira on R.M.S. Tongariro.
Son of Captain Alexander Elphinstone, R.N., he was born at Riga, Northern Russia, on December 12th 1829. Educated abroad and at Woolwich, passing into the Royal Engineers in December 1847; became Captain 1856; Colonel 1864; Major General 1887; A.D.C. to H.M. Queen Victoria 1877-87. Commanded the Devonport district from 1889 until his death.
(Captain, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
(The Royal Irish) Regiment
On June 18th 1855, during the attack on the Redan, captain Esmonde several times displayed great gallantly in rescuing the wounded, all the time under a very heavy fire from the enemy.
On June 20th, while in command of a covering-party, a fireball fell close to them, and, knowing that a heavy fire would greet any one exposing himself, he called to his men to stand and take shelter, and dashing out commenced to extinguish it. As he had anticipated, a terrific hail of shot and shell directed upon him, but in spite of all he succeeded in his courageous act and escaped unscathed.
(Lieutenant, afterwards Lieut. ?General, G.C.B., G.C.M.G.)
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
Sir Gerald?s first recorded conspicuous act of bravery happened on June18th 1855. The Redan-in compliment to our brave allies, and in order to obliterate the memories of another June 18th, just forty years before-was to be attacked, with what result is well known. Lieutenant Graham-he was then only twenty-four- led a ladder party right up to the cannon?s mouth. Our columns were repulsed, and obliged tom retire, and it was then that Lieutenant Graham sallied forth, and with great dash rescued from death and misery many wounded officers and men. Sir Gerald Graham?s later campaigns have been those of China 1860; (Medjidie) Egypt 1882; Eastern Soudan 1884; and Suakin 1885. Retired 1890.
Son of R.H. Graham, M.D., of Eden Brows, in Cumberland, he was born on June 27th 1831,and died in his seventy-ninth year at Bideford, Devon, on December 17th 1899.
(Lieutenant) 7th The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regeiment)
?Col. City of London A.V.
On June 18th 1855, our troops were forced to retire after the attack on the Redan. Lieutenant Hope, being informed by Sergeant Major William Bacon that an officer, Lieutenant Hobson, had been severely wounded and was lying outside the trenches, started off to search for him, and found him in the old agricultural ditch running towards the left flank of the Redan. He then went for assistance, and four men returned with him, but he saw the officer could not be removed without a stretcher, so went back across the open ground to Egerton?s Pit. Having been able to secure what he needed, he again faced the rain of bullets, carrying the stretcher, and was finally able to convey Lieutenant Hobson to shelter. During the entire accomplishment of his humane action, the fire from the Russian batteries was heavy and continuous.
Colonel Hope, born April 12th 1834, is the son of the late Rt. Hon. John Hope. Educated at Hatefield and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Besides the heroic act related above he is stated to have saved the lives of thousands of men on November 15th 1855, by his personal exertions and heroic bravery in extinguishing the fire in the roof of a magazine containing 160 tons of powder. He is the inventor of the Shrapnel shell for rifled guns and many other improvements in was material.
On June 18th 1855, during the assault on the Redan, Leitch behaved with great bravery. On approaching it with the leading ladders, he fearlessly tore down the gabions from the parapet, filled them with earth and placed them to form a caponniere across the ditch. In 1854, at Bomarsund, he had been noticed for his conspicuous gallantly, and was awarded the Legion of Honour.
Decorated for bravery in leading the sailors with the ladders at the storming of the Redan on June 8th 1855, the Gazette stating that his services on that occasion were ?invaluable.? He afterwards rescued a soldier who had been shot and was lying in the open, although having he been wounded by a bullet in the side just previously.
HENRY JAMES RABY
(Commander, Now Rear-Admiral, C.B.)
The Victoria Cross was deservedly awarded to this distinguished officer for his humane and brave conduct on June 18th 1855, after the attack on the Redan. A young soldier if the 57th Regiment was lying shot through the legs and exposed to the fire of the Russian batteries. On being informed of this, Commander Raby crossed over the open ground, about one hundred yards, and under a terrific fire carried the wounded man to shelter. They had the assistance of Lieutenant Edward Hughes D?Aeth, of H.M.S. Sidon, but this officer never reaped the reward he undoubtedly merited, as he died of cholera on August 7th following, Taylor, although awarded the V.C., never lived to wear it, for the reason stated in the record under his name, and Curtis died in 1896, so Commander Raby is the only living representative of the heroic act described.
Rear-Admiral Raby, son of Mr Arthur Turnour Raby, of Llanelly, Carmarthen, was born September 26th 1827. After being educated at Sherborne School, he entered the Navy in 1842 as 1st Class Volunteer H.M.S. Monarch. Served for eleven months with the Naval Brigade in the Crimea, being promoted Commander for his services. In command H.M.S. Medusa and Alecto, West coast of Africa and during the attack and destruction of Porto Novo; promoted to Captain for meritorious services in those parts, where he was engaged in combating the slave trade, in the suppression of which his name has been prominently associated. Served in command of H.M.S. Adventure in China 1868-71, retiring 1877, since when he was devoted his time to charitable objects connected with the men of that branch of the Service of which he has been so distinguished a member.
JOHN J. SIMS
(Private, afterwards Sergeant)
Decorated for his bravery on June 18th 1855, when after the regiment had retired from the attack on the Redan, he went out into the open ground, under heavy fire, and brought in several wounded who had fallen outside the trenches.
(Corporal, afterwards Lance-Sergeant)
Decorated for his bravery in continually going out under heavy fire, after the column had retired from the assault on the Great Redan, and bringing in wounded soldiers.
(Captain of the Forecastle)
On June 18th 1855 after the great attack on the Redan, a young soldier of the 57th regiment had been shot through the legs and was lying in a terribly exposed position calling out for help. On their attention being called to the danger he was in, Commander Raby (V.C.), John Taylor, and Henry Curtis (V.C.) climbed over the breastwork of the advanced sap, crossed the one hundred yards of open ground, under terrific fire, and brought him into shelter. Taylor was justly awarded the Victoria Cross, but he never lived to wear the well-earned decoration, for he died on February 24th 1857, the very day on which his name appeared in the Gazette.
Decorated for bravery on June 23rd 1855, when he threw a live shell, which had fallen the trenches, over the parapet.
(Seaman) Royal Navy
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
On July 3rd 1855, in the straits of Genitchi, the shore being completely lined with the enemy?s troops and the adjacent houses filled with riflemen, Seaman Trewavas (one of the crew of H.M.S. Beagle) went forward under a heavy fire from only eighty yards distance and with great heroism cut the hawsers of the floating bridge. He was hit in the body at the moment of success, but the desired effect was accomplished and a means of conveying stores to the enemy completely destroyed. Lieut. Hewett, then only twenty-one (afterwards Admiral, V.C.), had given orders that the pontoon must be destroyed at all costs. The first attempt was at night, but was unsuccessful. On the return of the party to the ship, Hewett swore it should be done, if not by night, then by day. Under cover of a little paddle steamer with one gun, Trewavas started again n a four-oared boat. The ?paddle steamer? fired one round and then the gun collapsed, remaining useless for the rest of the time. Rowing up to the ?Pontoonm,? Trewavas leapt on to it and the hawswer, the Russians then realising what the little party of British sailors were doing, upon which they opened a terrific fire on them. ?By coolness and pulling for dear life,? says Mr. Trewavas, ?and by the Russians shocking aim we got back to the ship, the boat completely riddled up to the thwarts in water.?
Born December 14th 1835, Joseph Trewavas joined the Navy, H.M.S. Agamemnon, in 1853. Was at the bombardment of Sebastopol, October 17th 1854, landing on the 23rd with the Naval Brigade. Took part from 1855, in all operations in the Sea of Azoff and was paid off May 22nd 1857. Has been awarded the medal for conspicuous gallantry. Was decorated with French Legion of Honour after Crimean War. Has now for many years followed the calling of a fisherman at Penzance, and at present, in spite of the wounds received from the Russians, is hale and hearty, but advance in years prevents him going to sea as often as before.
GEORGE DARE DOWELL
(Lieutenant, now Lieut. ?Colonel)
An explosion took place on a rocket boat belonging to the Arrogant at the naval attack on the forts near Viborg on July 13th 1855. Lieutenant Dowell was at the time on board the Ruby. Springing into one of her boats, with three volunteers, he pulled to the assistance of the damaged boat?s crew, the Russians directing a heavy fire of grape and musketry upon them. In spite of this, Lieutenant Dowell rescued three men and took them on to the Ruby, and pulling back to the cutter, kept her afloat until she could be towed into safety.
Lieutenant Dowell was born on February 15th 1831, at Chichester, and joined the Royal Marine Artillery on June 25th 1848; was promoted First Lieutenant October 6th 1851; Captain September 22nd 1859; Brevet-Major September 17th 1861; Brevet-Lieut. -Colonel April 23rd 1872. Took part in the action with the Russian batteries at Hangorhead, May 22nd 1854. During the Baltic Expedition 1855, was present at the actions of June 18th, 23rd and 30th, on which latter date thirty vessels were destroyed; at Lovisa July 5th, when the Government houses were burnt; and at the shelling of a Cossack encampment and destruction of their barracks on July 10th and 12th respectively.
(Captain of the Mast)
On July 13th 1855, the boats of H.M.S. Arrogant were engaged with the enemy?s gunboats and batteries off Viborg when the second cutter, being disabled by the blowing up of her magazine, commenced to drift under a battery. Despite a wound in the arm, and the terrific fire the boat was under, Ingoueville, without waiting for orders, leapt overboard, caught the cutter?s painter, and saved her. He died on January 13th 1869.
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
On July 15th 1855, while serving as Boatswain on the St. Jean d? Acre, Mr Sheppard went in a punt with an exploding apparatus into the harbour of Sebastopol in order to try and blow up a Russian line-of-battle ship. This service, described by Lord Lyons as ?a bold one and gallantly executed,? was twice attempted. On the first occasion he contrived to slip past the Russian steamboats at the entrance to Careening Bay, but was prevented from going further by a long string of boats, which were carrying troops from the south to the north side of Sebastopol.
The second attempt was made on the following day, from the side of Careening Bay, occupied by the French.
He died on December 17th 1884.
(Corporal, afterwards Sergeant)
On July 21st 1855. Corporal Ross displayed great bravery on connecting the 4th Parallel Attack with an old Russian rifle pit in front.
On August 23rd, when in charge of the advance from the 5th Parallel Right Attack on the Redan, he placed and filled twenty-five gabions under a most severe fire from the Russians.
On the night of September 8th he crept alone right up to the Redan and found the enemy had evacuated it, upon which he reported to his officer and out troops took possession of it.
FREDERICK COCKAYNE ELTON
(Captain, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
55th (Westmoreland), 2nd Batt.
On August 4th 1855, Major Elton was with a working party in the trenches, close up to the ?Quarries.? The fire directed at them was terrible, making the work extremely dangerous, but taking a pick and shovel he boldly went into the open and began to work, stimulating by his fine example the men under his command.
Son of the Rev. W. Tierney Elton, he became Ensign on January 19th 1849; Captain, November 1854; Brevet-Major 1855; followed by promotion to Brevet-Lieut. ?Colonel, and Lieut. ?Colonel commanding the 21st Royal Scots in 1866.
On August 30th 1855 the enemy made an attack on a new sap, driving the working party in. Coleman remained in the open, fully exposed to the enemy?s rifle fire, until all around him had been either killed or wounded, finally carrying one of his officers, who had been injured, to the rear.
Battalion Grenadier Guards
On September 2nd 1855, a shell from the Russian batteries fell among a number of cases containing powder and ammunition. Ablett instantly seized it and flung it over the trench, whereupon it exploded. By his quick and courageous action, he saved the lives of all around him. Besides the Victoria Cross he was awarded the medal of Distinguished Conduct in the Field. He afterwards held the appointment of Inspector of Police, Millwall Docks, London, and died in February, 1897. His Victoria Cross was sold in London on March 20th 1903, for ?62
(Ensign and Adjutant)
3rd Battalion Military Train
Scots Fusiliers Guards
On the night of September 6th 1855, when in the right advanced sap, in front of the Redan, Craig volunteered and collected other volunteers to go out under a heavy fire of grape and small arms to look for Captain Buckley, Scots Fusilier Guards, supposed at the time to be only wounded. With the assistance of a drummer, he brought in the body of that officer-whom he found dead and while occupied in this action was himself badly wounded.
Battalion Coldstream Guards
When on duty in the trenches, in September 1855, Private Strong picked up, and threw aside, a live shell, which had fallen among the men.
At the result on the Redan, September 8th 1855, Cambridge volunteered for the spiking-party, and though severely wounded continued inn the dangerous task. Later in the day he went out in front of the advanced trench and brought in a wounded man under very heavy fire, during which service he was himself badly injured for the second time.
On September 8th 1855, during the assault on the Redan, Connors displayed great courage in personal conflict with the Russians. He also rescued an officer of the 30th Regiment who was surrounded by the enemy, one of whom he shot, and bayoneted another, and inside the Redan was noticed in personal combat for some time with the enemy. Selected by his comrades to receive the French War Medal.
(Captain, afterwards Major General)
On September 8th 1855, at the attack on the Redan, Captain Davis was in command of the Spiking party, carrying out his dangerous duty with conspicuous coolness and bravery. Shortly afterwards he saw that Lieutenant Sanders 30th Regiment, was lying wounded, his leg being broken. Without hesitation he sprang over the parapet, twice crossing the open space swept by a murderous fire, and, procuring help, at length succeeded in carrying him to shelter. After this brave and humane action, he returned to the Redan and removed action, he returned to the Redan and removed several injured and dying men to places of comparative safety.
Captain Davis, son of Dr. Davis, at one time house physician at St. Peter?s Hospital, was born at Bristol May 16th 1828. Educated by Mr. Exley, of Cotham, and at Bishop?s College (a school with preceded Clifton college), he passed direct into the Royal Academy, Woolwich, joining the royal Artillery, June 1847; became Lieutenant1848; Captain 1855; Major 1857; Lieut. ?Colonel 1868; Colonel 1876, Major General 1881. Served through the Crimean War from July 6th 1855, including the siege and fall of Sebastopol and battle of Tchernaya, obtaining medal and clasp, 5th class Medjidie, Turkish Medal, and Brevet of Major. For five years was Inspector of the Auxiliary Forces of the Western District, and represented the Council of the Primrose League for many years at Clifton, where he died on October 18th 1891.
TJOMAS EGERRTON HALE, M.D.
(Assistant Surgeon, now Surgeon-Major, Retired)
Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
On September 8th 1855, Captain H. M. Jones (V.C.) 7th Regiment, had been severely wounded, and the men in the immediate vicinity had all retired expecting Surgeon Hale and Lieutenant W. Hope (V.C.) Hale, however, remained with the wounded officer and afterwards was conspicuous for his attempts to rally the men, assisted also Lieutenant Hope. On the same day when the soldiers had retreated into the trenches, surgeon Hale carried several wounded men from the open to the shelter of a sap, being under a very heavy fire during the entire time. Sergeant Charles Fisher of the same regiment nobly assisted him in his humane action. Born in 1832, Surgeon-Major Hale is the son of Mr. George P. Hale of Faddiley, near Nanwitch. He entered the army in 1854, and after the Crimean War served through the Indian Mutiny, 1857-9
CHARLES HENRY LUMLEY
On September 8th 1855, at the assault on the Redan, Major Lumley greatly distinguished himself, being one of the first to gain the inside of the work. He at once attacked three Russian gunners who were reloading a field-piece, shot two of them with his revolver, and was himself stunned by a large stone, but recovering quickly he drew his sword and cheered on his men, and while doing so was hit by a bullet in the mouth and most severely wounded.
FREDERICK FRANCIS MAUDE
(Major, afterwards General, G.C.B.)
3rd Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
When in command of the covering party of the 2nd division, Major Maulde, with only nine or ten of his men, all the rest is having fallen and he himself being severely wounded, dashed for a traverse, which he held, and only retired when all hope of support was at an end.
Frederick Francis Maude, born December 20th 1821, died at Torquay on June 20th 1897; was the son of the Rev. Honourable J. C. Maude. In 1861 was A.A.G. at Gibraltar; commanded a division in India 1875-80, and the 2nd of the Khyber Force during the Afghan War, 1878-9. Retired 1885.
Regiment, afterwards Ensign 8th Regiment)
At the attack on the Redan, September 8tth 1855, Moynihan, then a sergeant in the 90th Light Infantry, displayed great bravery. He himself attacked five Russians and killed everyone. Afterwards under a heavy fire he rescued a wounded officer who had fallen near the Redan.
He died at Malta in 1866.
On September 8th 1855 after the attack on the Redan, Shields volunteered to go out the front from the 5th Parallel, to bring in Lieutenant Dyneley, who had fallen wounded-mortally as it afterwards proved.
WILLIAM HENRY THOMAS SYLVESTER
(Assistant Surgeon, Now M.D,. L.R.C.S. Edin, L.S.A., retired)
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
On September 8th 1855, under a terrific fire, Surgeon Sylvester went out near the Redan, to where Lieutenant Dyneley was lying mortally wounded, and attended to him in that exposed and dangerous position. He was also specially mentioned in General Sir James Simpson?s despatch of September 18th 1855, for going to the front and attending to many wounded under very severe fire.
He served in the Indian Mutiny and took part in the Relief of Lucknow 1857-8.
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
In September 1855 in the sea of Azoff, near Mariopol, a small party from H.M.S. Wrangler landed in the middle of the night to destroy some boats, fishing stations, and haystacks, on the opposite side of a lake. The Russians were on the alert, and rushed upon them from their ambush, endeavouring to cut off their retreat. One of our men fell into the enemy?s hands, and the others had made good their escape, when one of them (Mr. Odevaine) accidentally fell.
Kellaway, thinking he was wounded, at once returned to his rescue, and while lifting him, both were surrounded by the enemy. In spite of a gallant but hopeless resistance, they were captured.
Commander Burgoyne V.C. stated that he was himself an observer of the zeal, gallantry, and self-devotion displayed by Kellaway on this occasion.
Mr. Kellaway died at Chatham on October 10th 1880.
GEORGE FIOTT DAY
(Captain, afterwards C.B)
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
During the Crimean War, in the sea of Azoff, Captain Day conceived the idea of landing at night, getting within the Russian lines at Genitchi and finding out the practicability of cutting out the enemy?s gunboats lying within the Straits, close to the town. Setting off quite alone, he landed and crossed four or five miles of swamps, often waist deep, penetrating eventually to within 200 yards of the enemy?s vessels. From the absolute stillness on board the boats he came to the conclusion that they were not strongly manned, and that therefore an expedition for the purpose of cutting them out was feasible. Retracing his steps, after seven hours hard work, he reached his ship. Next day, however, from unusual signs of activity in the enemy?s direction, it seemed that the surmises were incorrect, so he returned once more to again watch their movements.
Passing through the same dangerous swamps, he reached his former place of observation and found, to his great disappointment, that the boats were all manned and ready for action, so he turned back, wandering through the swamps again for nine hours, and the idea had to be abandoned. The plucky nature of this act is the more apparent when it is mentioned that, while making a similar reconnaissance previously, Captain l?Allemand, of the French steamer Monette, had lost his life. The decoration worn by Captain Day in the portrait above is: - St. Jean d?Acre-Syria 1840; China 1841; Burmah 1852; South Africa 1853; Baltic 1854; Crimean and Turkish 1855; Victoria Cross; Legion of Honour; Order of the Bath (C.B.) and Medjidie. Promoted Commander, 1855; Captain 1861; he died at Weston-super-Mare, December 18th 1876.
CHRISTOPHER CHARLES TEESDALE
(Lieutenant, afterwards Major General, K.C.M.G.)
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
On September 29th 1855, when acting as A.D.C. to Sir William Fenwick Williams, Bart., K.C.B., at Kars, Lieutenant Teesdale volunteered to take command of the force placed to defend the most advanced part of the works the key of the position-against the attack of the Russian army.
The enemy had forced their way into the redoubt, whereupon he flung himself into their midst, and so encouraged the garrison by his splendid example, that, after a hard struggle, the Russians were driven out and the position saved from capture. During the crisis of the action, when the fury of the Russian fire was such that the Turkish artillerymen were driven from the guns, he rallied them, and, by his gallant conduct and leading, induced them to return to their post. He led the final charge, which completed the victory for the day, and afterwards, at a terrible risk to himself, flung himself among several infuriated Turkish soldiers and prevented them from killing wounded Russians lying outside the works. This marvellous act of humanity and courage was witnessed, and gratefully acknowledged, by the Russian Commander, General Mouravieff.
Son of Lieut. ?General H. G. Teesdale, he was born on June 1st 1883, entered the Royal Artillery 1851, and served as A.D.C. to Sir Fenwick Williams, at Kars and Erzeroun, in 1854. Was also Colonel in the Turkish army and received the second class Medjidie. Had been, since 1890, Master of the Ceremonies to the Queen. He entered the army in 1851, becoming Captain 188; Brevet-Major 1858; Major 1862; Lieut. ?Colonel 1868; colonel 1877; and attained the rank of Major General on April 22nd 1887. He died at Bognor on November 1st 1893.
JOHN EDMUND COMMERELL
(Commander, afterwards Admiral of the Fleet G.C.B.)
Knight of the
Legion of Honour
On the night of October 11th 1855, Commander Commerell, accompanied by Quartermaster William Rickard and Seaman George Milestone, landed and destroyed 400 tons of corn and forage belonging to the Russians. He was at the time Commander of the Weser, in the sea of Azoff. The three men, waiting until darkness could cover their movements, rowed ashore and hauled their small boat across the Spit of Arabat, then traversed the Sivash to the Crimean shore of the Putrid Sea. In order to reach the magazine of corn, which lay distant about two and a half miles, they had to ford the Kara-su and Salghir Rivers, and, creeping to the stacks, they contrived to ignite them. The flames from the burning forage roused the Cossacks, of whom there was a guard of thirty in the vicinity, and these the three intrepid sailors to the shore. However, in spite of the heavy rifle-fire directed at them, they managed to escape and rejoin their ship.
Admiral Sir Edmund Commerell, son of the late J. W. Commerell, of Horseham, was borne January 13th 1829, and died at Rutland Gate, Hyde Park on May 21st 1901.
He served in South America 1846, the Baltic in 1854, and after the Crimean War, in China 1859-60, and Ashanti 1873, in which campaign he was dangerously wounded. A.D.C. to the Queen 1872-6; Naval Lord of the Admiralty; Commander-in-Chief on American and West Indian stations 1882; Portsmouth 1888; Admiral of the Fleet 1892; M.P. for Southampton, 1885-8.
Royal Navy, now Chief Officer of Coast Guard, Knight of the Legion of Honour)
On October 11th 1855, Quartermaster Rickard accompanied Lieutenant Commerell, V.C., commander of the Weser, to the Crimean shore of the Sivash, and his officer, in the following despatch, brought his gallant conduct on that occasion to the notice of the authorities.
?I must bring to your notice the excellent conduct of the small party
who accompanied me, more especially that of William Rickard, Quartermaster, who,
though much fatigued himself, remained to assist the other seaman (George
Milestone), who from exhaustion had fallen in the mud and was unable to
extricate himself, notwithstanding the enemy were keeping up a heavy fire on us
at the distance of thirty or forty yards as we crossed the mud.?
JOHN AUGUSTUS WOOD
(Captains, afterwards Colonel)
Bombay Native Infantry
At Bushire, Persia on December 9th 1856, Captain Wood led the Grenadier Company, which formed the head of the assaulting column. He sprang on the parapet of the fort, being the first to reach it, and was instantly attacked by a number of the enemy. They fired a volley when only a yard distant from him, and, although hit by seven bullets, he flung himself upon the enemy, killed their leader with his sword, and with his own company, who were following close behind him, routed the enemy, and took their position. His decision, energy, and determined valour, undoubtedly (to use the words of the Gazette) contributed in a high degree to the success of the attack. His wounds compelled him to leave the force for a time, but, with the pluck and spirit of a good soldier, he rejoined his regiment, and returned to his duty at Bushire before the wounds were properly healed.
Captain Wood joined the army in 1839 and saw service in the Afghan War of 1842.
ARTHUR THOMAS MOORE
(Lieutenant and Adjutant, now Major-General C.B.)
Bombay Light Cavalry
On February 8th 1857, at the battle of Khoosh-ab, Persia, Lieutenant Moore charged an infantry square at the head of his regiment, jumping his horse over the bayonets of the enemy, a feat perhaps never accomplished before. His Charger fell dead, pinning him to the ground. Extricating him with great difficulty, he attempted to cut his way through the press, but, his sword being broken by the fall, he could barely defend himself and would certainly have been killed but for the prompt assistance of Lieutenant Malcolmson, whose record will be found below.
General Moore was born on September 20th 1830, entered the Army in 1850, serving in the Persian War 1857, and the Indian Mutiny 1857, being mentioned in despatches in the latter campaign. Was afterwards through the operations in Central India under Sir Hugh Rose.
JOHN GRANT MALCOLMSON
(Lieutenant, afterwards Captain)
Bombay Light Cavalry
At the battle of Khoosh-ab, on February 8th 1857, Lieutenant Malcolmson, seeing that Lieutenant and Adjutant Moore, V.C. (to whose heroic act we have referred above) was surrounded by a crowd of the enemy and practically unarmed, his sword being broken, cut his way through the mass of fighting Persians, and, giving his stirrup to his brother officer, succeeded in conveying him to a place of safety. But not his gallant conduct, Lieutenant Moore must have been killed. The Gazette states that the thoughtfulness for others, cool determination, devoted courage and ready activity shown in a moment of extreme danger by Lieutenant Malcolmson, appear to have been most admirable, rendering him worthy of the higher honour.
Captain Malcolmson, M.V.O., son of the late James Malcolmson, of Muchrach,
Inverness-shire, was born in 1835. Present
at the capture of Reshire and surrender of Bushire in the Persian War; through
the Indian Mutiny 1857, and took part in the Central India operations, from the
siege of Ratghur to the fall of Calpee. Was,
from 1870 one of Her Majesty Queen Victoria?s Gentlemen-at-Arms.
He died on August 14th 1902.
(Including Okamundel and Kattywar-October 1859)
The troubles times of the Indian Mutiny brought to light many examples of bravery, devotion and self-sacrifice, but it was left to a little band of nine resolute men to perform the act which, of all the heroic ones of those days, will be the last to be obliterated by the hand of time. On May 11th 1857, the great Delhi Magazine, full of enormous stores of warlike material, was in charge of Lieutenant George Willoughby, Bengal Artillery, and with him were Lieutenants Forrest and Raynor, and six European soldiers. In the early hours of that day Willoughby was in the magazine when Forrest arrived with the Magistrate, Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, and informed him that the mutineers had crossed the river and entered the palace gates. Knowing well the value of the magazine to the enemy should they contrive to storm and take it, and how much to our cause could he but hold it, Willoughby resolved to defend it to the last, always with the hope that our troops at Meerut would soon arrive to his relief. There were many natives of the establishment of the magazine, but the officer saw they were not to be trusted, and he formed the heroic resolution with his eight British comrades to defend the magazine as long as possible against the enormous odds and then at last, when overpowered, to blow the building into the air with all its inflammable contents and themselves to die at their posts.
Te gates were closed and barricaded, and guns were brought out, loaded with grape shot and placed so as to command the entrances. Should the enemy force their way in through these channels, their ranks would be torn to pieces by the point blank fire of the six pounders, and then if the little band should be overpowered, at a signal-pre-concerted by Willoughby- the entire place was to be blown up and any within its walls would perish. To this end a train of powder was laid from the outside to the magazine, Scully, with heroic resolution, undertaking the firing of the train, this duty making death a certainty for him should the signal be given.
Shortly afterwards a summons was brought from the King of Delhi, ordering
the surrender of the magazine. Contemptuous
silence was the only reply given, upon which the enemy, bringing ladders,
commented to scale of the walls, the natives in the establishment promptly
joining their friends the attackers. Thus
the resolute nine, left alone, faced Death with fearless hearts, and soon the
guns sent volleys of grape into the midst of the storming parties.
Gun after gun fired its rounds, served coolly and steadily, the heroic
gunners under a hail of bullets from those of the enemy who had now scaled the
walls. After a while the supply of
ammunition brought up from the magazine began to give out, and it was impossible
for more to be fetched, no one being able to leave the guns for that purpose.
Two of the gallant nine were wounded and the rebels were forcing their
way in now every side, so, true to his intention, and to his country?s cause,
Willoughby raised his hat-the signal arranged-John Scully applied the port-fire
to the train and with an appalling explosion, the magazine was blown into the
air, more than one thousand mutineers being killed. Of the nine heroic men, only four escaped; Willoughby and
Forrest joined a party of Europeans at the Main Guard in Delhi as to be almost
unrecognisable; the former being shortly afterwards in an encounter with the
mutineers. Raynor and Buckley,
taking different directions, eventually reached Meerut in safety.
The splendour of this achievement, the nobility of heart of those who
deliberately offered their lives in the furtherance of their country?s cause,
makes the Victoria Cross almost an insufficient reward.
But, added to that decoration, and to perpetuate the memory of the heroic
lives given for such a cause, a memorial tablet was placed over the gate of the
old magazine with the following inscription-
On May 11th 1857
Nine Resolute Englishmen,
Lt. Geo. Dorbree Willoughby, Bengal Artillery,
Lieutenant William Raynor. Lieutenant Geo. Forrest,
Conductor G. William Shaw, Conductor John Buckley,
Conductor John Scully, Sub-Conductor William Crow,
Edwards, Sergeant Peter Stewart
Defended the magazine of Delhi for more than four hours against large
numbers of the rebels and mutineers, until the walls being scaled, and all hope
of succour gone, these brave men fired the magazine.
Five of the gallant band perished in the explosion, which at the same
time destroyed many of the enemy.
On June 4th 1857, Sergeant-Major Peter Gill was at Benares, and the mutineers were firing the bungalows and killing the European inhabitants round that station. In company with Sergeant-Major Rosamond (V.C.) he made his way to the residence of Captain Brown and his family, who were in great peril and cut off from their friends, and by his noble exertions succeeded in bringing them all safely within the lines. He also saved the life of a sergeant of the 25th Bengal Native Infantry, who, having been bayoneted, was about to receive the coup de grace, when Gill hewed off the head of his assailant. On the same evening, with only a sergeant?s sword, he faced a guard of twenty-seven mutineers, and twice saved the life of Major Barrett, 27th Regiment, when that officer was attacked and in great danger of being overpowered.
On June 4th 1857, this soldier was associated with Sergeant-Major Rosamond (V.C.) and Gill (V.C.). When, on the outbreak at Benares the mutineers fired the bungalow and massacred so many Europeans, he and his comrades were able to rescue Captain Brown and his family, bringing them into the lines in safety. His Victoria Cross is in the United Service Institute, London.
37th Bengal Native Infantry
On June 4th 1857, at Benares, Rosamond volunteered with Lieut. ?Colonel Spottiswoode, his commanding officer, to set fire to the Sepoy lines so as to drive out the enemy. He also accompanied Sergeant-Major Gill (V.C.) and Private Kirk (V.C.) when they rescued Captain Brown and his family from their bungalow, which the Sepoys had set on fire. His conduct was specially noted as ?meritorious? and he was promoted. His Cross-was sold in London on November 25th 1903 for ?54.
(Colour-Sergeant, afterwards Sergeant Major)
75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment
(Now 1st Battalion The Gordon Highlanders)
During the siege of Delhi, Sergeant Coghlan became conspicuous by his numerous acts of bravery. On June 8th 1857 at Budle-Ke-Serai, under a heavy fire, he entered a building held by the rebels in great force, and rescued from it Private Corbett, of his regiment, who was severely wounded. On July 18th 1857 he cheered and encouraged a party, which showed signs of hesitation in charging into a lane, which was filled with armed mutineers, not one of whom escaped. He then returned to procure dgoolies for the wounded, being the whole time exposed to a heavy crossfire. In this he also succeeded, receiving on the spot public praise from his officers for his chivalrous conduct.
He was, until a few years ago, Sergeant Major of a Militia Battalion in Co. Mayo, Ireland.
ALFRED STOWELL JONES
(Lieutenant, now Lieut-Colonel)
9th (Queen?s Royal) Lancers
On June 8th 1857, at Budle-K-Serai, Delhi, the squadron commanded by Lieutenant Jones charged the rebels and, although they offered a stout resistance, rode straight through them, killing the drivers, and capturing one of their guns. With the assistance of Colonel Yule, he turned it upon a village, strongly held by the mutineers, and drove them out. Sir Hope Grant stated in his despatch that nothing could have been better done or more gallantly executed. At Agra, on October 10th following, Lieutenant Jones received no fewer than twenty-two wounds, part of his head being cut away, and one eye destroyed, in spite of which he recovered.
Born at Liverpool, January 24th 1832, Lieut. ?Colonel Jones is the son of the late Archdeacon Jones. Educated at Liverpool College and Staff College, Sandhurst, he entered the 9th Lancers in 1852. Throughout the siege of Delhi served as D.A.Q.M.G. to the cavalry, being there three times mentioned in despatches, and promoted Captain and Brevet-Major.
Graduated at the Staff College 1861, served on the Staff at the Cape, 1861-7, retiring 1872.
At the battle of Budle-Ke-Serai, near Delhi, on June 8th 1857, Hartigan performed an act of special daring and devotion. During a particularly severe charge, Sergeant Helstone was wounded and fell from his horse, being quickly surrounded by the fanatical enemy. At the risk of his own life Hartigan cut his way through the press and carried his wounded comrade to the rear.
On October 10th following at Agra, under circumstances of great bravery, he saved the life of Sergeant Crews, who was attacked by four rebels (who had crept into the camp), and though quite unarmed, Hartigan dashed for the nearest, wrenched a tulwar from his hand, hitting him a blow in the mouth with his fist, then turned and attacked the other three, one of whom he killed, and wounded the two remaining. He was, however, by that time so terribly wounded himself, that he was unable to continue the combat, and was obliged to retire on assistance arriving.
(Lieutenant, now Colonel, I.S.C.)
2nd Bengal Fusiliers (Late 104th
Foot) The Royal Munster Fusiliers
The flagstaff on the historic ?Ridge? at Delhi was often a point of attack by the enemy when they attempted a sortie, as well as by their friends outside in their many efforts to raise the siege. On June 12th 1857, a vigorous attack was made, and the pickets of the 75th and of the Bengal European Fusiliers were forced to retire before overwhelming numbers. Lieutenant Cadell, seeing a bugler fall severely wounded, went to his assistance and, carrying him from among the enemy under a heavy fire, saved him from certain death. Again, on the same evening, when his regiment was ordered to retire on Metcalfe?s house, learning that a wounded man of the 75th was left behind, he immediately went back towards the advancing mutineers, taking with him three men, and brought him in. This act of devotion he and his men accomplished under a terrible fire of cannon and musketry.
Colonel Cadell, V.C., son of the late H. F. Cadell, of Cockenzie, Haddingtonshire, and a younger brother of the late General Sir Robert Cadell, K.C.B., was born on September 5th 1835. Educated at Edinburgh Academy; Grange, Sunderland; and abroad. He held various political appointments in India. From 1879 to 1892 was Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
this gallant soldier was specially mentioned by Sir Hope Grant, in command of the Field Force, for his courageous conduct on June 19th 1857. When that brave leader?s horse was shot under him at Delhi, Hancock remained by him and giving him his own mount, enabled him to be taken out of the hot corner the cavalry were in at the time. With him were Private Purcell (V.C.) and a Sowar, Roopur Khan. The former was awarded the chief of decoration, but the Sowar?s name unfortunately does not figure in the list of recipients.
At Delhi, June 19th 1857, Purcell, with another brave lancer, Thomas Hancock (V.C.) and Sowar Roopur Khan, saved the life of Sir Hope Grant, by staying with him, offering him one of their horses, and getting him out of the melee when surrounded by rebel cavalry. Purcel?s horse was killed in the contest.
1st Battalion 60th
On June 19th 1857 when before Delhi, Lieutenant Humphrey?s, of the Indian Service, was mortally wounded, and had he been allowed to remain where he fell, he would have mutilated beyond recognition, a fate unfortunately too often met by many another soldier during that terrible time. Turner carried him to the rear on his shoulders under a brisk fire from the enemy posted around, and, at one time, even at close quarters. During his humane act he was severely wounded by a sabre cut.
1st Battalion. 60th
Besides being brought in prominent notice for his gallant conduct during the entire operations before Delhi, Garvin was specially noticed for his bravery on June 23rd 1857, when he; led a little party of men under a terrific fire to assault the ?Sammy House,? a well-defended post which gave particular trouble to our advancing troops. After a sharp contest this hostile post was captured, chiefly by his noble example and daring conduct.
(Private, afterwards Sergeant)
1st Bengal Fusiliers (Now Royal
Munster Fusiliers, 101st)
Decorated for his great gallantry during the siege of Delhi, and for saving the life of a wounded comrade ion June 23rd 1857, by carrying him into camp under a very heavy fire from the enemy?s battery.
WILLIAM GEORGE CUBITT
(Lieutenant, afterwards Colonel, D.S.O.)
13th Bengal Native Infantry
When the Lucknow Residency was on point of being invested, sir Henry Lawrence sent a force to meet and fight the advancing rebels at Chinhut on June 30th 1857. The result was a dismal failure, and the beaten troops returned to the Residency with a loss they could ill spare. At this battle Lieutenant Cubitt was prominently noticed, and, when the retreat to Lucknow began, he saved the lives of three men at imminent risk when the surging mass of fanatics had penetrated among our own disorganized soldiery.
Born on October 19th 1835, son Major W. Cubitt, of the Bengal Army, he was educated privately and entered the Regiment of Native Infantry in 1853. His first active service was during the Santhal campaign, after which he served through the Mutiny, taking part in the defence of the Residency, the Duffla Expedition of 1875, Afghan War 1880, the Akha Expedition of 1883, and the Burmah War of 1886, for which latter campaign he was awarded the D.S.O. He died at Camberley on January 25th 1903 and was buried at Frimley, Surrey.
On June 30th 1957, on the same date as the disastrous battle of, and retreat from, Chinhut, Mr. Capper, an Indian Civil Service official, was buried beneath of a verandah, which had fallen. Corporal Oxenham, in spite of a tremendous fire from the enemy directed upon him for ten minutes, contrived to extricate Mr. Capper from his perilous position, and by his noble exertions saved his life.
ROBERT HOPE MONCRIEFF AITKEN
(Lieutenant, afterwards Colonel)
13th Bengal Native Infantry
?For various acts of gallantry performed during the defence of the Residency of Lucknow from June 30th to November 22nd 1857.?
So states the London Gazette in its matter of fact round.
Although only a few of the gallant acts of bravery and devotion to his country and to his comrades are stated here, those who served under or with Colonel Aitken have in remembrance the invaluable services rendered by him throughout the now historic defence.
Twice he sailed out to bring in cattle as food for the beleaguered garrison. On another occasion, the enemy having set fire to the Bhoosa Stock in the garden, which threatened to spread and ignite the powder magazine, Aitken dashed out, cut down all the tents which might have communicated the flames to the powder, and saved the garrison from fearful danger. Whilst thus occupied he was under a terrific fire from the enemy?s loopholes and housetops.
On August 20th the mutineers set fire to the Baillie Guard Gate, by placing inflammable material against it. Aitken was the first to dash out, partially open the gate, and remove the combustibles. On September 25th, by a plucky sortie, he, with his native soldiers, attacked and seized two guns to prevent their being turned against General Havelock?s column, which was advancing to their rescue.
On the 26th he led a small party of his regiment to the assault of a barricaded gateway of the Furreed Buksh Palace. By throwing himself against the gate he was able to prevent it being closed, thus giving time for his men to run to his help and force the door. The capture of this position was entirely due to his splendid bravery.
On the 29th, during a sortie of the garrison, he volunteered to capture a gun, which harassed our troops by its continuous fire upon them. With four of his men he worked his way through the lanes and houses, shot at the whole time by the enemy from the surrounding houses, and succeeded in reaching the gun. Here he and his little party held their ground until reinforced, when the gun was upset from its carriage and taken back by them to the Residency.
(Lieutenant Digby-Jones, a relative of Colonel Aitken, greatly distinguished himself during the Boer War of 1899-1902, the Gazette stating that the V.C. would have been awarded to him had he survived, for his heroism at the great attack on the British at Ladysmith, January 6th 1900.
Colonel Aitken became Ensign in 1847; Lieutenant in 1853; Captain on February 18th 1861; Brevet-Major February 19th 1861; Major, September 1867; Lieut-Colonel August 1st 1869. He was son of Mr. J. Aitken, of Cupar Fife N.B., and was born on April 14th 1828. He went to India in 1847 and served with the Honourable Company?s 13th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry in the Punjab campaign 1848-9. Present at the action of Ramnugger, at the passage of the Chenab, Battle of Goojerat, and with the column, which, under Major-General Sir Walter Gilbert, pursued the Sikh and Afghan Army. Medal and clasp. Served with the 13th Regiment Bengal Native Infantry in the Santhal Rebellion of 1855. Present in some skirmishes with the Santhals, and, assisted by Lieutenant Loughnan, 13th N.I., personally took prisoner Koulea?s, a Santhal chief, for whose captures a reward of Rs 5,000 was offered (reward not paid to captors on the ground that soldiers were not entitled to it). Served with the 13th N.I. throughout the Indian Mutiny in 1857-8.
Engaged 1st. In action against the mutineers in Lucknow Cantonments on May 30th 1857.
2nd. In battle of Chinahut on June 30th 1857
3rd. Commanded, throughout the Defence of Lucknow, the whole of the Hondostanee Sepoys of the 13th Bengal N.I., who remained faithful; and, with them alone, held the Baillie Guard Post stated by Sir John Inglis to be ?perhaps the most important position in the whole of the Defences.?
4th. Commanded in two sorties and was present in two others.
5th. Commanded the remains of the 13th N.I. (both Hindostanees and Sikhs) in the movement of retreat from the Residency on the night of November 22nd, under General Sir Colin Campbell, G.C.B., Commander-in-Chief.
Present (as Paymaster of the Army under General Sir Colin Campbell) in
the fighting against the Gwalior contingment in Cawnpore, from November 29th
to December 5th 1857, and at the defeat of the rebels on December 6th
in the Battle of Cawnpore. Raised
the Cawnpore Levy and commanded it in Futtehpore district in support of the
troops engaged under Sir Colin Campbell (Commander-in-=Chief) in the Baiswarah
Campaign (Oudh) 1858. Was Mentioned
ten times in the despatches connected with the defence of Lucknow and received
the thanks of His Excellency the Governor-General in Council for having
?commanded an important position in the Defence with signal courage and
success.? The following are two
extracts from the Lucknow siege despatches of Brigadier-General Inglis,
commanding the garrison, which bear directly on the services of Lieut.
?Colonel Aitken in the command of the 13th N.I., and of the Baillie
First Extract from Despatches:
?Lieutenant Aitken, with the whole of the 13th N.I., which
remained to us, with the exception of the Sikhs, commanded the Baillie Guard,
perhaps the most important position in the whole of the defences.?
Second Extract from Despatches:
?With respect to the native troops, I am of opinion that their loyalty has never been surpassed. They were indifferently fed and worse housed. They were exposed, especially the 13th Regiment, under the gallant Lieutenant Aitkin, to a most galling fire round shot and musketry, which materially decreased their numbers. They were so near the enemy that conversation could be carried on between them, and every effort, persuasion, promise, and threat was alternately resorted to in vain, to seduce them from their allegiance to the handful of Europeans who, in all probability, would have been sacrificed by their deserting.?
The following is a copy of the address which General Sir Hugh Rose, G.C.B., Commander-in-Chief in India, was pleased to make in conferring the decoration of the Victoria Cross on Lieut. ?Colonel (then Major) Aitken: -
?The army knows, and history will tell, the stand which the garrison of the Residency made for all the rights which loyal soldiers and good men hold most dear.
?History will tell how, with entrenchments hastily and rudely constructed, commanded from above and mined from below, a few English, badly off for artillery and supplies, and exposed to the worst of India?s seasons, repulsed for five months this incessant attacks of a rebel army which, protected by a treacherous city, besieged and hemmed them in on every side.
?You, Major Aitkin, were conspicuous amongst those who at Lucknow upheld the cause of their country, of humanity, and of civilization.
?Not satisfied with a resistance within the Residency, which never yielded an inch, you acted on the offensive and carried the war into the enemy?s camp. Assisted by only a few faithful Sepoys of the 13th Native Infantry, who, with pleasure I say it, were as resolute and devoted as British soldiers, you captured on two different occasions enemy?s guns, and on two others fortified houses.
?Of all his duties, there is not one which a commander values more than giving a good soldier his meed.
?You may then judge, sir, with what pleasure I give you the recompense conferred on you by our most Illustrious Sovereign for your brilliant services; and you may judge how that pleasure is enhanced by presenting you the Victoria Cross in the midst of those scenes to which you and your gallant companions-in-arms had imparted a celebrity which can never pass away.?
In April 1871, was recommended for the Companionship of the bath by His Excellency Lord Napier, G.C.B., Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, and his Excellency the Earl of Mayo, G.C.B., and Governor-General of India.
Colonel Aitken died in September 1887.
(Late) 2nd Bengal Native
On Jult 1st 1857, Holkar?s mutinous troops made a sudden attack upon Indore. Colonel Travers, with only five men, charged straight for the guns, drove the mutineers from their battery, and by his sudden attack gave time to the Bhopal artillery to man their guns. Many European fugitives were also, by the diversion caused by his gallant attack, enabled to escape from their pursuers, and these lives may be considered as owed to that officer?s brave initiative. His horse was shot in three places, and his clothing riddled with bullets.
Colonel Travers, son of Major-General Sir Robert Travers, was born on October 6th 1820. Educated at Addiscombe. Served in Afghanistan 1840-42, at the operations at Zamindawar, capture of Ghuzni, action of Mydan served in Bhopal, and at Kullea Karee 1846. In 1856 served against the rebel Sunker Sing, receiving the thanks of the Agent to the Governor-General of Central India for his services.
This shoulder on three occasions, July 4th and 9th, and September 27th 1857, went out to spike the Sepoys guns. On all occasions he came under a very heavy fire, and was successful on the first and third attempts. His second was, however, unsuccessful owing to the spike being too small to be serviceable.
Bengal Horse Artillery
There have been many acts of heroism recorded in this volume, but few which can surpass the devotion to duty and strength of will exhibited by this gunner. At Jhelum on July 7th 1857, Connolly?s troop became engaged with the enemy at short range. A ?sponge man? of one of the guns having been wounded, Connolly took his place, and before he had served many minutes received a bullet through the left thigh, which laid him alongside the gun. The ?retire? was then sounded, but we was helped on to his horse in the gun-team and rode to the next position taken up, refusing to leave his poet though the nature of his wound was pointed out to him. From the fresh position he manfully sponged out his gun, firing round after round, until a bullet again struck him, this time in the hip, from which he fell to the ground, remaining partly unconscious, the pain being very severe and blood flowing freely from his injured limb. On Lieutenant Cookes ordering his removal, Connolly reclaimed, ?No, sir, I?ll not go there while I can work here,? and staggering to his feet he resumed his duties at the gun. Later in the day, when the battery were pounding at a village wall, a hail of bullets raining on the devoted crew, Connolly still was serving his gun with a courage excited the admiration of all present, and he called for more ammunition and cheered his men to continue in their heroic task, till he was again struck, the bullet tearing through the muscles of his right leg. Even then he did not relinquish his post, but served his gun until it had been fired six times more, when from loss of blood, agony from his wounds and exhaustion of body, he fell into the arms of his officer and was carried unconscious from the fight.
SAMUEL HILL LAWRENCE
This officer was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery during two sorties on different occasions, July 7th and September 26th 1857.
Major Wilson, D.A.A.G., of the Lucknow garrison, reports, on the first occasion, to the effect that he himself was an eye-witness of the personal gallantry of Lieutenant Lawrence, who was the first to mount the ladder and enter the window of a house to discover whether or not a mine was being laid from it, during which act he had his pistol knocked from his hand by one of the enemy.
On the second occasion, with only two of his men, he charged well in advance of his party and recaptured a 9-pounder gun.
(Lieutenant, now Lieut. ?General Sir James-Hills Jones, G.C.B.)
Royal (Bengal) Artillery
This distinguished officer was the second gazetted for the protracted and trying siege of Delhi, which was invested shortly after the outbreak at Meerut on May 10th, and only captured, on September 20th, after seven days of hard fighting, day and night.
On July 9th 1857, Lieutenant Hills was placed in command of two guns of his battery in a specially selected and dangerous position to be ready at a moment?s notice to move to any given point in case of a sortie by the garrison, or to repel outside attack, or an attempt to raise the siege.
Here this young officer, then hardly twenty-four, was attacked, frequently, by cavalry at close quarters, on each occasion defending the post more gallantly, being aided by his commanding officer, Major late Major-General-Sir Henry Tombs, V.C., K.C.B.
The following is his own account of another incident on the same day, when the late Sir Henry Tombs, for which the latter was awarded the Victoria Cross, heroically saved his life. The official despatch of Lieutenant Colonel MacKenzie to Brigadier Wilson reporting the bravery of Lieutenant Hills and Major Tombs is given in the record of the latter officer ?I thought that by charging them I might make a commotion, and give the gun time to load, so in I went at the front rank, cut down the first fellow, slashed the next across the face as hard as I could, when two Sowars charged me. Both their horses crashed into mine at the same moment, and, of course, both horse and myself were sent flying. We went down at such a pace that I escaped the cuts made at me, one of them giving my jacket an awful slice just below the left arm; it only, however, cut the jacket. Well, I lay quite snug until all had passed over me, and then got up and looked about for my sword. I found it full ten yards off. I had hardly got hold of it when three fellows returned, two on horseback. The first I wounded, and dropped him from his horse. The second charged me with a lance. I put it aside and caught him an awful gash on the head and face. I thought I had killed him. Apparently he must have clung to his horse, for he disappeared. The wounded men then came up, but got his skull split. Then came on the third man-a young active fellow. I found myself getting very weak from want of breath, the fall from my horse having pumped me considerably; and my cloak, somehow or other, had got tightly fixed round my throat, and was actually choking me. I went, however, at the fellow, and cut him on the shoulder, but some cloth on it apparently turned the blow. He managed to seize the hilt of my sword, and twisted it out of my hand, and then we had a hand-to-hand fight, I punching his head with my fists, and he trying to cut me, but I was too close to him. Somehow or other I fell, and then was the time, fortunately for me, that Tombs came up and shot the fellow. I was so choked by my cloak that move I could not until I got loosened. By the bye, I forgot to say that I fired at this chap twice, but the pistol snapped, and I was so enraged I drove it at the fellow?s head, missing him however.?
Lieut. ?General Sir James Hills-Johnes, son of the late James Hills, of Neechindipore, Bengal, was born on August 20th 1833. After the Indian Mutiny he served in Abyssinia 1868, and the Looshai Expedition 1871; in 1880 was military Governor of Cabul; commanded the 3rd Division Field Force in Northern Afghanistan 1879-1880; took part, during Afghan War, in actions of Kurrum Valley, Charasiab, Padkoa Valley, and received thanks of Houses of Parliament for his services. Retired 1888.
HENRY TOMBS C.B.
(Lieut. ?Colonel, afterwards Major-General K.C.B.)
Lieut. ?Colonel Mackenzie, in command of the Bengal Horse Artillery, mentioned this officer for his noble conduct before Delhi on July 9th 1857, when he twice saved his subaltern?s life, and on both occasions killed his assailants. The official account of his bravery, as reported by Lieut. ?Colonel Mackenzie, is given below, and Lieutenant Hill?s own version of the incident is set out in the record of that officer. Despatch No. 40, Lieut. ?Colonel M. Mackenzie, commanding 1st Brigade Horse Artillery, to Brigadier A. Wilson, Commandment of Artillery.
?Camp near Delhi,
?July 10th 1857
?It is with great pleasure I submit, for the information of the Brigadier Commandant, the following account of the very gallant conduct of Second-Lieut. James Hills, of the 2nd Troop, 1st Brigade Horse Artillery, and the noble behaviour of his commanding officer, Major H. Tombs, in twice coming to his subaltern?s rescue and on each occasion killing his man.
?Yesterday, the 9th inst., Second-Lieut. J. Hills was on
picket-duty, with two guns, at the mound to the right of the camp.
About eleven o?clock a.m. there was a rumour that the enemy?s cavalry
were coming down on this post. Lieut.
Hills proceeded to take up the position assigned in case of alarm, but before he
reached the spot he saw the enemy close upon his guns, before he had time to
form up. To enable him to do this
Lieut. Hills boldly charged, single handed, the head of the enemy?s column,
cut down the first man, struck the second and was then ridden down, horse and
all. On getting up and searching
for his sword, three more men came at him (two mounted).
The first man he wounded with his pistol, he caught the lanes of the
second with his left hand, and wounded him with his sword.
The first man then came on again and was cut down; the third man (on
foot) then came up and wrenched the sword from the hand of Lieut. Hills (who
fell in struggle), and the enemy was about to cut him down when Major Tombs (who
had gone up to visit his two guns) saw what was going on, rushed in and shot the
man and saved Lieut. Hills. By this time the enemy?s cavalry had passed by, and Major
Tombs and Lieut. Hills went to look after the wounded men, when Lieut. Hills
observed one of the enemies passing with his (Lieut. Hills), pistol.
They walked towards him. The
man began flourishing his sword and dancing about. He first cut at Lieut. Hills,
who parried the blow, and he then turned on Major Tombs, who received the blow
in the same manner. His second
attack on Lieut. Hills was, I regret to say, more successful, as he was cut down
with a bad sword-cut on the head, and would have been no doubt killed had not
Major Tombs rushed in and put his sword through the man.
I feel convinced that such gallant conduct on the part of these two
officers has only to be brought properly forward to meet with an appropriate
reward. Major Tombs was saved from
a severe sword cut on the head by the wadded headdress he wore
(Signed) M. Mackenzie
The following two references to Major-General Henry Tombs V.C., are made by Earl Roberts in his book, forty-one years in India.
?Henry Tombs, of the Bengal Horse Artillery, an unusually handsome man and a thorough soldier. His gallantry in the attack on the Idgah and wherever he had been engaged was the general talk of the camp. I had always heard of Tombs as one of the best in the regiment, and it was with feelings of respectful admiration that I made his acquaintance a few days later. As a cool, bold leader of men, Tombs was unsurpassed; no fire, however hot, and no crisis, however unexpected, could take him by surprise; he grasped the situation in a moment and issued his orders without hesitation, inspiring all ranks with confidence in his power and capacity. He was somewhat of a martinet, and was more feared than liked by his men until they realized what a grand leader he was, when they gave him their entire confidence and were ready to follow him anywhere and everywhere.?
?On the 17th (September 1857) we were attacked from almost
every direction-a manoeuvre intended to prevent our observing a battery which
was being constructed close to an situated on a hill to our right, from which to
enfilade our position on the Ridge. As
it was very important to prevent the completion of this battery, Barnard ordered
it to be attacked by two small columns, one commanded by Tombs, of the Bengal
Horse Artillery, the other by Reid. Tombs,
with 400 of the 60th Rifles and 1st Bengal Fusiliers,
thirty of the Guides Cavalry, twenty Sappers and Miners and his own troop of
horse Artillery, moved towards the enemy?s left.
Tombs drove the rebels through a succession of gardens, till they reached
the Idgah, where they made an obstinate but unavailing resistance.
The gates of the mosque were blown open and thirty-nine of its defenders
were killed. Tombs himself was
slightly wounded and had two horses killed, making five which had been shot
under this gallant soldier since the commencement of the campaign.?
Born on November 10th 1825, son of Major-General Tombs, Bengal Cavalry. Educated at Addiscombe. Served in Gwaklior Campaign at battle of Punniar 1843; Sutley Campaign 1845-6; as A.D.C. to Sir Harry Smith; present at actions of Moodkee and Ferozeshah, Budiwal and Aliwal; Punjab Campaign 1848-9, as D.A.Q.M.G. of Artillery, and present at actions of Ramnuggur, Chillianwallah and Goojerat. In the Mutiny was present at the siege of Delhi, battle of Nujjufghur, siege and capture of Lucknow, Allygunge, Bareilly, and Rohilcund Campaign, receiving C.B., V.C., and brevets of Lieut. ?Colonel and Colonel. In every action he was mentioned in despatches in eulogistic terms, and was referred to by Lord Panmure in the House of Lords. Was in 1851 in command of the force at the capture of Dewangiri, when Trevor and Dundas so nobly won the Victoria Cross. On receipt of the news of his death, Lord Napier of Magdala, then Commander-in-Chief, issued the following G.O. : ?The army of India will share with the Right Honourable the Commander-in-Chief the deep regret with which he has received the intelligence of the death in England of Major-General Sir Henry tombs, K.C.B., V.C., of the Royal (late Bengal) Artillery. The career of this distinguished officer is identified with the history of this country for the last thirty years. The decorations which he bore on his breast for Gwalior, the Sutley Campaign, the Campaing of the Punjab, the siege of Delhi and capture of Lucknow, and for the recapture of Dewangiri, in Bhootan, under his independent command, bore testimony to the conspicuous part he took in nearly all the more important military events that have taken place during that period. Appointed to the command of a division in 1871. Sir Henry tombs displayed all those attributes of a general of which his early career had given promise, and fully justified his selection for the high trust, which had been confided to him. Firm in the maintenance of discipline, courteous in his demeanour, strict and impartial in the exercise of his command, he acquired in a remarkable degree the respect, confidence and affection of all with whom he was associated. His premature death, which Lord Napier of Magdala so greatly deplores, has deprived the Government and country of an accomplished and devoted servant, the Commander-in-Chief of a valued friend and trusted lieutenant and the Army of a gallant comrade and one of its most brilliant ornaments.?
On July 9th 1857, at Delhi, this soldier saved the life of his captain (Wilmot) when surrounded by a party of Ghazees who had dashed upon him from a Serai. Before any assistance had arrived, Thompson killed two of the enemy. During the siege of Delhi, where he was wounded, his conduct was most conspicuous and he was elected for the award of the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Warrant.
WILLIAM ALEXANDER KERR
24th Bombay Native Infantry
The 27th Bombay N.I. mutinied in July 1857, and a large body of them made for the stronghold of Kolapore, midway between Belgaum and Satara. Lieutenant Kerr, then Adjutant of the Southern Mahratta Horse, quickly followed them up for eighty miles. On reaching the mutineers place of defence, he, on the 9th, with a few of his men, made a dash at the gate and broke it down. All within it were killed, wounded or captured, a result due to his heroic dash and bravery. The mutiny was thus practically at one stroke stamped out on the Malabar Coast. Had there been more men of calibre at some of the military stations in India at that time, the Mutiny would probably have been checked at its outbreak and might never have assumed such awful proportions in so short a time.
(Lieutenant, afterwards Colonel)
75th Regiment (1st
On July 18th during the action in the Subjee Munjee at Delhi, Lieutenant Wadeson saved the life of Private Michael Farrell by killing a sowar who had attacked him when wounded and lying on the ground.
On the same day, Private John Barry, who had fallen, severely injured, owed his life to Lieutenant Wadeson, who came up and cut down a cavalry Sowar who was attacking him. After service in the Army as a non-commissioned officer, the late Colonel Wadeson rose to command the regiment. He died while Lieut. ?Governor of Chelsea Hospital a few years ago.
Mentioned by Sir Henry Havelock for distinguished bravery at Oonao, July 29th; Bithoor, August 16th, and Lucknow, September 25th 1857.
ANDREW CATHCART BOGLE
(Lieutenant, afterwards Major)
78th Ross-shire Buffs-2nd
Under Havelock on July 29th 1857, the gates of Oonao were blown in by the 78th. Bogle, then a lieutenant (fresh from recent victories in Persia), got together a few men and stormed a contested passage, opening a way for the force to advance.
He and his handful of men, exposed to a most harassing fire, attacked a loophole house strongly held by Sepoys. This they succeeded in capturing, clearing it of the enemy. During the attack he was terribly wounded. After twenty-five years retirement, Major Bogle died in December 1890.
He entered the 78th Highlanders as Ensign on December 28th 1849, and took part in the Persian War, 1856; was promoted Captain in the 10th Foot on august 31st 1858.
1st Battalion 10th Regiment
WILLIAM FRASER McDONELL, ESQ
Bengal Civil Service
Mr. McDonell was Magistrate at Sarun, India, and gained his Victoria Cross in the Mutiny on the same sate as Mr. Mangles, another Civil Service official. It was during the retreat of the relief force of Arrah that our little party had to contend against fearful odds and terrible hardship. In those times of peril soldiers and civilians alike lent their aid to suppress the revolt, and thus it is that brave deeds in action are recorded of those whose vocation in life was never intended to be combatant. Ever in the van, ever in any engagement where danger was greatest, Mr. McDonell handled his rifle with unerring aim, and did terrible execution among the Sepoys. He was standing by Dunbar when that brave leader fell, being splashed with his chief?s blood. Though he wounded, he still fought on, and reached the boats, when it was found that the mutineers had taken away the oars, and tied the rudders, rendering this way of escape for the moment impossible.
The following is the official account of Mr. McDonell?s act as given by Captain J.W. Medhurst, 60th Rifles, previously of the 10th Foot.
?On the ill fated expedition retiring from Arrah on the morning of July 30th 1857, and on arriving at the village and stream of Bherara, as is well known, the men, exhausted and dispirited, broke and made for the only six large country boats moored close to the right bank. After assisting some wounded men into the furthest boat, and being myself pulled in, I saw that Mr. McDonell, who was one of our number, was exerting himself with a sergeant to move the boat into the stream. It being discovered that the boat was bound to the bank, one or two men jumped out and loosened the rope, and the boat moved. Assisted by the less exhausted of my party, I was keeping up a fire Enfields on the enemy, whose musketry was very galling. Whilst so employed, I heard Mr. McDonell call out for a knife to cut away some rope, which bound the rudder to the right, causing the lumbering boat to veer round into the right shore again, and for a time causing it to stick fast. On looking round I saw him seated on the stern extremity of the boat in full view of the enemy and quite exposed to their fire. He cut away the mentioned rope, and guiding the rudder he, a fortunate breeze carried our boat across the stream, grounding at about ten yards from the left bank, whereby all those were alive were enabled to jump out and reach the steamer in safety. The number of men thus saved was about thirty-five; and during the passage across men were shot dead; one was mortally, and two or three slightly, wounded. I may safely assert that it was owing to Mr. McDonell?s presence of mind, and at his personal risk, that our boat got across on that day.
The following is an account of the affair written by Mr. McDonell and
published in the Times of 1857-
THE DISASTER AT ARRAH
?To the Editor of The Times.
?Sir,-The columns of The Times have ever been ready to do justice to the gallantry and heroism which have been displayed by all classes during recent events in India, but in a letter signed ?Indophilus,? which appeared in The Times on the 24th of October, censure is implied on some who rather merit paise. In alluding to the abandonment of Chuprah and other stations by the civil authorities, in consequence of orders from Mr. Tayler, Commissioner at Patna, ?Indophilus? says-
?Churpah was abandoned with somewhat more reason, because it was threatened by a strong party of Holmes Irregular Horse. Still, the flight was unnecessarily hastened, and had the Commissioner?s orders not given an excuse to the timid, it is probable the station would not have been abandoned.?
?The recent mail has brought the enclosed letter from Mr. William McDonell, Magistrate of Chuprah, and, as it contains the most graphic account I have seen of the disastrous expedition for the relief of Arrah and of the vacillation and mismanagement at Dinapore, which mainly caused the disaster, I think you may deem portions of the letter as deserving a place in your columns. As one nearly connected with Mr. McDonell, I can assure you that implicit confidence may be placed in the accuracy of every statement made by him; and I am sure that those who read this letter will feel that he is not justly liable to the imputation of having deserted his post of duty in the hour of danger.
?Your obedient servant,
?H. H. Lindsay
?On the evening of the 25th of July, or rather in the middle of the night, a note came from Dinapore, saying that the troops were very shaky, but that Her Majesty?s 10th and the guns were ready for them. Next morning we got an official despatch from the Brigade Office, telling us that all three native corps had gone off in a westerly direction (this was at 11 a.m.), and that the 10th were after them. About half an hour afterwards we got a note from Daunt at Peiprah, an indigo factory about fifty miles north of Chuprah, that the 12th Irregular Cavalry had, on the 23rd, mutinied, murdered all their officers and their wives, and had then set off towards Sewan. He said he wrote on the chance of out not having heard it, though it had occurred three days before. On hearing this we held Cabinet Council, and determined that Chuprah was no longer safe. So Martin, Richardson and his wife set off at once; the doctor and his wife followed soon afterwards; and about 2 o?clock I was thinking of following them when I remembered that all my prisoners, owing to cholera having broken out in the gaol, were in the opium go-down. Now, as they could easily escape from there, I went and saw them all into the gaol. By this time everybody knew that the officials had bolted, and people seemed so alarmed that I determined on staying on a little longer. About 6 p.m. I got a note from Mr. Garston, asking if I was in the station, as he heard I was alone. He was returning from the district. I said I was, but I advised him to bolt; but, instead of that, he very pluckily came in and stayed with me. We rode the town, to show the people we had not bolted, and then came home, and went to bed without undressing; and we had our horses, saddled, standing all night at the door. About 12 o?clock that night I got a pencil note, not signed, but written, I saw, by Lynch, saying he had escaped from Sewan with his life, and that the cavalry were there. Early in the morning I got a second note, saying that the troopers had come down the Chuprah road searching for Lynch, and McDonell, the Deputy Opium Agent. About 10 a.m. I heard that the Dinapore mutineers had reached Arrah, and while in cutcherry, about 3 o?clock, a man on a pony came galloping in, saying that the cavalry were within ten miles of Churpah. I finished the case I was about, and I fear rather hastily, and then wrote home, and Garston and I agreed it was time to bolt, so we made a start for it, going through the town, and to the police station, and also to the missionaries to tell them we were going, and advising them to do the same. We rode down to Doreegunge, about eight miles, and saw the smoke of a steamer in the distance, so we waited until she came near. We found Martin and Richardson and the doctor on board, with a party of the 5th Fusiliers and some thirteen Sikhs. On hearing that the cavalry were on their way here, and that the rebels were at Arrah, all agreed it would be folly to go back with only thirteen Sikhs, so we got a party of the 5th Fusiliers to go with us, and we started off in boats for Chuprah, which we reached at 11 p.m. We went to the collector?s, and all assisted in packing treasure, and we started back for the steamer with some 90,000 rupees. If they had left me fifty men I would have stopped at Chuprah, but not with only thirteen Sikhs. As the men could not be spared, back we went, and on the way we heard that the Arrah people, consisting of my friend Wake, Officiating Magistrate; Littledale, the Judge; Coombes, the Collector; boyle, Railway Engineer, and some six or seven others, were besieged in a small bungalow by the three Dinapore corps. On reaching Dinapore I found that 200 men of the 37th Queen?s and fifty Sikhs had been sent to relieve Arrah, but unfortunately the steamer grounded, through treachery, I believe, on the part of the pilot. There the steamer lay quite close to Dinapore, and the authorities doing nothing. I went to the General and urged upon him that unless relieved soon the garrison must all be murdered, and that if he would send another detachment in boats I could show them another way to Arrah where the steamer was sure not to stick, and that I knew the road from the Ghat to Arrah. He said if I would really go with them he would send some of the 10th. Just then another steamer came in; it was agreed that all the passengers were to be landed and put into the church, and that 500 of the 10th were to stat at 3 next mornings. While making arrangements I got a note from Tayler, the Commissioner, saying he had heard I had volunteered to show the way, but that he could not spare me; so I at once got into a native cart at 10 at night, and drove to Patna, which I reached about half-past eleven p.m. I saw Tayler, and begged him to let me go, as humanly speaking it was the only way of saving the little garrison. At last he said that if the General really laid any stress on my going he would not object. He ordered his carriage, and I drove down with him and young Mangles, to Dinapore. It was then nearly 2 o?clock. We woke up the General, and he told Tayler that it was very important that I should go, as I knew the road and he would trust to me. By this time it was the hour fixed to start. We drove down to the steamer, and to my disgust found all the passengers still on board. There was great delay and squabbling, and at 5 a.m. the General said, ?Oh, if there is not room in the steamer, never mind; the flat takes only 150 men. So all the others went back. This caused endless confusion. Colonel Fenwick would not go with only 150 of his men; he ordered Captain Dunbar to take the command. At last we got off and came up to the other steamer, got her flat containing 200 of the 27th, and fifty Sikhs, steamed on, and landed at Barara Ghat about 2 p.m. Of the disasters that befell us on that occasion you must have seen a long account, but it will give a brief sketch. About two miles from the Ghat there?s a river, after crossing, which you get on the public road to Arrah from Chuprah, a distance of about twelve miles. As I was not sure I should find boats, as we were in an enemy?s country, I offered to go on with a small party of Sikhs, and secure the boats while the Europeans had their dinner on the bank. So off Ingelby of the 7th Native Infanty, who volunteered, and commanded the Sikhs, Garston, and myself, with twenty men, went to the riverside. On reaching the river?s bank we found all the boats drawn up on the other side, and about 200 men assembled. They had four or five of those long native guns stuck on three sticks, and began blazing at us, whereupon two of our party said they would return for aid. We told them particularly not to disturb the Europeans, but to ask for the rest of the Sikhs, fifty being sufficient to dislodge the enemy. We immediately set to work and blazed across the river, and soon set all the fellows running. Two Sikhs then swam across, and got a small boat, in which Ingelby, Garston, and myself, with ten Sikhs, crossed. We were hardly across, when, to our disgust, we saw all the Europeans coming up at double quick, these fools having reported that we were surrounded; so the 10th came away without getting their dinners, or even a drop of grog, and had brought nothing with them. We all crossed, and by the time we were marching order it was 4 o?clock. Ingleby, Garston, twenty Sikhs, and myself formed the Vanguard; then came 150 of the 10th; then fifty Sikhs; and lastly 200 of the 37th Queen?s. We marched four miles all right, when we saw some ten or twelve horsemen in front. However, they galloped off before any damage could be done to them. The men got very footsore, and we halted at the Kaimnugger Bridge, about three miles from Arrah, at 10 p.m. and here we ought to have remained for the night, but, after stopping about half an hour, on we marched. I fancy poor Dunbar thought it useless halting, considering his men had nothing with them, and that it would be better to push on. What possessed us, I know not; up to this time we had made the Sikhs throw out skirmishes, but now we marched in a body Ingelby and Dunbar, who was talking to me, with about twenty Sikhs, some 200 yards in advance of the main body. After marching to within half a mile of Arrah, we arrived at a thick tope of trees, and the moonlight hardly showed through; in fact the moon was setting. Well, we had got nearly through, when, like a flash of lightning, all along our left side came one blaze of musketry, and then another, and a third volley. By the light the firing made we could see we were surrounded. We got behind the trees and tried to return the fire; Dunbar, myself, three of the 10th, and two Sikhs got together and blazed away. Foolishly I had given my powder-flask and bullets, etc., to a native to carry; of course he disappeared, and after firing off two barrels I was powerless; not for long, however, for the next minute we got a volley into us. I fancy our firing showed where we were. Poor Dunbar fell against me mortally wounded; I was covered with his blood. A ball hit me in the thigh, cutting it slightly only? at the same time two of the 10th and one Sikh also fell. I immediately picked up an Enfield rifle belonging to the 10th man, and his cartridge box, and began blazing away. I then shouted out that Dunbar was killed; that the first officer in command had best give orders. This brought another volley on us, and another man dropped. We then tried to join the main body, and ran from tree to tree; the Europeans, seeing us coming, all Sikhs, nearly, thought we were the enemy, and fired into us, killing several; in fact, I fear as many of our men were killed by their own comrades as by the enemy. In the nigh it was difficult to tell friend from foe; and after having to dodge round a tree, you in the dark could hardly tell where your friends were, and where your foes. At last most of us got together and beat a retreat towards a tank, near which was a high bank; we got to the other side of this bank and lay there all night, the enemy firing into us every five minutes, and foolishly our men would return the shot. It was bad policy; it showed where we were, and we could not afford to throw away a single shot. Young Anderson, a very nice young fellow, of the 22nd Native Infantry, a volunteer, was standing behind the hedge; he was shot through the head, and jumped up like a buck-of course killed on the spot. About daylight we counted our forces, and found that we were about 350 strong, 100 missing; afterwards about fifty of these joined us, being concealed in a village close by; the rest were killed. We could see the enemy and tried to make out their number; there were the three Dinapore regiments drawn up in order, with bugles sounding the advance. About 2,000 men, with long matchlocks, belonging to and headed by Baboo Koor Sing, and more than 1,000 of the disbanded Sepoys who had managed to join him, and a large rabble armed with swords, spears etc., not formidable in themselves, but who made themselves useful, killing all the wounded, beating them like dogs. We tried to make the men charge, but they were tired, wet, and a great number wounded. My leg, from lying on the damp ground and from the bleeding, was so stiff I could hardly walk; however, I soon warmed up. Unfortunately, the doctor was one of the first wounded, and, though he did his best, he could not bind up the wounds properly. There were no dhoolies, so that the wounded had to march with the rest. Then commenced our retreat. They completely surrounded us, and fired into us all the way back-twelve miles; men dropping every minute, and some, badly wounded, were, I fear, left behind and killed by the enemy. By the time we reached the boats 100 must have been killed, and then commenced the massacre. The boats, which we expected to have been taken away, were all there, so with a cheer we all rushed to them, when, to our dismay, we found they had fastened to the shore, and had dragged them up out of the water and had placed about 300 yards off a small cannon, with which they blazed into us. (I forgot to say that all the way they pitched into us with four small cannon.) The men, to escape the shot, got into the boats, and, of course, as long as they were in them, it was impossible to push the boats off. So a number of men stripped themselves, throwing away their rifles and everything, and some of them managed to reach the other side. The wounded men, of course, could not swim, and some of us knew we could never reach the shore, so out we jumped, and managed to get two of the boats off; well, then we were at the mercy of the wind and streams, for not an oar had they left us. The wind was favourable, and we started off splendidly, when lo and behold, we gradually turned towards shore, and then I saw they had tied our rudder, so as to bring us in again. I told the men to cut it, but no one moved, and so I got a knife and climbed up to the rudder. It was one of those country boats, covered in except just as the stern. The moment they saw what I was at they blazed at me, but God in His mercy preserved me. Two bullets went through my hat, but I was not touched. The rope was cut, and we were saved; but about half way across we struck on a sandbank, and then the bullets poured in so fast that nearly everyone jumped overboard. One young officer jumped over as he was, with his sword on, and down he went; another, Ingelby, was shot in the head, and either drowned or killed. I threw my pistol overboard; my coat I had thrown away early in the morning, as, being a coloured one, it made me conspicuous among the soldiers, who were all in white. How I swam on shore I know not, as it is not an accomplishment I am ?dah? at. When once on shore we were pretty safe, and 250 out of 450 reached the steamer alive. Since then nearly 100 more, from wounds, exposure, etc., have died, making a loss of 300 out of 450-the worst that has befallen us yet; nearly every one was wounded. Of the eight volunteers who went with the troops six were killed, two wounded, poor Garston badly, shot right through the body from hip to hip, myself slightly in two places, the thigh and on the shin, the latter cutting my trousers in two places, cutting two holes in a Wellington boot, and luckily only cutting a flesh wound. The eighth volunteer, young Mangles, John Lowis?s brother-in-law, was knocked on the head and stunned for some ten minutes. He had a great lump n his head, but the bullet did no more damage; it must of just glanced off. This account, I fear, is rather egotistical, but it is too late to alter it. I have since then been on another expedition in charge of 150 Sikhs, this second time as commander. We had not much fighting, but burnt several villages, more especially the village of Behara, where we were so awfully punished. It is just post time, so I must stop. Chuprah is, I trust, now pretty safe. Our only fear is from Lucknow; the bordering districts of Goruckpore and Azimghur have been deserted. The latter, however, is by this time occupied by 3,000 Napaulese troops, but in Goruckpore there is no one. A Lucknow man, named Mohamed Hassen, has made himself Chuckledar or Negrim to the King of Oude, and issues orders. He has some 8,000 men with him, but mostly rabble. One English regiment, or half a regiment, and two guns, would drive him out, whereas now they have to watch him. In another month the Mutiny wall is nearly over, I think. Lots of work left in punishing these brutes, but there will not be any fresh outbreaks. I trust Lucknow may weather the storm, but it is a near business. They have been entreated to hold out to extremities, and not to make terms. General Outram will relieve them if he can.?
William Fraser McDonell passed into the Bengal Civil Service from Haileybury in 1850, and was Assistant-Magistrate and Collector at Sarun until 1857. After the mutiny he acted as Settlement-Officer in Shahabad till 1860, when he spent three years on furlough. From 1863 to 1870 he was judge at Nuddea and from 1874 to 1886 Judge of the high Court of Judicature at Calcutta, when he retired from the service. He died at Cheltenham on July 31st 1894.
ROSS LOWIS MANGLES
(Assistant-Magistrate at Patna)
Bengal civil Service
Mr. Mangles volunteered and served with the little force sent to the relief of the garrison at Arrah, where fifteen Europeans and fifty of Rattray?s Sikhs were holding out against 4,000 mutineers. They fell into an ambush on the night of July 29th 1857, and lost 300 of the 450 men. A retreat was made next morning under a blazing Indian sun, and a terrible fire from the Sepoys. At the first attack Mr. Mangles was wounded, but, regardless of that, he assisted the surgeon in his care of the injured, fetching water, when able, in order to alleviate their sufferings.
?In the flower of his youth, a man of fine presence, with a long stride and a firm hand on his two-barrel, our men looked to him, as to one who, though without official command, had neutral right to be obeyed.? He was a magnificent shot, and kept a hot fire from his post upon the enemy, a little knot of men he kept together, handling him loaded muskets.? During the retreat a soldier of the 37th had been shot and, as he lay on the ground, implored Mangles not to leave him, well knowing that Death, not in too fast or painless a manner, would be his on the arrival of the mutineers.
Under a hail of lead, Mangles turned to the man, bound up his wounds, and, though no food had passed his lips for twenty-four hours, and no sleep had he had for forty-eight, ye he lifted him upon his back and marched away with him. The man he carried was a big as himself, the ground over which he marched was swampy, rough and dangerous; yet for six long miles did he tramp, only putting down his heavy burden to stand over him while firing at the harassing enemy to keep them in check and enable him to accomplish his act of mercy and of love. At last he reached the river, into which he plunged, holding up his comrade until he could get him into a boat, under medical care, his life was eventually saved. His name was Richard Taylor, and this story of as fine an act of English heroism as has ever been recorded, was only brought to light by the surgeon to whom the man recorded his marvellous deliverance. It was this act, which was instrumental in bringing about the alteration of the V.C. Warrant, as, up to that time, none but military or naval men were eligible for the decoration. Not until more than a year had passed with the incident just recorded brought to the knowledge of Lord Canning by Sir James Outram, who, on hearing of it, had decided to recommend Mr Mangles for the V.C. Meanwhile, another splendid act had been done by another civilian in Oude, but the decision of the authorities was, in spite of it, against the alteration of the warrant. The Governor-General thereupon, on receipt of Outram?s letter, wrote to the Home Government, forwarding it for their information and emphatically endorsing its contents, remarking ?the modesty which has allowed the event to remain unknown to those in authority until after the lapse of a twelvemonth, is not the least remarkable feature in the story.? Afterwards the warrant was altered in favour of ?Soldier-Civilians,? and no one will regret the withdrawal of so invidious a distinction.
Ross Lowis Mangles, born at Calcutta April 14th 1833, is the son of R. D. Mangles, member of the Bengal Civil Service, and, after his retirement, M.P. for Guildford and a Director of the old East India Company. Educated at Bath Grammer School and Hailbury College, entering Bengal Civil Service 1853. In 1857 was Assistant-Magistrate at Patna, accompanying the 45th (Rattray?s) Sikhs in quelling a disturbance in Patna City, subsequently joining the Arrah Relief Force as described. Immediately after the retreat Sir Vincent Eyre drove the Sepoys out of Arrah and Behar. He was then appointed Magistrate in the Chunparun District, North Behar, being engaged there in procuring supplies and carriage for the Ghoorkas under Jung Behadur, who had marched down from Napal to our assistance. Early in 1858 held the station of Jewan in the Chuprah district until the Sepoys under Koer Singh returned to Behar, upon which, having a guard of a few native police, armed with swords, he escaped from one end of the station as the rebels entered at the other, and, after a ride of forty miles, reached Chuprah in safety. Held subsequently the appointments of Commissioners of Revenue and Circuit in several districts in Bengal; Judicial Commissioner of Mysore and Coorg in Madras; Secretary to the Government of Bengal and Member of the Board of Revenue, Lower Provinces. Gazetted to his nobly earned Victoria Cross July 8th 1859, which he received from the hands of Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle, On January 4th 1860.
(Captain, now Lieut. ?General., C.B.)
2nd Bombay Light Cavalry
During the night of August 12th 1857, at Neemuch, Captain Blair volunteered to capture seven or eight mutineers who had shut themselves up in a home near at hand. He burst open the door, and rushed upon them, when, to avoid him, they fled by way of the roof. In the struggle he was badly wounded, but in spite of this he pursued them, being, however, unable to overtake them owing to the darkness of the night.
At Jeerum on October 23rd 1857, he was literally surrounded by a party of rebels. In an encounter with one of them, on whose head he broke his sword; he received a terrible cut on the arm. Fighting his way through them he rejoined his men, where he at once, wounded as he was, placed himself at the head of the troop and with no other weapon than the hilt of his broken sword, pursued the enemy for miles, completely routing them.
General Blair was born on January 27th 1828. Entered the Army in 1844; became Captain 1857; Colonel 1873, and attained his present rank in 1894.
JOSEPH P. H. CROWE
(Lieutenant, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel 10th Foot)
78th The Ross-shire Buffs (2nd
The 78th were hotly engaged at Busherut Gunge on August 12th 1857. Here a redoubt was strongly held by the enemy from which they were firing heavily on our men. Preparations were made to carry the place by storm, there being no guns at hand, darkness setting in, and men falling fast. While marksmen played on the place to keep down the fire, the gallant Highlanders dashed forward, each man trying to be ?first in.? Lieutenant Crowe, who outstripped all the others, won the race and, being followed by his men, in a few minutes the place was captured and the enemy scattered.
Colonel Crowe, after being some years in command of a battalion of the Lincoln Regiment, died in February 1876.
CHARLES JOHN STANLEY GOUGH
(Major, now General, G.C.B.)
5th Bengal European Cavalry
Sir Charles Gough, one of two brothers who have been awarded the Victoria Cross, was decorated for bravery on four different occasions.
On August 15th 1857, he saved the life of his brother, Sir Hugh Gough (V.C.), killing two of his assailants. On August 18th 1857, he led a troop of the Guide Cavalry in a charge against the enemy, cutting down and killing two Sowars.
On January 27th 1858, at Shumsabad he attacked the leader of the enemy?s cavalry, and ran him through with his sword, which, however was carried out of his hand in the melee. He then defended himself with his revolver and shot two of the enemy.
On February 23rd 1858, at Meangunge, seeing Brevet-Major O. H. St. George Anson in great danger, he dashed to his assistance killed his opponent, and immediately afterwards cut down another of the enemy in a similarly gallant manner.
Born in 1832, Sir Charles Gough entered the Bengal Cavalry in 1848. Served in the Punjab Campaign 1848-9; throughout the Mutiny, 1857-8; the Bhootan War 1864-5; and both Afghan Wars, 1878-9 and 1879-80. In 1881 was Commandant of the Hyderbad Contingent, and from 1886-90 commanded a division of the Bengal Army.
His son, Major J. E. Gough, was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in Somaliland, on April 22nd 1903. Thus three members of one family hold the decoration.
HENRY GEORGE BROWNE
(Captain, now Colonel, Retired)
32nd The Duke of Cornwall?s
Decorated for his bravery on August 21st 1857, during the siege of Lucknow in leading a sortie to spike two heavy guns, which were causing great havoc to our defences.
He was the first to enter the battery which was protected by high palisades, the embrasures being closed with sliding shutters, which he most courageously removed, and attacked the gunners killed, and the two guns were spiked.
Colonel Browne, son of Mr Arthur Browne, Newton, Roscommon, was born in Ireland in 1830. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin. Gazetted to 32nd Light Infantry in 1855. Mentioned repeatedly in despatches during the Mutiny, apart from the act described above, and promoted to a company for his meritorious services.
1st Battalion 60th
Elected by the privates of his regiment under Rule 13 of the Warrant, for his distinguished conduct at Delh, September 10th 1857, when he headed a charge made by the Beloochee and Sikh troops upon the enemy?s trenches. Followed closely by the native troops, he jumped from our trenches and, making straight for the enemy?s breast-works, was shot down when within a few yards of the goal.
(Private, afterwards Colour-Sergeant)
On September 11th 1857, Patrick Green performed an act of daring for which he was, in the name of the Queen, awarded the decoration almost on the spot by the Commander-in-Chief in India, an occurrence most rare and only found in one other instance, viz., that of Patrick Carlin. The General Order, being almost unique, is copied verbatim-
?Headquarters, Allahabad July 28th 1858.
The Commander-in-Chief in India is pleased to approve that the under
mentioned soldier he presented, on the name of Her Most Gracious Majesty, with a
medal of the Victoria Cross for valour and daring in the field, viz.-
?Private Patrick Green,
?Her Majesty?s 75th Foot,
for having on September 11th 1857, when the picquet at the Koodsia Bagh at Delhi was hotly pressed by a large body of the enemy, successfully rescued a comrade who had fallen wounded as a skirmisher.
?(Signed) C. Campbell, General,
1st Battalion 60th
Elected by the privates of his regiment under Rule 13 of the warrant, for
his brave conduct at Delhi, September 13th 1857, the day before the
great assault, when he volunteered to make a reconnaissance to ascertain the
state of the breach. Throughout the
operations of the siege his behaviour was most noticeable, especially on August
2nd, when, seeing a bugler of the enemy during the attack about to
sound an order, he rushed forward and killed him before he could carry out his
THE INDIAN MUTINY
DUNCAN CHARLES HOME
Bengal Sappers and Miners
No more magnificent example of heroism has ever been added to the glorious deeds of British soldiers than that of the four men Home, Salkfeld, Smith and Hawthorne, who, on September 14th 1857, blew up the Cashmere Gate at Delhi, prior to the great assault on that city in the Indian Mutiny. The account written by Sergeant John Smith gives so vivid a description of the heroic actions of all concerned that it has been set out here almost word for word as given in Kaye?s Sepoy War. Lieutenant Salkeld, as will be seen, never survived his wounds to receive the Victoria Cross, and Lieutenant Home only escaped the frightful perils of the 14th September to die on October 1st following, from the effects of the premature explosion of a mine after the capture of the fort of Malgurgh. All having been prepared, the slow match was lighted, but as no explosion followed in the ordinary time, Lieutenant Home went forward to re-light the match, which he supposed had gone out. At that instant the explosion occurred. His death was extraordinary similar to that of Lieutenant Dundas, V.C., reference to whom will be found in this volume.
Sergeant John Smith?s account-
?The party blowing in the gate, the 60th Rifles leading, went off at a double from the Ludlow Castle, until they arrived at the cross-road leading to the Customs, and the men, when they opened out right and left, the Sappers going to the gate led by Lieutenant Home, and one bugler (Hawthorne), Lieutenant Salkeld, with the party carrying the powder a few paces behind, the three European non-commissioned officers, and nine natives with twelve bags of twenty-five pounds each. My duty was to bring up the rear, and see that none of them remained behind. Lieutenant Salkeld had passed through the temporary Burn Gate with sergeants Carmichael and Burhgess, but four of the natives had stopped behind the above gate and refused to go on. I had put down my bag and taken my gun, and threatened to shoot them, when Lieutenant Salkeld came running back and said, ?Why the- don?t you come on?? I told him there were four men behind the gate, and that I was going to shoot them. He said; Shoot them d----n their eyes, shoot them!? I said ?You hear the orders, and I will shoot you,? raising the gun slowly to ?present? to give fair time, when two men went on. Lieutenant Salkeld said, ?Do not shoot; with your own bag it will be enough.? I went on, and only Lieutenant Salkeld and Sergeant Burgess were there; Lieutenant Home and the bugler had jumped into the ditch, and Sergeant Carmichael was killed as he went up with his powder on his shoulder, evidently having been shot from the wicket while crossing the broken part of the bridge along one of the beams. I placed my bag, and then at great risk reached Carmichael?s bag from in front of the wicket, placed it, arranged the fuses for the explosion, and reported all ready to Lieutenant Salkfield, who held the slow (not a port-fire, as I have seen stated). In stooping down to light the quick match, he put out his foot, and was shot through the thigh from the wicket, and in falling had the presence of mind to hold out the slow match, and told me to fire the charge. Burgess was next time and took it. I told him to fire the charge and keep cool. He turned round and said, ?It won?t go off, sir; it has gone out, sir (not knowing that one officer had fallen into the ditch). I gave him a box of lucifers, and, as he took them, he let them fall into my hand, he being shot through the body from the wicket also, and fell over after Lieutenant Salkeld. I was then left alone, and keeping close to the charge, seeing from where the others where shot, I struck a light, when the port fire in the fuse went off in my face, the light not having gone out as we thought. I took up my gun and jumped into the ditch, but before I had reached the ground the charge went off, and filled the ditch with smoke, so that I saw no one. I turned while in the act of jumping so my back would come to the wall to save me from falling. I stuck close to the wall, and by that I escaped being smashed to pieces, only getting a severe bruise on the leg, the leather helmet saving my head.
?I put my hands along the wall and touched some one, and asked who it
was. ?Lieutenant Home,? was the
answer. I said, ?Has God spared you? Are you hurt??
He said ?No? and asked the same from me.
As soon as the dust cleared a little we saw Lieutenant Salkeld and
Burgess covered with dust; their lying in the middle of the ditch had saved them
from being smashed to pieces and covered by the debris from the top of the wall,
the shock only toppling the stones over, which fell between where we stood and
where they lay. I went to
Lieutenant Salkeld and called the bugler to help me to remove him under the
bridge as the fire covered upon us, and Lieutenant Salkeld?s arms were broken.
Lieutenant Home came to assist, but I begged him to keep out of the fire
and that (sic) we would do all that could be done. Lieutenant Salkeld would not let us remove him, so I put a
bag of powder under his head for a pillow, and with the bugler?s puggery bound
up his arms and thigh, and I left the bugler to look to him and went to Burgess,
took off his sword, which I put on, and done (sic) what I could for him.
I got some brandy from Lieutenant Home and gave to both, also to a
Havildar (Pelluck Singh), who had his thigh shot through, and was under the
bridge by a ladder that had been put into the ditch, leaving me in charge of the
wounded, and went to the front after the Rifles had gone in, and the 52nd
?I then went to the rear for three stretchers and brought them, one of which was taken from me an officer of the Rifles. I had to draw my sword and threaten to run any one through who took the other two. I put them into the ditch, and with the bugler?s assistance got Lieutenant Salkeld into one and sent him, charging him strictly not to leave him until he had placed him in the hands of a surgeon, and with the assistance of a Naick who had come to the Havildar, got Burgess into one and sent the Naick with him, I being scarcely able to walk, and in a few minutes he returned to say he was dead, and asked for further orders. I told him to take him to the hospital. After assisting to clear away the gate and make the roadway again, I went on to the front to see what was going on.?
ALFRED SPENCER HEATHCOTE
Lieutenant Alfred Spencer Heathcote was elected by the officers of his regiment under rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, for his daring conduct during the siege of Delhi from June to September 1857, during which he was wounded. He volunteered for services of extreme danger, especially during the terrible six days of the assault by our troops, when such severe fighting took place in the streets of the city.
He was born in London March 29th 1832.
1st European Bengal Fusiliers
On September the 14th 1857, during the great assault on Delhi, the brigade had reached the Cabul Gate and the 1st Fusiliers and the 75th Regiment with many Sikhs were awaiting orders, while ammunition was being served out for the various regiments. From some unaccountable cause, five boxes of ammunition caught fire, three of which exploded, and the two remaining were fully alight when sergeant McGuire and Drummer M. Ryan (V.C.) dashed for them, and one after the other flung them over the parapet into the water. At the explosion of the first three, soldiers and natives in the vicinity rushed about, not knowing where it had taken place, and they were running towards the burning mass to certain destruction. These two soldiers, in risking their lives and by their brave conduct, saved those of all around them.
1st European Bengal Fusiliers
This soldier was associated with Jogn McGuire (V.C.) on September 14th 1857, when he threw the boxes of ammunition, which had caught fire into the water, thereby saving the lives of many men. Further details of this noble act are given in the record of McGuire.
EVERARD ALOYSIUS LISLE PHILLIPPS
11th Regiment Bengal Native
For the many gallant acts performed by him during the siege of Delhi, it was intended to recommend this young officer for the Victoria Cross, but during the street fighting in the city on September 18th 1857, he met his death. He was specially noticed for his bravery in capturing, with only a small handful of men, the Water Bastion of Delhi.
HERBERT TAYLOR READE
(Surgeon, afterwards Surgeon-General)
61st (South) Gloucester
On September 14th 1857, during the siege of Delhi, while Surgeon Reade was attending to the wounded at the end of one of the streets in the city, the rebels established themselves in the houses overlooking him and commenced firing from the roofs.
Seeing the precarious position of affairs, he drew his sword and, calling upon the few available soldiers near at hand to follow, succeeded under a heavy fire in dislodging the enemy from their position. His brave little consisted of only ten men, of whom two were killed and six wounded during the encounter.
On September 16th, at the assault of Delhi he was one of the first up at the breach in the magazine, and on this occasion, with a sergeant of the 61st Regiment, spiked the enemy?s guns.
Surgeon-General Reade, son of the late Colonel G. H. Reade, Canadian Militia was born in 1828. Principal Medical Officer, Southern District 1886, retiring in 1887. Died at Bath in June 1897 aged 68.
ROBERT HAYDON SHEBBEARE
60th Bengal Native Infantry
On September 14th 1857, at the assault on Delhi, Captain (then Lieutenant) Shebbeare, at the head of the guides, twice charged a loop holed serai to enable the breach to be attained, but, owing to the terrible fire, he was unable to accomplish his task, one third of his European soldiers having fallen. For this reason he was prevented from reorganizing his men for another attempt, but he conducted the rearguard of the retreat most successfully across the canal. His immunity from death is noted as miraculous, although he received one bullet through the check and a very severe scalp wound along the back of the head. This gallant officer was killed in the China War of 1860.
Mentioned in General Order of Major-General Sir Archdale Wilson, K.C.B., for his gallantry on September 14th 1857, when, through a murderous fire of grape, he carried a wounded comrade from the Chandin Chouk.
Henry Smith died some years ago, and his Victoria Cross was sold in July 1896, for ?70.
1st Battalion 60th
Elected by the non-commissioned officers of his regiment under Rule 13 of the Warrant, for conspicuous gallantry before Delhi, when he charged and captured the enemy?s guns near the Cabul Gate, on September 14th 1857; and again, four days later, when the Sepoys made a most determined attack on a gun near the Chandian Chouk, his conduct was partially noticeable.
GEORGE ALEXANDER RENNY
(Captain, afterwards Major General)
Royal (Bengal) Horse Artillery
On September 16th 1857, after our capture of the Delhi magazine, the enemy made a very determined attack upon the post, and was kept up with great violence for a considerable time. Under cover of a heavy crossfire from the high houses on the right flank of the magazine, from Selinhur and the palace, the enemy advanced to the high wall and endeavoured to fire the thatched roof. In this they partially succeeded, but a soldier of the Belooch Battalion extinguished it. On repeating the attempt, which was more successful, Captain Renny, with the greatest courage, mounted to the top of the wall of the magazine and flung several shells with lighted fuses into the midst of the enemy, which had a most beneficial effect, as the attack almost at once became less severe at that point, and shortly afterwards entirely ceased.
General Renny, Born in 1827 was educated at Addiscombe, obtaining his commission in June 1844. Served through Sutlej Campaign, present at battle of Sobraon.
He died at Bath on January 5th 1887.
EDWARD TALBOT THACKERAY
(Lieutenant, now colonel, K.C.B.)
Royal (Bengal) Engineers
On September 16th 1857 fire broke out in a shed in the Delhi magazine in which large quantities of ammunition were lying about. Lieutenant Thackeray, although under a heavy fire from the Sepoys, and not withstanding that the flames were all round the combustible stores, most daringly rushed in, and, by his exertions, contrived to extinguish them.
Colonel Sir Edward Thackeray, son of the Rev. Francis Thackeray, first cousin of Thackery the novelist, was born on October 19th 1836, educated at Marlborough and Addiscombe, and entered the R.E. in 1854. Served in Afghan War 1879. Promoted Captain 1865; Major 1872, Lieut. ?Colonel 1880, Colonel 1884, and retired in 1888. Was from 1880 Commandant of the Bengal Sappers and Miners.
1st Madras Fusiliers
On September 21st 1857, at Mungulwarm the 1st Regiment of Native Infantry had mutinied, and Mahoney, when doing duty with the volunteer cavalry, was most prominent in capturing the regimental colour of the mutineers.
(Lieutenant and Adjutant, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
90th Perthshire Volunteer Light
Infantry (2nd The Scottish Rifles)
On September 21st 1857, during the advance on Lucknow by the force under Outram and Havelock, Lieutenant Rennie, under a heavy musketry fire, charged upon the Sepoy guns far in advance of the skirmishers of his regiment, and prevented the piece being carried off. Upon the arrival of support it was captured and used by us.
On September 25th he again dashed ahead of his men, when advancing upon a battery, which was firing grape, and forced the enemy to abandon the guns.
Colonel Rennie, when a young officer of the 73rd (Perthshire)-now 2nd Black Watch-served at the blockade of Monte Video 1846, and during the four following years, in the war against the Kaffirs, received special promotion for his distinguished service.
He died at Elgin in August 1896 aged 75.
1st Battalion 5th
On September 24th 1857, some of the stiffest fighting of the Indian Mutiny took place at the Alumbagh, and during the action Private Devency was terribly wounded, his leg being shot away.
Grant proceeded under a terrific fire to his friend?s assistance, carried him out of range and, with the help of the late Lieutenant Brown and some soldiers, contrived to bring him safely into camp. This gallant soldier?s name was originally gazetted on June 19th 1860, as ?Ewart,? but corrected in the issue of October 12th, following.
FRANCIS CORNWALLIS MAUDE
(Captain, afterwards Colonel, C.B.)
Captain Francis Cornwallis Maude was in command of a battery in the force led by Outram and Havelock to the relief of the Lucknow Residency. His fearless behaviour under a most terrific fire of cannon and musketry was most noticeable on every occasion during that trying time, and his name was constantly mentioned in despatches.
He was entrusted with the terrible duty of blowing the mutineers from the guns, when that drastic and frightful punishment was meted out to the murderers of our helpless women and children. Sir James Outram, in his report, referring to the splendid conduct of Captain Maude during the relief says, ?This attack appeared to him to indicate no reckless foolhardy daring, but the calm heroism of a true soldier, who fully appreciates the difficulties and dangers of the task he has undertaken, and that, but for Captain Maude?s nerve and coolness on this trying occasion, the army could not have advanced.?
Born in October 1828, Colonel Maude was the son of Captain the Honourable Francis Maude, R.N. After retiring from the service, was Consul-General at Warsaw from 1876 to 1886. He died at Windsor Castle, of which he was a Military Knight, on October 19th 1900.
In the record of Captain F. C. Maude, V.C., mention was made of the terrific fire through which that gallant officer?s gunners had to force their way and work the guns, and when those in charge had been shot down, volunteers had to be requisitioned to carry on the work. One of these was Joel Holmes, whose conduct through the terrible ordeal was specially noticed in Major General Havelock?s Field Force Orders of October 17th 1857.
(Surgeon, afterwards Inspector-General, C.B.)
78th Regiment (Ross-shire
Buffs; 2nd Seaforth Highlanders)
On September 25th 1857, when Havelock?s relieving column was forcing its way into Lucknow, Surgeon Jee displayed the greatest courage and devotion to the wounded that had fallen during the charge of the 78th Highlanders at the Char Bagh Bridge. He succeeded in getting them to some cots and by this means, as well as on the backs of his men; he was able to have them conveyed in the direction of the Residency until the dhoolie-bearers who had fled were collected and persuaded to carry out their duties. Later in the day, while still occupied in directing the conveyance of the wounded, he and his party were besieged in the Mote-Mehal by an overwhelming number of the enemy. Here he remained during the whole night and following morning, exposing himself freely to the hail of bullets while proceeding to tend the wounded who had fallen while serving a 24-pounder gun, in a most open position, and, by his endeavours and intrepid conduct, was enabled to get many of them safely into the Residency by way of the river bank through a heavy cross fire ordnance, although he had been repeatedly warned not to attempt the perilous task.
Surgeon-General Jee was the son of Christopher Preston Jee, of Atherstone, Warwickshire, and joined the 1st Dragoons as Assistant-Surgeon in 1842, becoming Surgeon 1854. Served through Persian War 1857-8, including battle of Koosh-ab and bombardment of Mohammera; Indian Mutiny under Havelock in first relief of Lucknow Residency, and its subsequent defence, also taking part in the operations in Rohilkund 1858, and capture of Bareilly. After many years of retirement died at Queeniborough Hall, Leicestershire March 17th 1899.
VALENTINE MUNBEE McMASTER
78th Regiment (The Ross-shire
Buffs; 2nd Seaforth Highlanders)
On September 25th 1857, during the relief of Lucknow by Havelock and Outram, Surgeon McMaster behaved with conspicuous bravery and humanity, all night long exposing himself to the heavy fire of the enemy while bringing in, and attending to, the many wounded.
HERBERT TALOR MACPHERSON
(Lieutenant, afterwards Major General, K.B.C)
On September 25th 1857, Lieutenant Macpherson was with the force under Outram and Havelock, and, during the heavy fighting at Lucknow between the outskirts of the city and the Residency, to whose relief they were forcing their way, he led his men to the attack and capture of two brass 9-pounder guns, setting them an example of the heroic gallantry.
He died in Burma in 1886.
Major-General Sir H. T. Macpherson entered the army on February 28th 1845; became Captain October 6th 1857; Brevet-Major, February 1865; Brevet-Lieut. ?Colonel 1867; Colonel 1871; and attained the rank he held at his death on July 1st 1882. He served in Persia in 1857, as Adjutant of the 78th, and in every engagement leading to the relief of the Residency, and was at the final capture of Lucknow.
(Captain, afterwards General, G.C.B.)
Although the conduct of Captain Olpherts was brought to notice continually during the severe fighting which took place during the march to Lucknow under Outram and Havelock, he was especially prominent on September 25th 1857, when the force penetrated into the city itself. He charged on horseback with the 90th Regiment, led by Colonel Campbell, and, in the face of a heavy fire of grape-shot, captured two Sepoy guns, after which he again braved the storm of lead to bring up horses and limbers to carry off the captured ordnance.
The heroic manner in which Olpherts served the guns of his battery during Havelock?s advance to the Residency has been mentioned too often in chronicles of the Mutiny to allow it to be related here, but the characteristic sobriquet of ?Hell Fire Olpherts? which he earned in the Army tells sufficiently its own story.
Sir William, son of Wm, Olpherts, of Dartrey, Co, Armagh, was born on March 8th 1822, and educated at Gracehill and Dungannon Schools, and Addiscombe Military College. Entered Bengal Artillery June 11th 1839; became Captain 1853; Brevet-Major and Lieut. ?Colonel 1858; Colonel 1872; and General March 31st 1883. Served through Gwalior and Sinde campaigns under Sir Hugh (Lord) Gough and Sir C. Napier respectively; and in the Peshawar Valley under Sir Colin Campbell 1852. On outbreak of Russian War was employed on special service with Sir Fenwick Williams at Kars and Erzeroun in Armenia.
In 1859 accompanied the expedition against Wazarees as volunteer under Sir N. Chamberlain. On his return in 1868 was presented with a sword of honour by the County and City of Armagh. He died at Norwood on April 30th 1902, his body escorted to the cemetery by a detachment of the Royal Horse Artillery. During the service the rain poured in such torrents and with such ferocity that, as a writer expressed it afterwards, ?it seemed as if the very elements were rehearsing the battle scenes of the life that had ceased.?
78th Regiment (Ross-shire
Buffs; 2nd Seaforth Highlanders)
On the night of September 25th 1857, during the advance of Outram?s relieving force into Lucknow, Captain Havelock (afterwards Lieut. ?General Sir H. M. Havelock-Allan, V.C.) was severely wounded. He was placed in a hoolie and Private Ward remained by him all through the night, guarding it. The next morning Private Thomas Pilkington was wounded and took refuge in the same dhoolie. Ward escorted both men through a terrific fire of ordnance and musketry, keeping the bearers to their work by his exertions, bravery, and splendid example, finally succeeding in having both safely conveyed to the Baillie Guard.
When, on September 26th 1857, the Lucknow Residency was reinforced (although not relieved) by Sir Henry Havelock, his troops forced their way into the beleagued garrison?s entrenchments, and many wounded had to be left behind in the city streets. Surgeon Bradshaw accompanied Sir Anthony Home, V.C., whose heroic conduct gained him the Voctoria Cross,, and that gallant member of the medical profession was conspicuous for his devotion in the removal of the wounded. In spite of the swarms of Sepoys around them keeping up a heavy fire, the dhoolie-beaers were prevailed on by this man to rally and return to their duties, and when his party of about twenty bearers became separated from the rest of our troops, his exertions and splendid example enabled the wounded under his care to be successfully brought into the Residency by way of the river bank.
1st Madras Fusiliers
Specially mentioned by Sir James Outram for his cool intrepidity and daring conduct, whereby a 24-pounder gun was prevented from being captured by the Sepoys, on September 26th 1857, at Lucknow.
Thomas Duffy died some years ago, and his Victoria Cross was sold in London on October 28th 1902 for ?53.
78th Regiment (The Ross-shire Buffs; 2nd Seaforth Highlanders)
On September 26th 1857, nine men were shut in and besieged in a house in Lucknow by the Sepoys during the advance of Outram and Havelock to the relief of the Residency. James Hollowell, one of the party, displayed conspicuous courage, exposing himself most bravely, and by his fine example prevailed on the men with him to keep up a splendid defence, in the face of terrible odds and fearful circumstances. The Sepoys set fire to the house, and crept near enough to shoot through four of the windows, but the little defending party held out until ultimately rescued.
ANTHONY DICKSON HOME
(Surgeon, now Surgeon-General, K.C.B.)
90th Perthshire Volunteer Light
Infantry (2nd Scottish Rifles)
Sir Anthony Home was, then Havelock entered Lucknow on September 26th 1857, in charge of the wounded in rear of the column. The small escort left with him had been nearly all wounded, and the whole became separated from the main body. The few remaining men were forced to enter a house, which they defended till it was set on fire, upon which they took shelter in a shed which they held for twenty-two hours, till at length only six men and Dr. Home were able to fire. The four officers with him being all wounded, the command devolved on him. By his energy and example he stimulated all to action, and through him the defence was successful and the wounded eventually saved.
Three of the wounded officers died soon afterwards, owing to the hardships they had undergone.
Sir Anthony Dickson Home, V.C., K.C.B. (1874), was born in 1823. Entered the Army Medical Department in 1848. Served in the Crimean War; the Indian Mutiny; the China War of 1860; New Zealand Campaign 1863-5, and the Ashantee War of 1873; in the latter war he served as Principal Medical Officer, and held the same position in Cyprus during 1878-9, and to the forces in India from 1881 to 1885. Was promoted to Surgeon-General in 1880, retiring in 1886.
On September 26th 1857, McManus was one of the band of men whose bravery is described in the record of James Hollowell, V.C. He remained outside the house in which the party were shut up, and from behind a pillar kept up a most telling fire on Sepoys, thereby preventing their making a rush on the building. With Private John Ryan, V.C., he rushed into the street under a terrific fire and carried in Captain Arnold, 1st Madras Fusiliers, who received another wound while being taken into the house. After serving through the Mutiny this gallant soldier of smallpox at Allahabad in 1859.
78th Regiment (The Ross-shire
Buffs; 2nd Seaforth Highlanders)
On September 26th 1857, at the relief of the Lucknow Residency, one of out men was lying badly wounded, in a most exposed situation, under a very heavy fire. McPherson rushed out and, with great coolness, under a storm of bullets, lifted him up and carried him into safety.
He was also distinguished in many other occasions by his daring, and gallantry in action.
1st Madras Fusiliers
On September 26th 1857, John Ryan was associated with Surgeon Home and Privates Ghollowell and McManus in their heroic stand at a small house in which they were defending the wounded under their care. Ryan was particularly conspicuous for his daring rescue of many wounded from the dholies into which the mutineers were firing and some of which they set on fire. Many lives were owed that day to his bravery.
4th Company 1st
Battalion Bengal Artillery
On September 27th 1857, the party to which Thomas belonged was returning from a sortie and one of his comrades fell severely wounded. He took the injured man on his back and carried him a long distance, under a very heavy fire and in circumstances of considerable difficulty, to prevent him from falling into the hands of the Sepoys, who would otherwise have despatched him by their own slow methods of torture.
THE HONBLE AUGUSTUS HENRY ARCHIBALD ANSON
On September 28th 1857, at Boolundshuhur, the conduct of this officer was specially distinguished. The 9th Light Dragoons had charged through the town, and, on reaching the serai, commenced to reform their ranks. To prevent them making their way out, the enemy blocked the entrance by drawing their carts across the gateway, on seeing which Captain Anson dashed out and, with a lance knocked the drivers over. Suffering at the time from a severely wounded hand, he was unable to control his horse, which carried him into the middle of the enemy?s ranks, and although fired at by them with a volley, a bullet passing through his coat, he contrived to make his way out without further mishap. On November 16th following, at the assault of the Secundrabagh, he was one of the foremost of the storming party, being slightly wounded and having his horse shot under him. Major-General Sir Hope Grant referred to him in his despatch of August 12th 1858, saying ?He has shown the greatest gallantry on every occasion and has slain many enemies in fight.?
2nd Dragoon Guards
Major-General Sir James Hope Grant, K.C.B., brought this officer?s gallant conduct forward in his despatch of January 10th 1858.
He states that at Boolundshuhur, on September 28th 1857, Lieutenant Blair was ordered to take a sergeant and twelve men to bring in a deserted ammunition wagon. On his nearing the wagon, about sixty of the enemy?s horsemen, who had been unobserved up to that time, swooped down upon them, but Lieutenant Blair, taking no thought of the heavy odds he had to face, led his little party against the oncoming troop and fought his way through them, killing four of them with his own hand. Not one of his men was killed, and his skilful leadership safely brought all back to camp, although he himself was most severely by a native officer, whom he had run through with his sword. The natives turned and slashed at Lieutenant Blair, the blow nearly severing the joint of his shoulder.
Bengal Horse Artillery
Major Turner, Bengal Horse Artillery, mentioned the gallantry of this soldier in his despatch of October 2nd 1857. At Boolundshuhur, on September 28th 1857, he was conspicuous for his determined bravery in working a gun in company with Richard Fitzgerald (V.C.) after every other man and been killed or wounded who belonged to it. By the devoted conduct of these two men the road was completely cleared of the enemy.
On September 28th 1857, at Boolundshuhur, during the charge in which Lieutenant Robert Blair (V.C.) so gallantly distinguished himself, Donohoe was greatly instrumental in assisting his officer in returning to camp after going to his support when so terribly wounded.
Bengal horse Artillery
Associated with Sergeant Diamond (V.C.), in an act of determined bravery at Boolundshuhur, September 28th 1857, as recorded in the sketch of that soldier.
On September 28th 1857, at Boolundshuhur, Captain Drysdale?s horse was shot, and he was thrown heavily, breaking his collarbone. Kells, dashing to his rescue, kept the enemy at bay until help arrived, and was the means of saving him from certain death. The portrait of this gallant lancer shows him in the uniform of the Yeoman of the Guard, in which corps he is still serving. In July 1901 was presented with the Royal Victorian Medal by H.M. The King.
J. R. ROBERTS
Decorated for conspicuous gallantry and devotion at Boolundshuhur, September 28th 1857, when, under a most galling fire, he brought a wounded comrade through the streets, being himself badly injured during his humae act.
JOHN CHARLES CAMPBELL DAUNT
(Lieutenant, afterwards Lieut, -Colonel)
11th (Late 70th)
Bengal Native Infantry
Decorated for conspicuous courage at Chota Behar, on October 2nd 1857, when in action against the mutineers of the Ramgurgh Battalion. One-third of the detachment had been mown down by grapeshot from two guns, when Daunt, in company with Dennis Dynon (V.C.), charged at the gunners, shot them down and captured both pieces.
Lieutenant Daunt was also specially mentioned for his gallantry on November 2nd 1857, when he pursued the mutineers of the 32nd Bengal Native Infantry. Driving them across a plain into a thick cultivation, he, with a small party of Rattray?s Sikhs, followed and attacked them , being himself dangerously wounded in the struggle. The mutineers greatly outnumbered Daunt?s little force, and the ultimate preservation of nay of the Sikhs was due to his courageous conduct and skilful leading.
Associated with Lieutenant J. C. C. Daunt, V.C., in heroically dashing at end capturing two guns from the mutineers of the Ramgurgh battalion on October 2nd 1857, at Chota Behar.
1st Battalion 5th
Decorated for conspicuous bravery at Lucknow, October 2nd 1857, when, at the capture of the guns of the Cawnpore Battery, he was the first man to arrive. On December 22nd following he was again the first in another battery which was assaulted, and its guns, which had poured grape into our advancing columns, captured. The Gazette stated that ?upon every occasion of attack McHale had been the first to meet the enemy, amongst whom he caused such consternation by his terrific onslaught that little work was left to his comrades coming up behind. His habitual coolness, daring and sustained bravery in action, has rendered his name a household word for gallantry among his comrades.?
The following account of McHale?s career, copied from the Regimental Records, was given to the author some year?s ago-
?No. 2626, ?Pat? McHale, as he was generally called, enlisted for the 5th Fusiliers on December 18th 1847. He was then twenty-one years old, and joined the depot at Parkhurst Barracks, Isle of Wight.
?Having passed his recruit?s drill he embarked for Foreign Service on
board the Lady Edmondsbury, and sailed from Cowes on the following 8th
of May for the Island of Mauritius. At
this time McHale was a most powerful man, standing about six feet two inches,
and with square shoulders and chest in proportion; he is what we call a ?fine
soldier.? His complexion was fair, hair sandy, and his face much
freckled. Pat was no scholar; he
could neither read nor write.
?Landing at the Mauritius on August 19th 1848, Pat served nine years in that beautiful island, doing his duty as a good and steady soldier.
?Arriving with the headquarter of the regiment in India in 1857, he proceeded with his company towards the North-Western Provinces and was at the relief of Arrah and the operations in the Jugdeespore district.
?On September 3rd, Pat with his detachment rejoined the headquarter at Allhabad and marched with it on the 5th towards Cawnnpore. Proceeding with Havelock?s column for the relief of Lucknow Residency, he was present at the Battle of Mungulwar, the capture of the Alumbagh, and the first relief of Lucknow on September 25th. In these actions Pat was always to the front, and, without fear for himself, performed valorous deeds with his bayonet, when the Sepoys would allow him to get near enough.
?We have now arrived at the period when the regiment was besieged for nearly two months in the Lucknow Residency. McHale shared cheerfully the hardships and privations of that time and took part in the various sallies made for the purpose of capturing guns from the enemy and clearing the surrounding houses and other obstacles too closely situated, which gave shelter to the mutineers. On October 2nd, at the capture of the Cawnpore Battery, he was the first man to leap into the embrasure, and he bayoneted some of the Sepoy gunners.
?On being relieved by Sir Colin Campbell in November the regiment was encamped at the Alumbagh, and was attacked to the 1st Brigade of Sir James Outram?s force. Their McHale found plenty of hard piquet duties, besides being almost constantly harassed by attacks of the enemy, but it was not until December 22nd that an opportunity occurred for the display of his undaunted courage.
?Sir James Outram, through the medium of his spies, had heard that the mutineers were about to attack him in great force. In order to defeat this purpose he, in the dead of the night, left his camp standing, and with the greater part of his force proceeded to surprise the enemy, who was bivouked some two or three miles off in a village. Marching slowly in dead silence, and with unmeasured and broken tread, the force reached a mosque, where a halt was made. At break of day Outram in a loud voice ordered the ?advance?; the enemy?s vedettes fired their carbines and bolted. Colonel Guy (5th Fusiliers) ordered the double, and, as the regiment cleared the street and issued into open space, it formed line. While this movement was being completed a gun belonging to the Sepoys situated in a tope, about 100 yards in front, was firing grape into it, and independent firing commenced as the companies formed up. No sooner was the regiment in line than the colonel gave the command to; charge?, and away it went with a cheer as a steady double. Here the first gun was captured on that day by Captain Bigge (now Major-General Bigge, retired). The enemy had bolted, leaving one gun behind them. The regiment then pursued the enemy. Our men advanced so rapidly that they drove everything before them, and the Sepoys did not do anything but run away. The enemy, however, opened fire upon them with artillery from the village of Guilee, where their main body was stationed. Our skirmishes quickly pushed the rebels through the village. They had just loaded a gun, which they had discharged at us, but they fled without stopping to fire it, for they could not force on the bullocks quickly enough to get away. The gallant McHale, one of the finest and bravest of our men (where many were fine and themselves brave), was down upon them, followed by others who were not quick as he. With a stroke from the butt of his rifle he turned the bullocks round, then set the gun and fired into the rebels the charge they had loaded it with.
?For this act, together with his bravery at the ?Cawnpore Battery,? he was unanimously elected by his comrades as one of the candidates for the V.C. The number of these decorations to be given to the regiment was limited to three, but there were others that deserved the distinction; their comrades elected the three fortunate recipients.
?McHale was at the final capture of Lucknow and also in the Campaign in Oude in 1858-9. During all this time he was never absent from his duty for a single day, and it is almost wonderful to relate that he escaped without a single scratch.
?Returning to England in 1861m he served with the regiment until it embarked for India in 1866, when he was sent with the rest of the old soldiers to Shorncliffe to form the regimental depot.
?In addition to having the Victoria Cross he was in possession of the Indian Mutiny medal with clasps for the ?Defence of Lucknow,? and ?Lucknow,? the good conduct medal and the regimental medal of merit. He died at Shorn Cliffe on October 26th 1866, and a stone erected by his comrades marks the spot where rests the remains of as good and plucky a soldier as ever served in the ranks of the Fighting Fifth.?
(Lance-Corporal, afterwards Corporal)
84th (York and Lancaster)
On October 6th 1857, at Lucknow, Lieutenant Gibaut went several times, carrying water, to extinguish a fire which had occurred in a breastwork, and he was accompanied by Lance-Corporal Jogn Sinnott on almost every fell mortally wounded, upon which Sinnott, together with Sergeants Glinn and Mullins, and Private Mullins, went out, and carried him into shelter under a heavy fire. He was twice wounded during the performance of this act, and was elected by his fellow-soldiers to receive the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Warrant.
He died at Livingstone Road, Clapham on July 20th 1896, aged 63.
DIGHTON MACNAGHTEN PROBYN
(Captain, now General, G.C.V.O., K.C.B., K.C.S.I., P.C.)
2nd Punjaub Cavalry
General Sir Hope Grant, K.C.B., in his despatch dated January 10th 1858, says of Captain Probyn: ?Has been distinguished for gallantry and daring throughout the campaign.?
During the charge of his squadron upon the rebel infantry at the battle of Agra he became separated from his men and surrounded by five or six Sepoys, who attacked him, but he defended himself from the many cuts made at him, and by the time his men had joined him had killed two of his assailants.
At another time, in fighting with a Sepoy, his horse was wounded, and he received a severe cut on the wrist from the bayonet, but after a desperate encounter he cut him down. Later on in the same day he singled out a standard-bearer, and, in face of a number of the enemy, killed him and captured the colours.
These are only a few of the many gallant deeds recorded of this brave officer.
General Probyn, born January 21st 1833, son of the late Captain G. Probyn, entered the Army in 1849. His active services include, apart from the Mutiny, the fighting on the Trans-Indian Frontier1852-7, China 1860, and Umbeyla Campaign 1863.
Has been Comptroller of the Royal Household, Keeper of the Privy Purse, Member of the council of the Duchy of Cornwall, and also of Lancaster. Equerry at present to H.M. the King. He became Captain in 1857; Major 1858; Lieut. ?Colonel 1861; Colonel 1866; Major General 1870; Lieut. ?General 1877; and attained his present rank in 1888. Was at Delhi the siege, and fought at the actions of Boolundshuhur, Allyghur and Agra, being four times mentioned in despatches; also at the battle of Kanouje, and the relief of Lucknow under Sir Colin Campbell. Received the thanks of the Governor-General (Lord Canning), and was twice mentioned in despatches. Fought at the battles of Cawnpore and Kalle Nuddee, and the storming of Lucknow in March 1858.
At Agra, on October 10th 1857, Lieutenant Jones had been shot and severely wounded. Freeman, dashing to his officer?s assistance, killed the leader of the enemy?s cavalry and kept at bay the Sepoys surrounding him. His Cross in the United Service Institute, London.
(Conductor, afterwards Hon. Major)
Ordnance Department, Bengal
On October 28th 1857, Miller was employed with heavy howitzers and ordnance stores, and attached to a detachment under the command of Colonel Cotton, C.B. The rebels had taken up their position in the serai at Futtehpore Sekra, near Agra, and, in the attack upon them, Lieutenant Glubb, of the late 38th Bengal Native Infantry, was severely wounded. Miller went to his assistance, and at great personal risk, carried him out of action. He was himself subsequently wounded and sent to Agra.
THOMAS HERNY KAVANAGH
Assistant-Commissioner in Oude
Although the garrison of the Residency of Lucknow was reached on September 26th 1857, after hard fighting by the force under Outram and Havelock, it was not actually relieved until Sir Colin Campbell?s force succeeded in fighting its way through the strongly held positions of the enemy a few weeks later. Outram and Havelock, owing to their loss in killed and wounded, were only able to form a reinforcement of the beleaguered garrison, being too weak to bring away the many wounded and the women and children. When Sir Colin Campbell?s force was approaching the city Mr. Kavanagh determined to attempt to pass through the Sepoy lines, and reach him, in order to place at his disposal his own intimate knowledge of the city and the enemy?s position. Mr. Kavanagh?s own account of his adventures on the night of November 9th gives an idea of the terrible perils he had to face, but does not make sufficiently clear the invaluable service to his country which resulted from his superhumanly heroic action. Oude was annexed in 1856, and by 1857 there were no plans of Lucknow to show Colin Campbell the intricacies of the streets. Outram and his gallant men had to force their way through miles of narrow lanes to reach the Residency, and as every yard of the way was fiercely contested great loss of life before the object was attained. Mr. Kavanagh was not only able to bring Outram?s plans for concerted action between the Residency and the relieving force, by his own intimate knowledge of the city, was able to guide the columns by a different route from what originally intended and, avoiding the city streets, reached the Residency way of the Dilkoosha Park. By this means much fighting in the well-defended narrow lanes was avoided, and therefore the relief was attained with the loss of many less lives. The indomitable courage of Mr. Kavanagh places his name among the most worthy recipients of the decoration, and there can be none who remember the terrible times of the Indian Mutiny but will be glad that the Victoria Cross Warrant was altered to enable the list to include the name of ?Lucknow Kavanagh,? the second of three ?civilians? who have been similarly rewarded.
Thomas Henry Kavanagh was born at Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, in 1820, and went to India in 1839. He was a Member of the Punjab Commission and went to Lucknow with Sir James Lawrence. He retired in 1875 as First Grade Deputy Commissioner, and died at Gibraltar, at the house of his friends, Lord Napier of Magdala, on November 11th 1882. Queen Victoria gave the Victoria Cross to him at Windsor on January 4th 1860, and in 1879 his son, Mr. Hope Kavanagh, District Superintendent of Police at Saharunpore, presented it to a Museum in Lucknow.
Mr. Kavanagh?s own account of his exploit is given below, and his
portrait in the disguise he wore on the eventful night is given in Appendix III.
Mr. Thomas Henry Kavanagh?s Narrative of his Escape from the British
Entrenchments at Lucknow to the Camp of Sir Colin Campbell, near Bunnee, for the
purpose of Acting as his Guide in is Advance for the Relief of the Besieged
While passing through the entrenchments of Lucknow about 10 o?clock a.m. on the 9th instant, I learnt that a spy had come in from Cawnpore, and that he was going back in the night as far as Alum Bagh with despatches to His Excellency Sir Colin Campbell, the Commander-in-Chief, who-it is said was approaching Lucknow with five or six thousand men.
I sought out the spy, whose name was Kunoujee Lall, and who was a nazir in the Court of the Deputy Commissioner of Durriabad before the outbreak in Oudh. He had taken letters from the entrenchments before; but I had never seen him till now. I found him intelligent, and imparted to him my desire to venture in disguise to Alum Bagh in his company. He hesitated a great deal at acting as my guide, but made no attempt to exaggerate the danger of the road. He merely urged that there was more chance of detection by our going together, and proposed that we should take different roads, and meet outside of the city; to which I objected. I left him to transact some business, my mind dwelling all the time on the means of accomplishing my object.
I had some days previously witnessed the preparation of plans which were being made by direction of Sir James Outram to assist the Commander-in-Chief in his march into Lucknow for the relief of the besieged, and it then occurred to me that some one with the requisite local knowledge ought to attempt to reach His Excellency?s camp beyond or at the Alum Bagh. The news of Sir Colin Campbell?s advance revived the idea, and I made up my mind to go myself.
At 2 o?clock, after finishing the business I was engaged upon, I mentioned to Colonel R. Napier, Chief of Sir James Outram?s Staff, that I was willing to proceed through the enemy to Alum Bagh, if the General thought my doing so would be of service to the Commander-in-Chief. He was surprised at the offer, and seemed to regard the enterprise as fought with too much danger to be assented to; but did me the favour of communicating the offer to Sir James Outram, because he considered that my zeal deserved to be brought to his notice
Sir James did not encourage me to undertake the journey, declaring that he thought it so dangerous that he would not himself have asked any officer to attempt it. I, however, spoke so confidentially of success, and treated the danger so lightly, that he at last yielded, and did me the honour of adding that if I succeeded in reaching the Commander-in-Chief my knowledge would be of great help to him.
I secretly arranged for a disguise so that my wife might not know my departure, as she was not well enough to bear the prospect of an eternal separation. When I left home about seven o?clock in the evening, she thought I was gone on duty for the night to the mines; for I was working as an Assistant Field Engineer, by order of Sir James Outram.
By 7 ? o?clock my disguise was completed and when I entered the room of Colonel Napier no one in it recognized me. I was dressed as a bud mash, or as an irregular soldier of the city, with sword and shield, native-made shoes, tight trousers, a yellow silk koortab (coat) over a tight fitting white muslin shirt, a yelloy-coloured chintz sheet thrown round my shoulders, a cream coloured turban, and a white waist-band or Kummerbund. My face, down to the shoulders, and my hands to the wrists, were coloured with lamp-black, the cork used being dipped in oil, to cause the colour to adhere a little; I could get nothing better. I had little confidence in the disguise of my features, and I trusted more to the darkness of the night; but Sir James Outram and his staff seemed satisfied, and after being provided with a small double-barrelled pistol and a pair of broad pyjamahs (trousers) over the tight drawers, I proceeded with Kunoujee Lall to the right bank of the River Goompty, running north of our entrenchments, accompanied by Captain Harding of the Irregular Cavalry.
Here we undressed, and quietly forded the river, which was only about four and a half feet deep, and about a hundred yards wide at this point. My courage failed me while in the water, and if my guide had been within reach I should, perhaps, have pulled him back and abandoned the enterprise. But he waded quickly through the stream, and, reaching the opposite bank, went crouching up a ditch for three hundred yards to a grove of low trees on the edge of a pond, where we stopped to dress. While we were here a man came down to the pond to wash, and went away again without observing us.
My confidence now returned to me, and with my tulwar (sword) resting on my shoulder, we advanced into the huts in front, where I accosted a match lockman, who answered to my remark (that the night was cold): ?It is very cold; in fact it is a cold night.? I passed him, adding that I would be colder by-and-bye.
After going six or seven hundred yards further, we reached the iron bridge over the Goompty, where we were stopped and called over by a native officer who was in an upper-storied house, and seemed to be in command of a cavalry piquet, whose horses were near the place-saddled. My guide advanced to the light, and I stayed a little back in the shade. After being told that we had come from Mundeon (our old cantonment, and then in possession of the enemy) and that we were going into the city to our homes, he let us proceed. We continued on along the left bank of the river to the stone bridge, which is about eight hundred yards from the iron bridge; passing unnoticed through a number of Sepoys and matchlock men, some of whom were escorting persons of rank in palakeens (litters) preceded by torches.
Re-crossing the Goompty by the stone bridge, we went by a sentry observed, who was closely questioning a dirtily dressed native, and into the Chunk, or principal street of the city of Lucknow, which was not illuminated so much as it used to be previous to the siege; nor was it so crowded. I jostled against several armed men in the street without being spoken to; and only met one guard of seven Sepoys, who were amusing themselves with some women of pleasure.
When issuing from the city into the country, we were challenged by a chokeydar or watchman, who without stopping us, merely asked who we were. The part of the city traversed by me that night seemed to have been deserted by at least a third of inhabitants.
I was in great spirits when we reached the green fields, into which I had not been for five months. Everything around me smelt sweet, and a carrot I took from the roadside was the most delicious I had ever tasted. I gave vent to my feelings in a conversation with Kunoujee Lall, who joined me in my admiration of the province of Oudh, and laminated that it was now in the hands of wretches whose misgovernment and rapacity was ruining it. A further walk of a few miles was accomplished in high spirits. But there was trouble before us. We had taken the wrong road, and were now quite out of our way in the Dilkoosha Park, which was occupied by the enemy. I went within twenty yards of two guns, to see what strength they were, and returned to the guide, who was in great alarm and begged I would not distrust him because of the mistake, as it was caused by his anxiety to take me away from the piquet of the enemy. I bade him not to be frightened of me, for I was not annoyed, as such accidents were not infrequent, even when there was no danger to be avoided. It was now about midnight. We endeavoured to persuade a cultivator, who was watching his crop to show the way for a short distance, but he urged old age and lameness; and another, whom I peremptorily told to come with us, ran off screaming, and alarmed the whole village. We walked quickly away into the canal running under the Char Bagh, in which I fell several times, owing to my shoes being wet and slippery and my feet sore. The shoes were hard and tight, and had rubbed the skin off my toes, and cut the flesh above the heels.
In two hours more we were again in the right direction, two women in a village we passed having kindly helped us to find it. About 1 o?clock we reached an advanced piquet of Sepoys, who told us the way, after asking where we had come from, and whither we were going. I thought it safest to go up to the piquet than to try and pass them unobserved. Kunoujee Lall now begged I would not press him to take me into Alum Bagh, as he did not know the way in, and the enemy were strongly posted around the place. I was tired, and in pain from the shoes, and would therefore have preferred going into alum Bagh, but as the guide feared attempting it, I desired him to go on to the camp of the Commander-in-chief, which he said was near Bunnee (a village eighteen miles from Lucknow) upon the Cawnpore road. The moon had risen by this time, and we could see well ahead.
By 3 o?clock we arrived at a grove of mango trees; situated on a plain, in which a man was singing at the top of his voice; I thought he was a villager, but he got alarmed on hearing us approach, and astonished us too by calling a guard of twenty-five Sepoys, all of whom asked the questions. Kunoujee Lall here lost heart for the first time, and threw away the letter entrusted to him for Sir Colin Campbell; I kept mine safe in my turban. We satisfied the guard that we were poor men travelling to Umroula, a village two miles this sides of the Commander-in-Chief?s camp, to inform a friend of the death of his brother by a shot from the British entrenchment at Lucknow, and they told us the road. They appeared to be greatly relieved on discovering that it was not their terrible foe that was only a few miles in advance of them. We went in the direction indicated by them, and after walking for half-an-hour we got into a jheel or swamp, which are numerous and large in Oudh. We had to wade through it for two hours, up to our waist in water, and through weeds; for before we found out that we were in a jheel we had gone too far to recede. I was nearly exhausted on getting out of the water, having made great exertions to force our way through the weeds, and to prevent the colour being washed off my face-it was nearly gone from my hands.
I now rested for fifteen minutes, despite the remonstrances of the guide, and went forward, passing between two piquets of the enemy, who had no sentries thrown out. It was near 4 o?clock in the morning when I stopped at the corner of a tope, or grove of trees, to sleep for an hour, which Kunoujee Lall entreated I would not do; but I thought he over-rated the danger, and, lying down, I told him to see if there was any one in the grove who would tell him where we then were.
He had not gone far when I heard the English challenge, ?Who goes there?? with a native accent: we had reached a British cavalry outpost! My eyes filled with joyful tears; I shook the Sikh officer in charge of the piquet by the and; the old soldier was as pleased as myself when he heard from whence I had come, and he was good enough to send two of his men to conduct me to the camp of the advance guard.
An officer of H.M.?s 9th Lancers, who was visiting his picquets, met me on the way, and took me to his tent, where I got dry stockings and trousers, and ?what I much needed-a glass of brandy, a liquor I had not tasted for nearly two months.
I thanked God for having safely conducted me through this dangerous enterprise; and Kunoujee Lall for the courage and intelligence with which he had conducted himself during this tries night. When we were questioned he let me speak as little as possible; he always had a ready answer, and I feel that I am indebted to him in a great measure more than to myself for my escape. It would give me great satisfaction to hear that he had been suitably rewarded.
In undertaking this enterprise, I was actuated by a sense of duty, believing that I could be of use to His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief when approaching for the relief of the besieged garrison, which had heroically resisted the attack of thirty times its own number for nearly five months within a weak and irregular entrenchment; and secondly, because I was anxious to perform some service which would ensure to me the honour of wearing our Most Gracious Majesty?s Cross.
My reception by Sir Colin Campbell and his staff cordial and kind to the utmost degree, and if I never have more than the remembrance of their condescension and of the heartfelt congratulations of Sir James Outram and of all officers of his garrison on my safe return to them, I should not repine; though to be sure-having the Victoria Cross would make me a prouder and happier man
HUGH HENRY GOUGH
(Lieutenant, now General, G.C.B.)
1st European Light Cavalry
When in command of a party of Hodson?s Horse on November 12th 1857, Lieutenant Gough displayed great bravery near the Alumbagh by charging across a swamp and attacking the defenders of two guns. Though the enemy were in greatly superior numbers he succeeded in capturing the two cannon, his turban being cut through by sword cuts while in combat with three Sepoys. On February 25th 1858, near Jellalabad, he set a very fine example to his men when ordered to charge the enemy?s guns. By his courageous leading they were taken, and during the attack he was engaged in several single combats until disabled by a bullet wound in the leg when in the act of charging two Sepoys with fixed bayonets. On that day two horses were killed under him, and he received through helmet and one through his scabbard.
Son of Mr. George Gough, of Rathronan House, Colonel, Ireland, Sir Hugh was born on November 14th 1833. Educated privately, he entered the Bengal Army in 1853. He served through the Abyssinian War and Afghan War, having been often wounded and frequently mentioned in despatches. He is a brother of Sir Charles Gough, V.C., and uncle of Major J. E. Gough, V.C., who was decorated for bravery in Somaliland on April 22nd 1903.
(Lieutenant, now General, G.C.B.)
1st Punjab Cavalry
On November 14th 1857, Lieutenant Watson, with his own squadron, came across a body of the enemy?s cavalry. The Ressaldar in command rode out at once to the front, and was singled out by him. As they approached one another the rebel lashed at him at only a yard?s distance, but without effect. (The bullet, it is believed, had previously fallen out. In those days the pistols were muzzleloaders.) A hand-to-hand struggle took place, and the Ressaldar, run through the body by Lieutenant Watson, was dismounted, but nothing daunted, drew his tulwar, and with the help of his men, returned to the attack. Our cavalry just then coming up, the enemy were routed, losing a number killed. Lieutenant Watson had received a blow on the head from a tulwar, another on the left arm, severing the chain gauntlet-glove, another on the right arm, dividing the sleeve of his jacket, and a blow on the leg, which lamed him for some days. He also received a bullet through hid coat.
Sir John Watson was born in 1829, entering the Bombay Army 1848. Served in the Punjab 1848-9; Bozdar 1857; through the Mutiny as above; and the Afghan War 1879-80. From 1881 to 1888 was Governor General?s Agent at Baroda.
HASTINGS EDWARD HARRINGTON
For his conspicuous bravery at the relief of Lucknow from November 14th to 22nd 1857, this officer was elected to receive the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Warrant.
The late Colonel F.C. Maude, V.C., in his Memoirs of the Mutiny, gives the following details of the career of Hastings Harrington, V.C., as an illustration of the temper of the times (1857)-
He (Harrington) was at Oxford pursuing his studies. The Crimean War Came. Studies seemed derogatory at such crisis, and he volunteered for service; but the authorities would only allow him to go out in the transport. He went out and worked hard at Kertch and other places, coming home through Hungary, and landed at Dover with six pence in his pocket. Bought rolls, drank water, slept under a haystack, and reached at last the old parsonage where he had been born. Then he returned to Oxford, and took a ?second? which, considering all interruptions was very fair. But the charms of adventure had been tasted, and the quiet academicals career seemed impossible. He must go somewhere. ?To India,? said O?Shaughnessy, ?in my telegraph service, the finest service in the world.? (This expression was, in a measure, hyperbolical.) So in the telegraph he came, arriving at Agra in the cold weather, and, taking his sword off the roof of the dak carriage, exclaimed, ?My old Crimean sword-I shall not want that again.? However, the summer found him in the Volunteer Cavalry-only too glad to have it still in his possession.
He died at Agra on July 20th 1861.
Royal (Bengal) Artillery
Edward Jennings was one of those engaged at the second relief of Lucknow, under Sir Colin Campbell, in November 1857. During the struggle, day and night, from the capture of the Secundra Bagh on the 16th until the actual accomplishment of the heroic enterprise on the 22nd, Jennings bravery in working the guns was noticed by all, and especially by the Commander-in-Chief himself, who, although wounded, had scarcely quitted the saddle the whole time. With him are associated Lieutenant H. E. Harrington, Gunners J. Park, T. Laughnan, and H. McInnes, all the whom, under Clause 13 of the Royal Warrant, were elected by their comrades, and in due course (Christmas Eve 1858) were gazetted. Jennings survived his comrades by many years, working to the last as a corporation street labourer at Shields, and died a few years ago aged 74.
Elected under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, for conspicuous bravery during the relief of Lucknow from November 14th to 22nd 1857.
Elected under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, for conspicuous bravery during the relief of Lucknow from November 14th to 22nd 1857.
Elected under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, for his conspicuous bravery during the relief of Lucknow from November 14th to 22nd 1857.
FRANCIS DAVID MILLETT BROWN
1st European Bengal Fusiliers
At Narnoul on November 16th 1857, this officer rushed to the assistance of a wounded soldier of his regiment and, although the enemy?s cavalry were within fifty yards of him at the time, he carried him away to safety.
At the attack on the Secundra Bagh at Lucknow, November 16th 1857, Dunley was the first surviving man of his regiment who entered the trench. He was particularly noticeable in his conduct, gallantly supporting Captain Burroughs against heavy odds. Elected by the private soldiers of the 93rd Regiment under Rule 13 of the Warrant.
ALFRED KIRKE FFRENCH
The conduct of this officer was highly praised by the whole of the Grenadier Company, which he was commanding at the taking of the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, November 16th 1857, and he was elected to receive the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Warrant. He was one of the first to enter the building.
Elected under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, for his bravery at the storming of the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, November 16th 1857. Lieut. ?Colonel Ewart had most gallantly captured a colour from the mutineers, and, while striving to get it away through the masses of Sepoys, was furiously attacked by them. Grant kept close to his colonel, and defended him, and having seized one of the enemy?s swords, killed five of them himself. The colour was eventually safely carried out.
JOHN CHRISTOPHER GUISE
(Major, afterwards Lieut. ?General, C.B.)
90th (Perthshire Volunteers I.
I.) The Scottish Rifles
Major Guise was awarded the Cross-for conspicuous gallantry in action at Lucknow, on November 16th and 17th 1857. The acts or acts of gallantry being of a general character, no details as to the specific instances are given in the official documents, beyond that he was chosen by the officers of the regiment as being the most worthy and distinguished among them all, some thirty-five or forty inn number, including the present Field-Marshal Viscount Wolseley, then a young captain with the 90th.
General Guise died on February 5th 1895 (on the same day as Major-General Montresor Rogers, V.C., who had served with him before Sebastopol). He was the son of General Sir J. Guise, Bart., G.C.B., and was born on July 27th 1826. Endign, June 1845, and forty-five years afterwards became Colonel of the Leicestershire Regiment.
(Lieutenant, Now Admiral of the Fleet, G.C.B.)
On November 16th 1857, at the attack on the Shah Nujjiff at Lucknow, the rebels, who were posted behind the gateway, poured a very severe fire upon the Naval Brigade. As no sufficiently effective reply could be given from the front, Captain Peel, V.C., called for volunteers to climb a tree overlooking the gate, and fire at the enemy. Lieutenant Salmon promptly answered, and, in company with Boatswain Harrison (V.C.), shot so well from the advantageous position that the enemy?s defence was considerably weakened, and shortly afterwards the place was captured.
Admiral Salmon, son of the Rev. H. Salmon, Rector of Swarraton, Hants was born on February 20th 1835. Educated at Marlborough. Served in the Baltic operations 1854, and the Mutiny as stated above. Was A.D.C. to the Queen 1875-9; Commander-in-Chief on the Cape and West African Station 1881-5; held the same position in China 1888-90; and at Portsmouth 1894.
When Sir Colin Campbell reached the city of Lucknow at the end of his famous march to the relief of the beleaguered Residency, the Shah Nujjiff was one of the most stubbornly defended posts held by the mutineers on November 16th 1857. A very heavy fire was poured upon us from a gate at the angle of the defences, and Captain Peel, V.C., called for volunteers to climb a large tree overlooking the inner fortifications and fire upon the enemy. Harrison and Lieutenant Nowell Salomon (V.C.) (now Admiral, G.C.B.) performed this dangerous service, and worked great havoc on those inside.
Harrison died on December 25th 1865.
THOMAS JAMES YOUNG
(Lieutenant, afterwards Commander)
Captain Peel, V.C., recommended Lieutenant Young for the Victoria Cross for his conspicuous courage while serving the naval gun at the attack on the Shah Nujjiff, at Lucknow, on November 16th 1857.
He died at Caen, France, on March 20th 1869.
Naval Brigade, Royal Navy
During Sir Colin Campbell?s advance to the final relief of the Lucknow Residency on November 16th 1857, William Hall, ?Captain of the Foretop? of H.M.S. Shannon, was with the guns of Peel?s Naval Brigade, and was conspicuous for his fearless bravery at the attack on the Shah Nujjiff, one of the stoutest defences of the mutineers around Lucknow. Hall is one of the three men of colour who have been awarded the Victoria Cross. The other two are Samuel Hodge and W. J. Gordon.
On November 16th and 17th 1857, Hill?s bravery was most conspicuous. At the storming of the Secundra Bagh he saved the life of Captain Irby, by warding off a blow, aimed at his head with a tulwar, by a Sepoy. He also went out under a heavy fire to the assistance of two wounded men. Throughout the entire operations for the relief of Lucknow this man?s conduct was very noticeable, and he was elected under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant.
Elected by the Private soldiers of the regiment for his conspicuous bravery at the taking of the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, November 16th 1857, when although severely wounded in the shoulder, he was one of the first of his regiment to enter the place under a terrific fire.
Elected by the private soldiers of his regiment for his gallant conduct and fearless bravery at the assault on the Secundra Bagh,Lucknow, on November 16th 1857, when in spite of a most heavy crossfire, he volunteered to bring up fresh ammunition to his company.
At the capture of the secundra Bagh at Lucknow, November 16th 1857, MacKay displayed the greatest gallantry in capturing one of the standards of the enemy, after a most obstinate resistance on their part. Afterwards, at the capture of the strong defence, the Shah Nujjiff, he was severely wounded. His comrades elected him to receive the decoration of the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Warrant.
93rd Regiment (Argyll and
Decorated for his devoted gallantry on November 16th 1857, at the attack on the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, during Sir Colin Campbell?s advance to the relief of the Residency. Captain Walsh had fallen severely wounded and was in imminent danger of being killed by the Sepoys, when Munro rushed to his assistance, carried him to a place of safety, and saved his life. He himself was shortly afterwards brought in dangerously wounded.
His Victoria Cross is in the United Services Institute, in London.
93rd Regiment (Argyll and
At the Shah Nujjiff, Novemebr 16th 1857, Peel?s naval guns had been firing point blank at the walls, endeavouring to force a breach for the eager Highlanders to rush in, but the strength of the masonry was such that it seemed a hopeless task. An attempt was about to be made to carry the place by assault, when Sergeant Paton hurried up with the report that he had an opening. On his own initiative, and quite alone, he had crept around the stronghold to, if possible, discover a means of entry, and found that the shot?s from our heavy guns had at the commencement gone over the front and made a beach in the rear defences, through which he guided his regiment. The enemy were taken in rear, and a general stampede took place leaving the Shah Nujjiff in our hands. Born on December 23rd 1883, at Stirling, Paton enlisted in the 42nd Highlanders on March 20th 1848, but volunteered into the 93rd at the outbreak of the Crimean War. After the Mutiny, he left the Army in 1861, went to Sydney, joined the Prison Service, and eventually became Governor of Goulburn Gaol, retiring in 1896.
1st Madras Fusiliers
This gallant soldier was elected to receive the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Warrant by the soldiers of the detachment of his regiment. His bravery was most marked at the storming of the Secundra Bagh, November 16th 1857. When the gateway on the north side had been burst open, he was of the first to enter, being instantly surrounded by a mass of the enemy, from whom he received a sword cut on the head, a bayonet wound in the left side, and a blow from the butt-end of a musket on the right shoulder. In spite of all those wounds he gallantly held out and for the rest of the day continued fighting most splendidly.
WILLIAM GEORGE DRUMMOND STEWART
(Captain, afterwards Major Sir W. G. D. Stewart, Bart
On November 16th 1857, this officer led a brilliant charge upon two of the enemy?s guns, which were brought to bear upon our troops, and inflicting severe damage. By the capture of these cannon the position of the mess-house was secured. Under Rule 13 of the Warrant this officer was decorated with the Victoria Cross.
elected by his comrades of the regiment under Rule 13th of the warrant, for his conspicuous bravery at Lucknow, November 17th 1857, when he carried a wounded soldier under heavy fire to a place of safety.
(Sergeant Major, afterwards Ensign)
Elected by the non-commissioned officers of his regiment was in action, and particularly on November 17th 1857, at Lucknow, when he carried up ammunition to the mess house under terrific fire.
THOMAS BERNARD HACKETT
(Lieutenant, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
At the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, on November 18th 1857, a young corporal of the 23rd was dangerously wounded, and lay in an exposed position under fire of the enemy. Lieutenant Hackett and George Monger (V.C.), seeing his danger, rushed out and, placing him between them, brought him under cover, and, promptly procuring medical aid, his life was saved. On the same date Lieutenant Hackett displayed conspicuous courage in getting on to the roof of a burning bungalow, from which he tore the thatch to prevent the fire spreading. While doing this he became the target for hundreds of Sepoys in the houses close by, who poured on him an incessant fire. It is said to relate that he eventually met his death by the explosion of his own some years ago in Ireland.
At the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, on November 18th 1857, Monger displayed great bravery in accompanying Lieutenant Hackett (V.C.) to assist in carrying in a corporal of his regiment who, being wounded, was lying in a most exposed position.
HENRY NORTH DALRYMPLE PRENDERGAST
(Lieutenant, now General G.C.B.)
Royal (Madras) Engineers
On November 21st 1857, at Mundisore, Lieutenant G. Dew, of the 14th Hussars, was in imminent danger of being shot by a Velaitee, who covered him from the rear with his musket. Lieutenant Prendergast rushed at him and cut him down, but not before being wounded himself by the discharge of the piece. His gallant action saved the life of Lieutenant Dew, but he was almost cut down in his turn, had not Major Orr killed the rebel. He also distinguished himself at the actions of Ratgurh and Betwa, being severely wounded.
Major-General Sir Hugh Rose, in forwarding his recommendation of this
?Lieutenant Prendergast was specially mentioned by Brigadier Stuart for
the gallant act at Mundisore when he was severely wounded; secondly; he was
specially mentioned by men when acting as my A.D.C. in the action before
besieging Ratgurgh on the Beena River for gallant conduct.
His horse was killed on that occasion.
Thirdly, at the action of the ?Betwa,? he again voluntarily acted as
my A.D.C. and distinguished himself by his bravery in the charge, which I made
with Captain Need?s troop, against the left of the Peishwa?s army under
Tantia Topee. He was severely
wounded on that occasion.?
Son of Thomas Prendergast, Madras Civil Service, Sir Henry Prendergast was born in India, October 15th 1834. Educated at Cheam School, Brighton College and Addiscombe, he entered the Army in 1854, serving in the Persian War, 1856-7; with the Field force 1857, and the Central India Field Force 1858, in the two latter services being severely wounded and mentioned in despatches; through the Abyssinian War 1868, and the Indian Expedition to the Mediterranean 1878; Upper Burma 1885-6, being thanked by Her Majesty Queen Victoria and the government of India. Has held many distinguished positions in Travancore and Cochin 1887; Mysore and Coorg 1887 and 1891; Baroda 1889; Baluchistan 1889.
Royal (Indian) Navy
On November 22nd 1857, the Indian Naval Brigade (abolished in 1863) was quartered at Dacca, in Bengal, and under the command of Lieutenant T. E. Lewis, R.N. The Sepoys at that station having mutinied, orders were received to disarm them, and three of their ?Guards? showed no resistance. The fourth, however, drawn up on the Lall Bagh with two 6-pounder field guns, had loop-holed the hospital ad their barracks, and on the Naval brigade entering the enclosure and forming into line, the native officer gave the order to fire, which was promptly responded to by his troops. The sailors replied with a volley, and charged the barracks on the hill, breaking the barracks on the hill, breaking down the doors, their howitzers firing at the enemy?s two guns, one of which commenced to blaze away at those of our men who had worked their way along the higher ground. When at the further end of the hill, the officer in command gave the order, ?Take those guns,? whereupon Mr. Mayo, collecting a few men, called on them to follow him, and with a cheer they rushed down the hill. The sepoys working the gun for which Mayo?s party were making, now dispersed the muzzle, and when the sailors were within a few yards of it one of them was in the act of applying a port-fire, when he was fortunately shot. A second Sepoy sprang forward to finish the work, but Mr. Mayo and his men on him, and, before he could reach the powder, was cut down, and all his rebellious crew round the gun promptly slain, the two guns being turned upon the now retreating rebels. During the charge Mr. Mayo was fully twenty yards ahead of his party. On another occasion, during an expedition into the Abor Hills, on February 27th 1859, the Naval Brigade took seven well-defended stockades. One of these was across a nullah over which was a wooden bridge. The bugle from headquarters sounded, ?Cease firing,? but arrows were raining round Mr. Mayo?s party, and he asked the C.O. not to hear it, urging that the party should push on. Though warned that the bridge across the nullah was probably cut, he led his men across it, and, reaching the opposite side in safety, dashed for the stockade and got over it. The last stubbornly defended by natives with arrows, spears and stones, and during the attack upon it he was truck in the hand by a poisoned arrow. Stopping to suck the wound, the men thought he was badly injured, and hesitated to go on, but he dashed forward again, calling out that he was not hurt, and the place was taken. The fighting lasted for five hours, and Mr Mayo was mentioned in despatches for his gallantry throughout the entire time.
Born in 1840, Mr Mayo was just 17 years old when he won the Victoria Cross-one of the youngest of its recipients. He was invalided home in 1860, matriculated at Oxford in 1862, took his B.A. degree 1865, and was ordained Deacon of the Exter Diocese in 1866. He served as Assistant-Curate at St. Peter?s, Plymouth, for one year and eight months, and was received into the Catholic Church November 5th 1867, at Farm Street.
At Lucknow, on November 28th 1857, Flinn displayed the utmost bravery in charging on the enemy?s guns, and, though severely wounded, he engaed in a hand-to-hand encounter with two-rebel artillerymen.
FREDERICK SLEIGH ROBERTS
(Lieutenant, now Field-Marshal Earl Roberts of Kandahar, Pretoria and Waterford, P.C., K.P., G.C.B., O.M., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., D.C.L.,LL.D)
The Victoria Cross was awarded to this officer, now the best-known soldier throughout the British Empire, for two special acts of bravery and devotion during the Indian Mutiny, and for conspicuous gallantry throughout the entire operations of that troubles time. He received the decoration from the hands of H.M. the Queen at Buckingham Palace on June 8th 1859. At Khodagunge on January 2nd 1858, while following up the retreating enemy, he saw two Sepoys escaping with a standard. Riding straight for them, he overtook them as they were entering a village. Both men turned and faced him, but Roberts dashed at them, and, while wrenching the standard from the hands of one of them, whom he had cut down, the other levelled his musket point-blank at him and pulled the trigger, but fortunately it missed fire, and Roberts rode off with the standard. On the same day he went to the rescue of a Sowar, who was being attacked by a rebel armed with a bayonet. Riding up to them, he engaged the Sepoy, parried a blow aimed at him, and cut his assailant a terrific blow across the face with his sword, killing him instantly.
Earl Roberts, son of General Sir Abraham Roberts, was born at Cawnpore India, on September 30th 1832. Educated at Eton, Sandhurst and Addiscombe, he obtained his 2nd Lieutenancy in the Bengal Artillery in 1851, becoming 1st Lieutenant 1857; Captain 1860; Brevet-Major 1860; Brevet Lieut. ?Colonel 1868; Brevet-Colonel 1875; Major-General 1878; Lieut-General, 1883; General 1890; Field-Marshal 1895. His war records number more battles than any other soldier, and his services to his country are too numerous to mention in these pages. He served through, the Indian Mutiny, and took part in the siege and capture of Delhi, and the actions of Boolundshuhur, Aligarh, Agra, Kanauj, Bantharra, relief of Lucknow, Cawnpore Khodagunge, Futtehghur, storming of Mianganj, siege of Lucknow, storming of Laloo; capture of Umbeyla; destruction of Malka. Served in Abyssinian Expedition, 1867-8; Lushai Expedition 1871-2; capture of Kholelvillages and attack on Murtland Range. In command of the Kuram Valley Field Force, at capture of Peiwar Kotal; attack in sapari Pass; occupation of khost, and reconnaissance up Kuram River. Commander Kabul Field Force at battle of Charasiahm, capture of Kabul, and operations near Sherpur in December 1879. Commanded the Field force, which marched to the relief of Kandahar, and fought the battle of that name. In command of the army in Burma 1886. In December 1889, went out to South Africa as Commander-in-chief; relieved Limberley, and on the nineteenth anniversary of ?Majuba? ttok Cronje and the Boer army in the west prisoners.
Has been twice thanked off both Houses of Parliament, August 4th 1879, and May 5th 1881, and on several occasions by the Indian Government; D.A.Q.M.G. during Indian Mutiny; A.Q.M.G. (Bengal) 1863-8; 1st A.Q.M.G., 1869-72; D.Q.M.G., 1872-5; Q.M.G. in India 1875-8. Commander-in-Chief, Madras, 1881-5; India, 1885-93; of the Forces in Ireland 1895. Up to the year 1879 had been twenty-three times mentioned in despatches, and possesses the following medals; Indian Mutiny clasps for Delhi, Relief of Lucknow, Siege of Lucknow. Indian Frontier medal with clasps for Umbeyla, Lushai and Burma; Abyssinia; Afghan War, with clasps for Peiwar Kotal, Charasia, Kabul, and Kandahar; Kabul-Kandahar bronze star; Queen;s South African with six clasps. Received the following honorary degrees: D.C.L., Oxford 1881, LL.D., Dublin 1880l LL.D, Cambridge 1893; LL.D, Edinburgh 1893. Has received the freedom of the following cities: London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Dundee, Waterford, Cardiff, chesterfield, Inverness, Wick and Dunbar.
Lieutenant Hon. F.H.S. Roberts, son of the Commander-in-chef, was recommended for, and would have received, the Victoria Cross for his heroic attempts to save the guns at Colenso in 1899 had he survived the wounds received on that occasion.
Earl Roberts retired in February 1904, and the following appeared in the
Times of February 19th
?The following special Army Order, expressing the King?s thanks to
Lord Roberts on his retirement, was issued last night by the Army council, and
as it is the first Army Order published under the new organization, is
reproduced by us in the exact from in which it was issued-
?Febuary 18th 1904.
?The following is promulgated to the Army by direction
of the Army council-
?RETIRMENT OF FIELD-MARSHAL EARL ROBERTS, K.G., V.C.
?His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to
direct the issue of the following order to the Army-
?February 18th 1904.
?I desire on behalf of My Army to express my deep regret at taking leave of Field-Marshal Earl Roberts, K.G., V.C., who retires from active employment on relinquishing the high office of Commander-in-Chief, which will not again be filled.
?For over fifty years, the field marshal has served Queen Victoria. My beloved and lamented Mother, and Myself, in India, in Africa, and at home with the highest distinction. During that long period he has performed every duty entrusted to him with unswerving zeal and unfailing success.
?I am unable to part with My Commander-in-chief, without returning publicly to him My thanks, and those of My Army which he has commanded, for the invaluable services he has rendered to My Empire, and I ask all ranks of My army to profit by the example if his illustrious careers, and of his single minded devotion to his Sovereign and to his country.
?EDWARD R. et I.
?By order of the army council,
?E. W. D. WARD.?
Decorated for great gallantry at the capture of Rowa, and entrenched town, on January 6th 1858. He engaged in hand-to-hand fight with three men killing one, and wounding two others. He received five severe sabre-cuts, and a bullet wound during this action.
Decorated for conspicuous bravery at Shumsabad, on January 17th 1858, when he rescued Private Kidd from the centre of a band of rebels. Kidd?s horse had fallen and he was badly wounded, and to reach him had to cut his way through several of the enemy.
JOHN ADAM TYTLER
(Lieutenant, afterwards Colonel, C.B.)
66th (Ghoorka) Bengal Native
Decorated for his conspicuous courage on February 10th 1858, on the occasion of the action at Choorpoorah. The attacking parties were approaching the enemy?s position under a heavy fire of round-shot, grape and musketry, when Lieutenant Tytler dashed, ahead of his men, straight for the guns and engaged the rebels in a hand-to-hand fight until support came up.
He was shot through the left arm, received a spear-wound in the chest, and a bullet through the right sleeve of his coat.
Colonel Tytler became Ensign in the East India Company?s service on Dec 10th 1844; Captain, April 1859, Major 1864; and Colonel 1870. Serbed against the tribesmen round Peshawur 1851-3. In 1863 commanded a ghoorka battalion in the Black Mountain Expedition.
JOHN JAMES McLEOD INNES
(Lieutenant, now Lieut. ?General, Retired)
Royal (Bengal) Engineers
Sultanpore was held in force by the rebels, and was attacked on February 23rd 1858. A line of skirmishes covered the advance. In the far distance the guns of the enemy could be seen. Our skirmishers were closely pressing them, and, abandoning a gun, they were retiring, only to take up a fresh position. Here they had loaded a heavy piece, the fire from which would have ploughed through the column, had not Lieutenant Innes dashed ahead a one and shot the gunner before he could fire, remaining undaunted, the mark for hundreds of matchlocks and riflemen sheltered in huts close by, and beating back the gunners until aid reached him. By his courageous act the guns were captured, the rebels routed, and many lives were saved.
FREDERICK ROBERTSON AIKMAN
(Lieutenant- afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
4th Bengal Native Infantry
At daybreak on March 1st 1858, near Lucknow, Lieutenant Aikman obtained information that 500 rebel cavalry, 200 horse and two guns under Moosahib Ali Chuckbdar, were three miles off the high road. With only 100 of his men he attacked them without hesitation, utterly routed them, killed 100 of them, captured the guns, and drove the survivors into and over the river Goomtee. This splendid feat was accomplished under the great disadvantage of broken ground, and under the heavy flanking fire of an adjacent fort. During the encounter Lieutenant Aikman received a severe sabre-cut across the face.
Colonel Aikman was Commandant for many years of the Royal East Middlesex Militia, and had been a member of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms from May 13th 1865. On October 6th 1888, he dropped dead while attending a ball in Scotland.
9th (Queen?s Royal) Lancers
This brave young soldier took p[art in the siege and capture of Lucknow in 1858. On March 6th, while in action with the enemy?s cavalry, he coolly dismounted, took up Major Smyth, 2nd Dragoon Guards, who was thought to be only severely wounded, and attempted to remove him off the field. This, at first, he was unable to accomplish, being surrounded by the enemy?s horse. Nothing daunted, he made a second attempt, this time under a heavy fire, and succeeding in his endeavours-in defence of the rabble around him-removed the officer?s body out of reach of those waiting to mutilate it.
William goat?s Cross with Mutiny medal was sold in London, in May 1902 for ?85.
THOMAS ADAIR BUTLER
(Lieutenant, afterwards Colonel)
1st Bengal Fusiliers (Late 101st)
On March 9th 1858, during the capture of Lucknow, the heavy guns were being placed in position when Major Lothair Nicholson, Outram?s Commanding Engineer, thought that he saw the enemy?s first line being abandoned, but could not be quite sure. It was most necessary to ascertain for certain whether this was the case, as the infantry of Hope?s brigade, which had attacked and driven the rebels out of the Martiniere, could have seen preparing to assault the works at the other side of the river. Lieutenant Butler volunteered to swim across the Goomtee River, and, if he found the enemy had retired, communicate the fact of Hope?s men.
This fact was successfully accomplished by the brave young officer, who, swimming across, mounted a parapet, and, until the completion of his dangerous task, was exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy?s guns.
Fitchett relates an extraordinary incident, which happened to Lieutenant Butler at the storming of Delhi on September 14th 1857, at the Burn Bastion. While some of our men were fighting up a narrow lane where the fire of the enemy, concentrated on so narrow a space, was perfectly murderous, we were compelled to retire for a while, but some refused to do so and actually reached the screen through which the Sepoys were firing their guns. One of these was Olieutenant Butler, of the 1st Bengal Fusiliers. As he came at the run through the white smoke he struck the screen heavily with his body; at that moment two sepoys on the inner side thrust through the screen with their bayonets. The shining deadly points of steel passed on either of Butler?s body and he was pinned between them as between the prongs of a fork! Butlwe, twisting his head he saw through a loop hole the faces of the two Sepoys, who held the bayonets and who were still vehemently pushing, under the belief that they held their enemy impaled. With his revolver he coolly shot them both, and then fell back, pelted with bullets, but somehow unhurt, to his comrades who were re-forming for a second charge at the head of the lane.
Colonel Thomas Adair Butler, born in 1836, was the son of the Rev. Stephen Butler. Educated privately, joining the Army in 1854. Served through the Great Mutiny from June 10th 1857; in all the engagements under the walls of Delhi; galloper to Brigadier-General Nicholson at the action of Nujjufguhr and took paer in the storming of the Mogul capital, being wounded in that action; took part in the actions of Gungeree, Puttialee, and Mynpoorie, and was present at the storming of Lucknow, where he gained the Victoria Cross as described; served in the North-West Frontier Campaign 1863; present at the attack on the Craig Picket, Conical Hill and Umbeyla. He died at Lyndale, Camberley, in November 1901.
FRANCIS EDWARD HENRY FARQUHARSON
(Lieutenant) 42nd Regiment
Decorated for conspicuous bravery before Lucknow, on March 9th 1858, when he led a party of men and stormed a bastion, mounting two guns, which he succeeded in spiking. By his gallant action the advanced position taken and held by our men during the night was made secure from the fire of artillery.
Lieutenant Farquharson was severely wounded on the following day while holding an advanced position.
(Lieutenant and Adjutant, afterwards Major General)
93rd (Argyll and Sutherland) Highlanders
Decorated for his extraordinary bravery on March 11th 1858, when, quite alone, he attacked and killed eleven of the enemy in the main breach of the Begum Bagh, Lucknow.
Forbes-Mitchell, in his Reminiscences of the Great Mutiyn, relates how Lieutenant McBean, with Sergeant Hutchinson and Drummer Ross, a boy of about twelve years of age, climbed to the top of the dome of the Shah Nujjiff by means of a rude rope ladder, which was fixed, on it. This was during the relief of Lucknow by Sir Colin Campbell?s force, and the reason for this daring adventure (for the enemy on the Badshahibagh saw them and turned their guns on them) was in order to signal to the garrison of the Residency to let them know the position of the relieving force.
Describing the assault on the Begum?s Kothee, the same author relates the act for which William McBean was awarded the Victoria Cross. After the assault the men were broken up into small parties in a series of separate fights all over the different detached buildings of the palace. ?Willie? McBean, as the officers, but ?Paddy? McBean to the men knew him, encountered a havildar, a naik, and nine Sepoys at one gate, and killed the whole eleven one after the other. The havildar was the last; and, by the time he got out through the narrow gate, several men came to the assistance of McBean, but he called to them not to interfere, and the havildar and he went at it with their swords. At length McBean made a feint cut, but instead gave the point, and put his sword through the chest of his opponent.
McBean was an Inverness-shire ploughman before he enlisted, and rose from the ranks to command the regiment and died a Major General. It is said of him that when he first joined the regiment he walked with a rolling gait and the drill corporal was rather abusive with him when learning his drill. At last he became so offensive that another recruit proposed to McBean, who was a very powerful man, that they should call the corporal behind the canteen in the barrack yard and give him a good thrashing, to which proposal McBean replied: ?Toots, toots, man, that would never do. I am going to command this regiment before I leave it and it would be an ill beginning to be brought before the colonel for thrashing the drill-corporal.? McBean kept to his purpose and did live to command the regiment through every rank from private to Major General.
(Captain, afterwards Colonel, K.C.B.)
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
On March 11th 1858, Captain Wilmot, when his company was engaged with a large force of the enemy near the Iron Bridge, Lucknow, found himself with only four men at the end of a street, and a very large body of the enemy opposed to him. One of the men fell, shot through both legs. Corporal Nash and Private D. Hawke?s (although the latter was wounded) took him up and carried him away a very long-distance, under a severe fire from the enemy, while Captain Wilmot covered their retreat, using the men?s rifle in turn.
Sir Henry Wilmot, born February 3rd 1831, was the son of the late Sir Henry Sacheverel Wilmot. Educated at Rugby, he joined the 43rd Light Infantry in 1849. In 1851, on obtaining his company, he was transferred to the Rifle Brigade, the 2nd Battalion of which he joined in the Crimean War, January 1856. In July 1857, he sailed for India, and after the siege of LuckHope Grant as Deputy-Judge-Advocate-General in Oude. In 1860 as Judge-Advocate-General of the expeditionary force, he took part in the campaign in China, which terminated his active services.
He died at his residence, Chaltenden on April 7th 1901.
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
Associated with the late Sir H. Wilmot (V.C.), in a very brave act at the Iron Bridge, Lucknow on March 11th 1858. Hawkes died in 1859, shortly after being gazetted.
2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
Associated with Sir Henry Wilmot (V.C.), in a most courageous and humane action near the Iron Bridge at Lucknow March 11th 1858.
On March 13th 1858, at the siege of Lucknow, the battery served by the Naval Brigade ignited, owing to the sandbags catching fire. Edward Robinson dashed up and, under a terrific fire from the enemy, who were only fifty yards distant, succeeded in extinguishing the flames, being dangerously wounded during this heroic act.
He died at Windsor on October 2nd 1896.
RICHARD HARTE KEATINGE
(Major, afterwards General, C.S.I.)
Royal (Bombay) Artillery
Major Keatinge rendered most efficient aid at the assault and capture of the stronghold of Chandairee on March 17th 1858. Placing himself at the head of the column, he led it through the breach, which was protected by a heavy crossfire, and was first to enter, where he fell severely wounded. He had been, the night before, with his servant to examine a small path leading across the ditch, and his knowledge of this saved the column from dreadful loss. Having cleared the breach, he struggled up and led his men into the fort, where he was again struck down by another bullet.
The Commander-in-chief (Sir Colin Campbell) states, ?that the success at Chandairee was mainly owing to this officer, whose gallantry, really brilliant, he considers was equalled by his ability and devotion.? Major Keatinge was at the time Political Officer with a Brigade of the Central India Field Force.
General Keatinge, son of the late Right Honourable Richard Keatine, was born at Dublin on June 17th 1825. After the Mutiny he served in the Sathpoora Hills in 1858 and again in 1859, and with Parke?s Brigade in pursuit of Tantia Topee in 1858. Commanded Field Detachments against the Wagheers in 1865. Died at Horsham May 25th 1904.
WILLIAM GEORGE HAWTREY BANKES
On Arch 19th 1858, near the Moosa Bagh, Lucknow, this young officer twice charged a body of infuriated fanatics who had rushed on the guns employed in shelling a small mud-fort. He received terrible wounds on that occasion, and died eighteen days later, April 6th 1858. It is stated that his conduct in the action referred to excited the admiration of all, whilst universal sympathy was extended to him for the terrible sufferings he had to undergo, borne with great fortitude by him until his death, both his arms and legs being mutilated. The Commander-in-Chief in India provisionally conferred the Victoria Cross upon him before his death, and a notice appeared in the Gazette of December 24th 1858, stating that Her Majesty Queen Victoria would have confirmed the award had he survived.
Born September 11th 1836, William Bankes was the son of the right Honourable George Bankes, M.P., of Kingston Lacy and Corfe Castle. Educated at Westminster School, he joined the Army in April 1857. He served in the Indian Mutiny under Sir Colin Campbell in Oude, including the repulse of the enemy at the Alumbagh, February 25th; the siege of Lucknow from March 2nd to 16th; and the advance on the Moosa Bagh, where he met his death.
Decorated for his bravery at Lucknow on March 19th 1858, when, under a heavy fire of musketry, he went to the assistance of a comrade whose horse had fallen on bad ground, and brought him away to safety.
(Troops Sergeant Major)
On March 19th 1858, this non-commissioned officer displayed conspicuous bravery near Lucknow in having, with one other soldier; attacked eight mutineers posted in a nullah, and killed three of them.
AYLMER SPICER CAMERON
(Lieutenant, Now Colonel, C.B.)
72nd Regiment (1st Seaforth Highlanders)
In March 1858, the 72nd were marching and fighting day and night in the jungle between Neemuch and Gwalior. On the 30th an armed band, which was strongly posted in a loop holed building in Kotah, was attacked. Lieutenant Cameron headed a small party of his regiment and stormed the place, killing, single-handed, three of the defenders. He was severely tulwar (native sword) cut.
Colonel Cameron, born August 12th 1833, son of Lieut. ?Colonel W.G. Cameron, of the Grenadier Guards, served also in the Crimean War. Was A.A.G. 1877-81; commanded the King?s Own Borderers 1881-3; chief of Intelligence Branch 1883-5; and from 1886 to 1888 was Commandant of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.
HUGH STEWART COCHRANE
(Lieutenant and Adjutant, afterwards Colonel)
86th Royal County Down (Now 2nd Royal Irish Rifles)
At Jhansi on April 1st 1858, a company (No.1) of the 86th Regiment was ordered to charge and capture a gun. Being mounted, Lieutenant Cochrane dashed forward- greatly in advance of his men-exposed to the musketry fire of the rebel infantry in rear of the battery as well as that from the gun itself. Charging headlong on the gunners, who gave way almost to a man, he kept possession of the piece till support came up, afterwards charging the enemy?s rear-guard, who shot three horses from under him, his attack upon them being so close and resolute.
He became Ensign in 1849; Captain in the 7th Fusiliers in 1858; and afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel in the 43rd Light Infantry, which he commanded in India from February 1878, until his retirement.
(Lieutenant, afterwards Major)
14th (The King?s) Hussars
During the action on April 1st 1858, the troops engaged at Betwah, under Sir Hugh Rose (afterwards Lord Strathnairn), had a powerful force to contend with. The enemy surrounded them, killing and wounding a great many. Captain Need was later on attacked by a rabble of infantry mutineers, and on the point of being bayoneted, when Lieutenant Leith, seeing his danger, charged the Sepoys single-handed, and rescued him from certain death.
3rd Bombay European Regiment
Decorated for his bravery at the attack of Jhansi on April 3rd 1858, when he twice most gallantly volunteered to go out and bring in the wounded under a very heavy fire from the wall of the fort. He also displayed conspicuous courage at the assault of Loharo on May 2nd 1858, in rushing to the rescue of Lieutenant Doune, of his regiment. His conduct during the day, and the example he showed the men, greatly contributed to the successful issue of the battle. When Whirlpool went to the rescue of Lieutenant Doune he received seventeen desperate wounds, one of which almost severed his head from his body. In spite of this he lived for many years, and only died in New South Wales on June 24th 1899.
HENRY EDWARD JEROME
(Captain, afterwards Major General)
86th The Royal County Down (Now 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles)
On April 3rd 1858, at Jhansi, Captain Henry Edward Jerome, assisted by Private James Byrne (V.C.), of his regiment, brought out of action, under a very heavy fire, Lieutenant Sewell, who had fallen severely wounded at a very exposed part of the attack. Again on May 28th at the capture of the Fort of Chandairee, at the storming of Jhansi, and in action with a powerful force, his bravery was most conspicuous. In the last action he had part of his head torn away, his recovery being considered marvellous.
Major-General Jerome afterwards served through the Hazara Campaign, retiring in 1885. He was born on February 2nd 1830, and died at Bath, February 25th 1901.
Decorated for great bravery at the assault of Jhansi on April 3rd 1858. He brought up two guns of the Hyderabad Contingent, manned by natives, from a position open to a heavy fire from the enemy, and directed them so well that Sepoys were forced to abandon their battery.
On April 3rd 1858, at the storming od the fort of Jhansi, Byrne carried Lieutenant Sewell, who had been badly wounded, to a place of safety, being assisted by Captain (afterwards Major-General) Jerome, V.C. This act was performed under a very heavy rifle fire. His Victoria Cross was sold in London, June 1893 for ?35.
Decorated for conspicuous bravery on April 3rd 1858, at the attack on the Fort of Jhansi, when in the words of the Gazette, he, ?Maintained his position at the head of a Sap, and continued the work under a heavy fire with a cool and steady determination worthy of the highest praise.? Sleavon died some years ago. His Victoria Cross was sold in London, on January 22nd 1903 for ?53.
86th Regiment, afterwards of the 56th
On April 3rd 1858, at the storming of Jhansi this soldier bravely attacked several armed rebels, killing one and bayoneting two, being himself severely wounded in the fight. He also at Calpee under a severe fire, carried into safety Private Michael Burns, who was wounded, but who unfortunately died soon afterwards.
1st Battalion 13th Regiment (The Prince Consort?s Own Somersetshire Light Infantry)
On April 6th 1858, when on baggage guard near Azimghur, Private Benjamin Milner was severely wounded. Sergeant Napier at the risk of his life stood by him, and, though surrounded by Sepoys, bandaged his wound and then carried him to the convoy.
William Napier enlisted on December 10th 1846, and was discharged, at his own request on the same date 1862.
The only other case where a Victoria Cross was awarded t a soldier by a Commander-in-Chief almost on the spot is that of Patrick Green (V.C.), and the General Order issued in the case of Carlin is identical with that of the former. The decoration was awarded to Carlin for rescuing a wounded naik of the 4th Madras Rifles on April 6th 1858.
As Carlin proceeded to carry him off on his shoulders, a mutineer fired at them, upon which he took the naik?s sword after placing him on the ground, attacked and killed and succeeded in conveying the wounded man to safety.
WILLIAM MARTIN CAFɼ/p>
(Captain, now Lieut. ?General)
56th Bengal Native Infantry
At the fort of Ruhya on April 15th 1858, Lieutenant Willoughby, of the 14th Punjab Rifles, was sot down as he was capturing a position. Captain Caf鬠under a heavy fire, went out and brought back his body, being assisted by four men of the 42nd-Lance-Coporal Thompson (V.C.), Private Cook (V.C.), E. Spence (V.C), and Crowie. While doing so Spence was mortally wounded, and Captain Caf?mmediately ran to his assistance, leaving the others to carry his comrade?s body. Spence died of his wounds on the 17th. Crowie?s name does not appear among those gazetted to the Cross-, owing most probably to his early death.
General Caf?as born on March 23rd 1826.
42nd Regiment (The Black Watch)
On April 15th 1858, the Black Watch attacked the fort of Ruhya. Davis was one of the advanced parties accompanying the officer of Engineers, who was reconnoitring the place in order to ascertain the position of the entrance. Here Lieutenant Bramley was shot dead. There being no dhoolies, bearers, or any mode of conveyance, Davis at once, though exposed to a heavy fire, offered to remove the body. Though close under the walls, in the heat of a midday sun, with no shelter whatever, he took up the body and carried it away for some miles through the jungle.
This brave man died in his native city, Edinburgh in 1891. His Cross and medals, including clasps for Alma, Balaclava and Sebastopol, have passed into the hands of a private collector in London.
(Quartermaster-Sergeant, afterwards Quartermaster)
42nd Regiment (The Black Watch)
On April 15th 1858, during the attack on the Fort of Ruhya, Quartermaster-Sergeant John Simpson volunteered to go to an exposed point within forty yards f the Fort, and bring in, under a severe fire, first Lieutenant Douglas, and afterwards a private soldier, both of whom had been seriously wounded.
He died at Perth on October 20th 1883.
42nd Regiment (The Black Watch)
This soldier would have been recommended to Her Majesty for the Victoria Cross had he survived the wounds received at the attack on the Fort of Ruhya, on April 15th 1858. On that occasion he assisted Captain (afterwards General) Caf頨V.C.), in bringing the body of Lieutenant Willoughby, and exposed himself fearlessly to a heavy fire to cover the retreat of the party bearing the body. He died two days afterwards.
42nd Regiment (The Black Watch)
On April 15th 1858, during the attack on the fort of Ruhya, Lance-Corporal Thompson volunteered to assist Captain Caf頨V.C.) to bring I the body of Lieutenant Willoughby from the top of the glacis, under a most severe fire.
He died some years ago at Perth.
On April 15th 1858, on the evacuation of Azimghur by Koer Singh?s army, a squadron of the military train and some Horse Artillery were sent in pursuit. On coming into action, with their rear-guard the former were ordered to charge. Lieutenant Hamilton, commanding the 3rd Cavalry, was unhorsed and at once set upon by the enemy, who commenced cutting and hacking at him on the ground. Morley, whose horse had also been shot, immediately dashed up on foot to his assistance and, in conjunction with Farrier Murphy (V.C.), cut down the Sepoys, defended him and fought hand-to-hand until assistance arrived, when they carried him into safety.
2nd Battalion Military Train
On April 15th 1858, while pursuing the army of Koer Singh from Azimghur, Lieutenant Hamilton of the 3rd Sikh Cavalry was wounded, unhorsed and surrounded by the enemy. Murphy dashed to his assistance, cut down several of them and, although he wounded, remained by his side till support came up.
(Colour-Sergeant, afterwards Quartermaster-Sergeant)
42nd Regiment (The Black Watch)
The battle of Bareilly took place on May 5th 1858, the Black Watch early in the day being hotly engaged. During the action Lieut. ?Colonel Cameron, the commanding officer, was knocked off his horse and, while lying on the ground stunned, was at once set upon by three ghazees (fanatics) Colour-Sergeant Gardner rushed to his aid, and in a moment bayoneted two of them. He then attacked the third, which was, however, despatched by a man of the regiment. (Letter from Captain McPherson to officer commanding the regiment.)
Died in November 1897, being the last of the eight men of his gallant regiment gazetted to the Victoria Cross during the Indian Mutiny.
1st Battalion 60th Regiment
On May 6th 1858, Mambrick was in serai at Bareilly and displayed great courage when set upon by three ghazees, one of whom he cut down, being twice wounded on this occasion.
HARRY HAMMON LYSTER
(Lieutenant, Now Lieut. ?General, C.B.)
72nd Bengal Native Infantry
On May 23rd 1858, this officer charged singly at, and broke, a skirmishing square of the rebel army near Calpee, and killed two or three mutineers with his own hand. This gallant act was witnessed and reported upon by Major-General Sir Hugh Rose, G.C.B., and Lieutenant-Colonel Gall, C.B., of the 14th Light Dragoons.
Lieutenant-General Lyster, son of Mr A Lyster, was born on December 24th 1830. Served through the Indian Mutiny 1857-8; Afghan Campaign 1878-9; and during the Chartist Riots of 1847 served as a special constable in London.
He entered the Army in 1848; became Captain in 1861, Lieut. -Colonel 1870; Colonel 1877, Major General 1887, and attained his present rank in 1891, retiring in 1892.
3rd Battalion Rifle Brigade
In a despatch, dated June 17th 1858, from Nowabgunge, Major-General Hope Grant, K.C.B., brought the conduct of this soldier to the notice of the D.A.G. of the Army, saying that he trusted his Excellency would allow him to recommend Shaw for the Victoria Cross, and would approve of his having issued a divisional order stating that he had done so. The act was as follows: - On June 13th 1858, an armed mutineer, a ghazee was seen to enter a ?tope? of trees, and someofficers and men dashed after him. Shaw, armed only with a short sword, rushed in single handed and killed him after a desperate struggle, in which he himself received a severe wound from the rebel?s tulwar.
On June 16th 1858, at Marar, in Gwalior, Rodgers attacked seven rebels by himself, killing one of them. This exploit was stated to have been a most useful one, as the party of the enemy were well armed and had taken up a strong position in advance of a detachment of the 71st Regiment.
At the action and pursuit of Beejapore, in Central India, on September 5th 1858, Sergeant-Major Champion highly distinguished himself. Both his troops officers were wounded early in the day, and he himself soon afterwards was shot through the body. Left thus in command of hi troops, and though badly wounded, he remained in the saddle the whole day throughout the pursuit, killing many of the enemy with his revolver. Before this, act the battle of Gwalior, on June 17th he had already greatly distinguished himself in the charge with his regiment.
(Captain, afterwards Major)
Captain Clemont Walker-Heneage was elected under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross warrant, for his bravery on June 17th 1858. A squadron of his regiment made a most gallant charge upon the enemy, who were advancing against the position held by Brigadier Smith. Under a heavy and converging fire from the fort and town, they cut through the rebel camp into two batteries, captured and brought back two of the enemy?s guns.
Major Walker-Heneage, son of the late Mr. G. H. Walker Heneage, of Compton Basset, was born in 1831. He served through the Crimean War, being present at Alma, Inkerman, Balaklava, and Tchernaya, the actions of Bulganac and McKenzie?s Farm, siege and fall of Sebastopol, and the Kertch Ecpedition. Pro ceding to India immediately afterwards, he served through the Indian Mutiny, being engaged in the suppression of the rebels in Rajputana and Central India. He was present at the capture of Kotah, re-occupation of Chundaree, battle of Kotah-Ke-Serai, capture of Gwalior and of Powree, battle of Sindwaho, action of Koorwye and Naharghur. In the action at Gwalior, when he gained the Victoria Cross, he was in command of a squadron of his regiment, and with him were associated Sergeant Joseph Ward, Farrier George Hollis, and Private John Pearson, all of whom were awarded the Decoration.
He entered the Army in August 1851, as Cornet; became Captain in May 1857; Brevet-Major 1858; and Major in November 1860. Retired in 1868.
He died at Compton Basset on December 9th 1901.
Associated with the late Major clement Walker-Heneage (V.C.), in a gallant charge made on the enemy at Gwalior June 17th 1858.
Associated with Major Clement Walker Heneage (V.C.), at Gwalior June 17th 1858.
Associated with Major Clement Walker-Heneage (V.C.), at Gwalior, June 17th
WILLIAM FRANCIS FREDERICK WALLER
25th Bombay Light Infantry
Decorated for his conspicuous daring at the capture of the Gwalior Fortress June 20th 1858, when in company with Lieutenant Rose, who was killed, he attacked it with only a handful of men. Climbing on the roof of a house, he shot the gunners opposing him or her, captured the Fort, and killed every mutineer in it. He and Lieutenant Rose were the only Europeans present.
Born in 1840, he died on January 29th 1885.
SAMUEL JAMES BROWN
(Captain, afterwards General, G.C.B., K.C.S.I.)
46th Bengal Native Infantry
In an engagement with the rebels, under Khan Ali Khan, at daybreak on August 31st 1858, at Seerporah, Captain Browne charged ahead with only a native orderly, at a 9-pounder gun, placed to command the approach to the enemy?s well-chosen position, to prevent it being re-loaded and fired upon our men who were coming on with the bayonet. A fight between the officer and gunners ensured, in which, after cutting down several of them, he was slashed across the left knee, afterwards receiving another sword-stroke, which severed the left arm at the shoulder. His chivalrous object was, however, fulfilled, the gun being captured by the infantry, and the gunners slain.
General Sir Samuel Browne, son of the late J. Browne, H.E.I.C.S., was born in India October 3rd 1824. Served in Punjab campaign 1848-9, being present at Chillianwallah and Goojerat; in operations against the Oomerzale Wuzerees 1851-2; through the Bozdar Balooch Expedition in March 1857; in many other tribal campaigns, including the attacks on Narinjee and August 1857, commanded the 1st Division Peshawur Field Force at the capture of Ali Musjid; the forcing of the Khyber Pass, November 1878, and throughout the Afghan War 1878-9 for which he received the thanks of the Government and both Houses of Parliament, and the K.C.B. For nineteen years (1850-69) was in command of the Punjah Cavalry and Corps of Guides on the Derejat and Peshawur Frontier. Inventor of the ?Sam Browne? belt, known throughout the British Army.
He died at Ryde, March 14th 1901.
Not long after the death of this gallant officer, one of the makers and upholders of our Indian Empire, a tablet and monument was unveiled in St. Paul?s Cathedral by one of his fellow officers-Earl Roberts of Khandahar; and four of his contemporaries, wearing the Victoria Cross, were present to do honour to his memory. No greater tribute could have been paid to the splendid soldier whose days were done, than to have a monument to his memory placed at it was, close to the great Iron Duke of Wellington, and unveiled by the most illustrious, brave and popular soldier of modern times. The memorial is of pure white marble, carved in low relief, with a figure of a Punjab Cavalry man holding a scroll on which is the words-
?To the Glory of God and in perpetual memory of General Sir Samuel Browne, V.C., G.C.B., K.C.S.I., a distinguished soldier of the Indian Army. This tablet is erected by friends who loved, and comrades who trusted him.?
A replica of this memorial will be set up in the Cathedral of Lahore, India. Speaking on the above occasion, Earl Roberts said that there never was ?a truer man, a firmer friend, a braver soldier, or one more worthy of a memorial in that venerable cathedral than Sir Samuel Browne.?
(Ensign, afterwards Colonel)
On September 27th 1858, when the Kuppurthulla Contingent were returning from Kuthirga, a rebel, armed with a percussion-musket, knelt and levelled it at any who attempted to approach him. This did not deter Ensign Roddy, who rode boldly at him. When within six yards the rebel fired, killing the horse. While he was trying to get himself free, the rebel attempted to cut him down. However, Roddy seized and held him until able to get at his sword, when he ran him through the body.
Colonel Patrick Roddy rose from the ranks to the position he held at his death. He enlisted in the Bengal Artillery and received a commissioner as Ensign. During the Indian Mutiny he served under Sir James Outram at the ?first? relief of Lucknow, the siege of the Bailly Guard, the defence of the Alumbagh, capture of Lucknow, and in almost every subsequent engagement until the rebels were pressed on the Oude Frontier in 1860. He was frequently mentioned in despatches, and received the thanks of the Indian Government. His later services were in the Abyssinian War 1873, and Afghan War 1879.
Services were in the Abyssinian War 1873, and Afghan War 1879.
He retired in 1887, after having been thirty-nine years in the Bengal Service, and died at Jersey on November 21st 1895.
CHARLES GEORGE BAKER
Bengal Police Battalion
The act of charging, with only sixty horseman, and scattering a force of 1,000 infantry-fully armed and backed up by troop of cavalry-as Lieutenant Baker did on September 27th 1858, at Suhejnee, near Peroo, may well be described, as it was by Lord Clyde, ?the most gallant of any during the war.? Not a shot was fired by Lieutenant Baker?s mounted Police in their charge upon the enemy, who were taken in the centre and flank by Lieutenant Broughton. A half-hearted stand was made, and a few scattered volleys fired, after which they broke and fled, pursued for miles through the jungle. The horses, however, being exhausted, many of the rebels escaped. Lieutenant Baker was for many years in command of the Egyptian Police, and held the rank of Pasha in that country.
GEORGE BELL CHICKEN
(Late Indian) Naval Brigade
This gallant man was a volunteer with the Naval Brigade in the Mutiny, and was deservedly awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery at Suhejnee, near Peroo, on September 27th, 1858. Seeing that a number of rebels were about to rally and open fire on their scattered pursuers, he charged them by himself. Surrounded on all sides, he continued fighting desperately, and killed five rebels before being himself cut down, when he would most certainly have been killed but for the fortunate arrival of some of the Bengal Police and Sikh Cavalry, who dashed into the crowd to his rescue and routed it, killing many of the enemy.
(Private, afterwards Corporal)
2nd Dragoons Guards (Queen?s Bays)
At Sundeela October 8th 1858, Private Anderson behaved with great gallantry when Sepoys attacked his party in the jungle, on which occasion he saved his colonel?s life. Further details of his brave conduct are given in the record of Trumpeter Monaghan (V.C.). His Victoria Cross is now in the United Service Institute, London.
2nd Dragoon guards (Queen?s Bays)
Associated with Corporal Charles Anderson in saving the life of Lieut. ?Colonel Seymour, C.B. (in command of their regiment), on October 8th 1858. Soon after the action fought at Sundeela, in Oude, a sudden attack was made upon our men in a dense jungle of sugar-canes, from which an attempt had been made to dislodge a body of thirty or forty mutineers.
Our party was fired upon a few yards range and then attacked by the enemy with drawn swords. Colonel Seymour shot one man, fired his pistol into the oncoming mass of Sepoys, and was then cut down by two blows from a sword. Monaghan, with Anderson, at once rushed to his help, the former shooting one of the enemy who was about to cut him, and by the exertions of these two men, who made a terrific onslaught upon them, they were kept at bay until the colonel could rise, when every one of the enemy was killed.
Monaghan?s Victoria Cross was sold in London on November 5th 1903 for ?43.
HANSON CHAMBERS TAYLOR JARRETT
(Lieutenant, afterwards colonel)
26th Bengal Native Infantry
On October 14th 1858, at the village of Baroun, near Lucknow, a party of Sepoys-seventy in number-had fortified themselves in a strong brick building, the only approach to which was through a very narrow street, commanded by the enemy?s fire. Lieutenant Jarrett called on the men of his regiment to follow him, and four responded. With only these he made a dash for the entrance, and through a shower of bullets pushed his way up to the walls. Beating up the bayonets of the rebels with his sword, he endeavoured to force his way in, but unfortunately, his support being so feeble, he was not successful, and under a hail of lead was forced to rejoin the main body.
This brave officer died in India some years ago, whilst holding the post of Conservator of Forests.
HENRY EVELYN WOOD
(Lieutenant, now Field Marshal, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., D.L.)
On October 19th 1858, at Sindwaho, during the Indian Mutiny, Lieutenant Wood was in command of a troop of the 3rd Light Cavalry. He attacked almost single-handed, a body of mutineers who were making a stand, and routed them completely.
A short time afterwards, near Sindhora, the enemy had seized a Patel, named Chemmum Singh. Hearing that they intended to hang the wretched man for his loyalty to us, Lieutenant Wood took about twelve men, and started in pursuit.
After a ride of some miles they came upon the mutineers, about seventy in number, encamped and asleep. Taking two men, he crept up to them, fired a volley, dashed among them, and rescued the man.
General Sir Evelyn Wood, son of the Rev. Sir John Page Wood, Bart, was born at Braintree, Essex, and February 9th 1838. Educated at Marlborough, he entered the Navy in 1852, and was A.D.C. to Captain Peel, V.C., in the Crimean War, when only sixteen, behaving with such gallantry that Captain Lushington recommended him for the Victoria Cross, which was not awarded him. He was severely wounded at the attack on the Redan, mentioned in despatches, made of the Legion of Honour, and obtained the medal and two clasps, Medjidie and Turkish medal. Invalided home, he left the Navy, and in 1855 joined the 13th Light Dragoons as Cornet, becoming later Lieutenant, and in 1857 exchanged into the 17th Lancers, serving with that fine body of men though the Indian Mutiny. He organized the native forces in the Ashanti War 1873; commanded a column in the Gaika War 1878; also in the Zulu War 1879; was command of the forces in Transvall War 1881; commanded in Egyptian War, 1882; and was head of the lines of communication in Nile Expedition 1884; commanded the Chatham District 1882-3; Eastern District 1886-8; Aldershot Division 1889-93; Q.G. to the forces 1893-7; A.G. 1897-1901.
CHARLES CRAUFURD FRASER
(Major, afterwards Lieut. ?General, K.C.B.)
7th (Queen?s Own) Hussars
Sir Charles Fraser (late Colonel, 8th King?s Royal Irish Hussars) was awarded the Victoria Cross for an exceptionally gallant act of bravery and humanity on December 31st 1858. An officer (Captain Sisted) and some men of his regiment were drowning in the river Raptee, Oude, on the borders of Nepal, having plunged in, in pursuit of mutineers. Major Fraser, as he then was, at once jumped in to their rescue, under a terrible musketry fire from the opposite bank and succeeded in saving the officer and men, although at the time partially disabled by a wound received on June 13th, at Nawabgunge, when charging with his squadron.
Sir Charles Fraser, born August 31st 1829, served also in the Abyssinian War of 1868. Was A.D.C. to H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge 1873-7, and Inspector-General of Cavalry 1880-4. Sat in Parliament as Conservative member for North Lambeth from 1885-92. For the act of bravery recorded above, he was also awarded the medal of the Royal humane Society.
Sir Charles died in London on June 7th 1859 aged 66.
43rd The Monmouthshire Light Infantry (Now 1st Oxford Light Infantry)
At Kurrereah on January 2nd 1859, a large force of mutineers, and Addison rished to his aid attacked a political agent, Lieutenant Osborn. With the greatest difficulty they managed to keep the enemy at bay encounter Addison was twice terribly wounded, losing a leg.
He died at Bardwell some years ago.
Brigadier-General Walpole reported that at the action at Maylah Ghaut, January 15th 1859, the conduct of Walter Cook and Duncan Millar deserved to be particularly pointed out. These two men, when their only officer was severely wounded and the colour-Sergeant killed, took command and led on the men with conspicuous bravery. The fighting was most severe, and the few men of the 42nd were skirmishing so close to the enemy, who were in great numbers, that many of them were wounded by sword cuts. They displayed a courage, coolness and discipline (in the words of the report), which was the admiration of all who witnessed it. For another act of Walter Cook, see account of Captain Caf鬍 V.C.
At the action at Maylah Ghaut on January 15th 1859, Duncan Millar?s conduct was so admirable that special report was made of it. A more detailed account is given in the record of Walter Cook (V.C.), and the eulogistic remarks in the Gazette upon that soldier apply equally to Millar.
HERBERT MACKWORTH CLOGSTOUN
19th Madras Native Infantry
At Chickumbah, January 15th 1859, this officer, with only eight men of his regiment (2nd Cavalry, Hyderbad Contingent), charged the rebels and forced them back into the town, causing them to drop the loot they had secured. He was severely wounded, and lost seven out of the eight men whom he led.
He died in 1861.
At Kewanie, Trans-gogra, on April 27th 1859, Richardson showed determined bravery in closing with and securing a rebel armed with a loaded revolver, he himself being severely wounded at the time-one arm quite disabled.
CHARLES AUGUSTUS GOODFELLOW
(Lieutenant, now General)
Royal (Bombay) Engineers
Thos was the last Victoria Cross granted in connexion with the Indian Mutiny, and the place of action appears to have been where the last stand was made, at Beyet, in Katty war, Western India. On October 6th 1859, Lieutenant Goodfellow highly distinguished himself, as he had already done throughout the Mutiny. A soldier of the 28th Regiment having been shot under the walls of the fort, Lieutenant Goodfellow rushed to his rescue, being exposed the whole time to heavy rifle and matchlock fire. Although he succeeded in conveying him, after great difficulty, into shelter, he discovered that, in spite of his efforts, the man was dead.
THE NEW ZEALAND WAR
1860-1861 and 1863-1866
(Leading Seaman, H.M.S. ?Niger?)
Decorated for his gallantry on March 28th 1860, at the attack on a native pah, at Taranaki, during the campaign against the rebels in New Zealand, when he was the first to mount the stockade and on getting into the stronghold under a heavy fire, assisted in hauling down the enemy?s colours.
He died on December 20th 1873. His cross was sold in London on June 28th 1904 (together with his New Zealand Medal), for ?110.
(Colour-Sergeant, afterwards Sergeant Major)
40th (2nd Somersetshire; Now South Lancashire) Regiment
On March 18th 1861, Colour-Sergeant Lucas acted as sergeant of a party of the 40th Regiment, who were skirmishing close to the Huirangi Bush, in New Zealand. About 4 o?clock in the afternoon the natives suddenly opened a very heavy and well-directed fire upon them from the bush and high ground to the left, wounding simultaneously three men, two mortally. Volunteers were called for, to convey them to the rear, and a file of men came up, one of whom was immediately shot. Lieutenant Rees was wounded at the same time, and under a fierce fire from the natives, not more than thirty yards distant, Lucas ran to him and carried him to shelter, sending one of his men with him to the rear. He then took the arms of the men who had been killed or wounded, and keeping up a hot fire maintained his position until support was brought up by Lieutenants Gibson and Whelan.
Sergeant-Major Lucas died in Dublin in 1893.
(Colour-Sergeant, afterwards Ensign)
This non-commissioned officer greatly distinguished himself in New Zealand during the campaign against the Rebel Maories. On September7th 1863, an action was fought near Cameron-town, and Captain Swift and Lieutenant Butler were both shot. Mackenna took command of the small force left, consisting of two sergeants, a bugler and thirty-five men. At their head, he charged through the enemy?s position, although heavily outnumbered by them, and drew off his little party, with the loss of only two men, though the country was most dangerous and rugged. Lieut. ?General Cameron, C.B., in command of the forces, reported that MacKenna?s Coolness, intrepidity, and judgement justified the confidence placed in him by the soldiers, brought so suddenly under his command.
At Cameron-town, New Zealand, where an action was fought on September 7th 1863, Captain Swift was mortally wounded. Ryan, with Privates Bulford and Talbot of his regimen, removed the body of their officer from the field and remained with it all night in the bush, surrounded by the enemy. Bulford and Talbot were both awarded the Medal for Distinguished Conduct and Ryan was awarded the Victoria Cross, but he never lived to own it long, being drowned near Tuakan while attempting to rescue a comrade.
His Victoria Cross was sold in London on April 17th 1902 for ?58.
JOHN THORNTON DOWN
57th (West) Middlesex Regiment (The Duke of Cambridge?s Own)
At Pontoko, New Zealand on October 2nd 1863, a soldier fell wounded within fifty yards of the bush, which was swarming with natives. Ath their colonel?s call for volunteers to bring the man into shelter, ensign down and drummer stagpoole (V.C.) promptly responded, and succeeded in carrying in the wounded man, though a heavy fire was directed upon them by the enemy.
John Thornton Down died of fever in New Zealand during the war, which lasted from 1860-6. His name (together with those of his fellow-officers in the regiment who fell during those years) is recorded in St. Paul?s Cathedral on a brass tablet.
57th (West) Middlesex (The Duke of Cambridge?s Own)
The brave act of which Drummer Stagpoole was awarded the Victoria Cross is described in the record of John Thornton Down (V.C.). For many years he has proudly carried his decoration while employed at the Arsenal, Woolwich. He was also decorated with the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his gallant behaviour at Kaipakopako, New Zealand, on September 25th 1863, for having although wounded in the head, twice volunteered and brought in wounded men.
(Assist-Surgeon, now Brigade-surgeon, B.A., M.B., L.R.C.S.I., Retired)
Associated with Lieutenant Pickard (V.C.), in most nobly exposing his life at Rangiriri, New Zealand, on November 20th 1863, to render assistance to Captain Mercer, R.A., and others who had fallen wounded in the assault on the Maori stronghold. To reach them he was obliged to cross the entrance of the Keep, upon which the enemy were concentrating a terrific fire.
Born on November 7th 1833, son of the late William Temple, M.D., of Monaghan. Educated privately and at Trinity College, Dublin Entered the Army 1858. Has served in the Taranaki (New Zealand) Campaign 1860-1, and in that in which he won the Victoria Cross. Was present at the actions of Teairei and Rangeawhia.
ARTHUR FREDERICK PICKARD
(Lieutenant, afterwards Colonel, C.B.)
On November 20th 1863, during the assault at Rangiriri, New Zealand, Captain Mercer, R.A., and many other officers and men were wounded, and lying in an exposed position. Lieutenant Pickard and Surgeon Temple (V.C.), in imminent danger of their lives, crossed the entrance of the Maori Keep, a point upon which the enemy had concentrated their fire, and rendered great assistance to the injured.
Lieutenant Pickard crossed and recrossed the parapet, exposed all the while to a heavy cross fire, to procure water for them, when none of the other men could be induced to perform this service, and testimony id borne to the calmness displayed by him, and also by surgeon Temple, under the trying circumstances in which they were placed.
During a skirmish on the banks of the Mangapiko River in New Zealand, on February 11th 1864, Major Heaphy went to the assistance of a soldier of the 40th Regiment who, having been shot, had fallen into a hollow where the Maories were concealed in great numbers. Immediately he became a target for a volley from the enemy at a few feet distant. Five bullets struck his cloths, and he was shot in three places, but he nevertheless kept with the wounded man, aiding him all that day.
JOHN CARSTAIRS McNEILL
(Lieut. ?Colonel, now Major General, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., G.C.V.O.)
107th Bengal Infantry (Now the royal Sussex)
On March 30th 1860, when Aide-de-Camp to Sir Duncan Cameron, Lieut. ?Colonel McNeill was proceeding to Awamutu with Privates Gibson and Vosper. On their return journey, when about a mile from Ohanpu, they sighted a body of the enemy. Gibson was sent to bring infantry, the remaining two staying to watch the enemy. Suddenly a heavy fire was opened upon them from the bush, and their only chance was to ride for their lives. They had hardly gone any distance before Vosper?s horse was shot, causing it to fall and throw him. On perceiving this, Lieut. ?Colonel McNeill returned, caught the horse, which fortunately was not badly hurt, helped his man to mount, and by galloping as hard as possible, both managed to escape. Vosper states that but for his officer?s help he must have been killed.
Sir John McNeill, son of Captain Alezander McNeill of Colonsay, was born March 29th 1831. Educated as St. Andrews and Addiscombe. During the Mutiny was A.D.C. to sir E. Lugard, and in the Fenian Disturbance of 1867 in command of the Tipperary Flying column. On the staff of Lord Wolseley during Red River Expedition, and also during Ashanti War, served through Egyptian Campaign in 1882; commanded a brigade in 1885 in the same country, taking part in the battles of Suakin and Tofrik. Bath King at Arms, A.D.C. to His Majesty. Died at St. James Palace on May 25th 1904.
WILLIAM GEORGE NICHOLAS MANLEY
(Assistant-Surgeon, afterwards Surgeon-General, C.B.)
On April 29th 1864, at the attack on the Maori Pah near Tauranga, New Zealand, Surgeon Manley risked his life in a most noble manner in an endeavour to save that of Commander Hay, R.N., and others. He volunteered to accompany the storming party into the stronghold, and when (as is stated in the record of Samuel Mitchell, V.C.) the mortally wounded officer was carried away, he attended to him, and afterwards volunteered to return to see if he could find any more requiring assistance. The natives were swarming around at the time, keeping up a heavy fire, and Surgeon Manley was one of the last to quit the place.
Surgeon-General Manley, son of the Rev. Wm. Nicholas Manley, was born in Dublin, in 1831. Served through the Crimean War 1854-5; Afghan War 1878-9; Egyptian War 1882, taking part in the battle of Tel-el-Kebir (3rd Class Osmanieh), retiring 1884. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, accompanied the British Ambulance, and for his devotion to the wounded and unflinching courage on all occasions received the thanks of the Prussian General in command of the division to which he was attached. For his devoted conduct during the action at Chateauneuf and Bretoncelles, and at Orleans and Cravant, he was granted the Steel War Medal and 2nd Class of the Iron Cross. He also obtained the Bavarian Order of Merit, and possessed the R.H.S. Medal, for saving the life of a man of the R.A., who had fallen overboard in the Waitotara River, New Zealand on July 21st 1865.
(Captain of the Foretop)
H.M.S. ?Harrier,? Royal Navy
Commodore Sir William Wiseman brought the name of Samuel Mitchell to special notice for devotion and bravery on April 29th 1864. During the attack on Te Papa, Tauranga, New Zealand, he entered the Pah with commander Hay, and when that officer was mortally wounded, carried him out, although ordered by him to leave him and look after his own safety.
Mitchell died on March 16th 1894.
FREDERICK AUGUSTUS SMITH
(Captain, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
On June 21st 1864, during the engagement at Tauranga, Captain Smith led his company in a most gallant manner at the attack on the Maori position. Although wounded before he reached their rifle-pits, he jumped down into the midst of them and commenced a hand-to-hand encounter, greatly encouraging his men, and setting them a fine example.
He died on July 22nd 1887.
68th Regiment (Durham Light Infantry)
On June 21st 1864, at the storming of the Maori position, at Tauranga, New Zealand, Sergeant John Murray behaved in a most brave manner. He ran up to one of the rifle-pits, containing tem men, and, absolutely by himself, killed or wounded every one of them. He then proceeded up the works, fighting in a most desperate manner, bayoneting several more.
(Captain, Now Major-General, C.B.)
2nd Battalion 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment
On January 24th 1865 at the skirmish near Nukumaru, in New Zealand, Captain Shaw had been ordered to occupy a position about half a mile from the camp, and, advancing in skirmishing order to about thirty yards from the bush, he thought it prudent to retire to a palisade about thirty yards further back, as two of his men had fallen wounded. Noticing that one of them, Peter Conolly, was too badly injured to move, he called for volunteers, and with four privates, who responded, went out to the wounded man within thirty yards of the enemy, and under a heavy fire, succeeded in conveying him to shelter.
Major-General Shaw, C.B., born on February 4th 1839, is son of Mr. James Shaw, formerly Principal Inspector of Hospital, and Madras. Educated at Sandhurst, he became ensign in 1885 and served through the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, and the Afghan War 1879; and the Egyptian 1884. In the latter he commanded the 1st Battalion of his gallant Irish Regiment during the march for the Relief of Gordon, which with the 2nd East Surrey, was brought from India. His command on this occasion gained the ?100 prize offered by Lord Wolseley for the quickest and smartest voyage in the whale boast between Sarras and Korti (December 16th 1884, to January 24th 1885) from which point it marched on foot, through the Bayuda Desert, 175 miles, to Metemmeh in eleven days. He retired from command of his old battalion in 1887.
THE CHINA WAR
(Including Taiping Rebellion, 1861-1862)
ROBERT MONTRESOR ROGERS
(Lieutenant, afterwards Major General, C.B.)
44th (East) Essex Regiment
Decorated for his bravery at the assault on the North Taku Fort in China on August 21st 1860, when in company with Lieutenant Lenon (V.C.) and Private McDougall (V.C.), he swam the ditch and entered by an embrasure. He was the first Englishman to gain a footing on the wall.
General Rogers, born September 4th 1834, entered the Army in February 1885; took part in the siege of Sebastopol, and became Lieutenant in August 1855; Captain in November 1860. After a few years he exchanged into the 90th Light Infantry, becoming Major in April 1873.
He died on February 5th 1895.
Greatly distinguished himself on August 21st 1860, at the storming of the North Taku forts in China, by swimming across the ditch and entering the embrasure. He was the second of the first three men to gain the wall, his companies being Lieutenants Rogers and Lenon.
EDMUND HENRY LENON
(Lieutenant, afterwards Major)
67th (South) Hampshire Regiment
On august 21st 1860, the Taku Fort was attacked and captured-about 500 of our men being killed and wounded. When the moment of assault came, Lieutenant Lenon, with some others, sprang into the ditch, which was filled with water, and swam across, entering through the embrasures. He was the third to gain a footing on the walls.
(Lieutenant, afterwards Captain)
67th (South) Hampshire Regiment
Associated on August 21st 1860, with Thomas Lane (V.C.), in a most gallant act during the storming of the North Taku Forts in China. These two men swarm the ditch, and before the entrance of the fort had been effected by any one, preserved in their endeavours to enlarge an opening in the wall, through which they eventually forced their way, both being severely wounded.
Afterwards, on obtaining his company, he exchanged into the 60th Rifles.
On August 21st 1860, at the attack on the north Taku Forts, in China, Lane and his officer. Lieutenant Nathaniel Burslem (V.C.), swam the ditch and persevering in their attempts to enlarge the opening in the wall of the fort, made a breach, through which they forced their way, before an entrance had been effected by any of our troops. During this courageous act they were both severely wounded.
Lane died in 1887.
JOHN WORTHY CHAPLIN
(Ensign 67th Regiment)
Afterwards Colonel 107th Regiment
On August 21st 1860, at the storming of the North Taku Forts, in the China War, this officer behaved with distinguished gallantry. He carried the Queen?s colours of the regiment, and planted it upon the breach made by the storming party, later on doing the same on the cavalier of the fort, he being the first man to mount it. He was severely wounded.
Colonel Chaplin, born on July 23rd 1840, was educated at Harrow, and entered the Army in 1858. Served also in Afghan War 1879-80. Attained his present rank in 1883.
ARTHUR F. FITZGIBBON
Indian Medical Establishment
Decorated for his gallant and cool behaviour and great courage on August 21st 1860, at the storming of the North Taku Forts in China. He proceeded with part of the 67th regiment to a position within 500 yards of the fort and from cover he went out under a heavy fire to attend to the wounds of a dhooliebearer. Having performed his duty to this man, he crossed another open and exposed space, still under a hail of lead, and ministered to the sufferings of others, during which humane act he was himself severely wounded.
H.M. Sloop ?Sphinx,? Royal Navy
At Fung-wha, in China in October 9th 1862, while our men were attacking the East Gate of the City, Hinckley volunteered to carry Mr. Coker, Master?s Assistant of the Sphinx, from the place where he had fallen wounded during the advance on the Gate, to a joss house, 150 yards distant. Under a heavy fire he successfully accomplished his humane act, and on returning went to the assistance of Mr. Bremen, an officer of Ward?s force. This man had also been wounded during the advance, and, still under the same raking fire, Hinckley carried him to the joss house, returning afterwards and taking his place in the fighting at the Gate.
Of the eight officers and men awarded the Cross-during that campaign, Hinckley and Colonel Chaplin C.B., are now the only surviving recipients.
THE UMBEYLA EXPEDITION (N.W. INDIA)
GEORGE VONCENT FOSBERY
(Lieutenant, now Lieut. ?Colonel)
(Late) 4th Bengal European Regiment
Decorate for his gallantry and daring conduct while a volunteer at the recapture of the ?Crag Picket? during the Umbevla Campaign. On October 30th 1863, Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes, C.B., directed Lieutenant Fosbery to push up one of the two paths leading to the top of the cliff, while he himself ascended by the other. There was only room for the attackers to proceed about two abreast, and with the greatest coolness and intrepidity Lieutenant Fosbery led his party of men, being himself the first to gain the top of the crag. Afterwards, Lieut. ?Colonel Keyes being wounded, Lieutenant Fosbery assembled a party of his men, pursued the routed enemy, inflicting great loss on them, and confirming the possession of the ?Crag Picket.?
Lieut. ?Colonel Fosbery, son of the Rev. T. V. Fosbery, was born at Sturt, near Devizes. Educated at Eton, he entered the Bengal Army in 1852; became Captain 1864, Major 1866, and attained his present rank in 1876. Took part in every engagement of importance in the Umbeyla Expedition, and retired in 1877, since when he has devoted himself to the perfecting of machine guns, being the first to introduce them to the British Government. Invented the ?Paradox Gun,? and an automatic revolver. Also introduced the explosive bullet, as a means of ascertaining range for infantry and mountain-guns.
HENRY WILLIAM PITCHER
(Lieutenant Bengal Staff corps), Adjutant 4th Punjab Infantry
On October 30th 1863, Lieutenant Pitcher led a party in a most gallant manner, to recapture the ?Crag Picket,? after the enemy had driven in the garrison; killing sixty of them in a stubborn hand-to-hand fight. Major Keyes, in command of the 1st Punjab Infantry, relates that Lieutenant Pitcher led his party in a most cool and daring manner up to the last rock, until he was knocked down and stunned by a large stone thrown from above. The nature of the approach to the top of the ?Crag? was such that only one man could advance at a time. On November 13th following Lieutenant Pitcher led the first charge during the recapture of the same post, it having again fallen into the enemy?s hands. He was, on this occasion, many yards in advance of his men, his conduct being the admiration of all present. Major Keyes stated that it was impossible to over-estimate his services, and that during the assault the lieutenant was severely wounded, and had to be carried back.
H.M.S. ?Euryalus,? Royal Navy
Decorated for his intelligence and conspicuous courage at the attack on the batteries, and defences of Simonisaki, in Japan on September 6th 1864. this seaman went ashore first and ascertained quite alone the strength and position of the enemy, his valuable information and services being specially mentioned by Lieutenant Edwards, commanding the Third Company. Later when our sailors charged the position he led them with great gallantry, even though he had been previously wounded.
(Captain of the After-Guard)
H.M.S. ?Euryalus,? Royal Navy
Associated with Midshipman Boyes (V.C.), in a gallant rush made on the batteries at Simonisaki, in Japan on September 6th 1864. Thomas Pride was the survivor of the two colour-sergeants who supported him on that occasion, and was dangerously wounded.
He died at Parkstone, Dorset on July 16th 1893.
DUNCAN GORDON BOYES
H.M.S. ?Euryalues,? Royal Navy
According to the testimony of Captain Alexander, C.B., Mr Boyes displayed great courage on September 6th 1864, during the capture of the enemy?s stockade at Simonisaki in Japan. The two colour-Sergeants having been wounded-one mortally ?he carried the colour ahead of the storming party under a very severe fire, and was only stopped from advancing still further by order of his commanding officer. The colour was pierced six times by musket-balls.
Mr. Boyes died in 1869.
THE BHOOTAN WAR (N.E. INDIA)
(Lieutenant, afterwards Captain)
Royal (Late Bengal) Engineers
This officer was associated with Major-General Trevor (V.C.), in a particularly daring act of bravery at Dewan-Giri in Bhootan, on April 30th 1865. Further details of the heroic conduct of these officers are given in the account of Major-General Trevor.
Captain Dundas was killed on December 23rd 1879, during the Afghan War, under circumstances, which showed that he had lost none of that bravery which had so characterized him fourteen years previously. Our Engineers were blowing up several forts, and at one of them Captain Dundas and Lieutenant Nugent constructed three mines. All being ready, the officers withdrew all their men to safety and lighted the three fuses, but two being defective exploded almost instantly, burying Captain Dundas and his gallant companion in the ruins of the fort.
Captain Dundas was born on September 12th 1843. He was the son of George Dundas, a Judge of the Court of Session in Scotland, was educated at Edinburgh and Addiscombe, and entered the Bengal Engineers in 1860. Colonel Vibart, in his work Addiscombe, relates that Captain Dundas saved the life of a native in 1878 at Simla, under particularly courageous circumstances. A house in the Bazaar having caught fire, the roof had fallen in, burying the native, who, unable to get out, was in great danger of being alive. Captain Dundas attempted to save the man by himself, but failed so calling for a volunteer to help him, the two together succeeded in accomplishing the difficult and dangerous task.
WILLIAM SPOTTISWOODE TREVOR
(Major, now Major General, retired)
Royal (Bengal) Engineers
Associated with Lieutenant Dundas (V.C.), in a most gallant and courageous exploit during an attack on a blockhouse at Dewangiri, in Bhootan on April 30th 1865. Major-General Tombs (V.C.), the officer in command reported that about 200 of the enemy had barricaded themselves in a blockhouse and driven off Being the key to the enemy?s position, and considering it most necessary to act promptly before the main body of the Bhooteas should return and rally, and as our men ahd been fighting for three hours in a boiling sun, Major-General Tombs gave orders to Lieutenant Dundas and Major Trevor to lead the attack. They had to climb up a wall which was fourteen feet high, and then to enter a house occupied by some 200 desperate men, head foremost through an opening not more than two feet wide, between the top of the wall and the roof of the blockhouse. Major-General tombs states that on speaking to the Sikh soldiers around him and telling them in Hindustani to swarm up the wall, none of them responded to the call, until these two officers had shown them the way, when they followed with the greatest alacrity. How Trevor and Dundas escaped death was marvel. Perhaps the very restricted space at the point of entrance had something to do with their success, the defenders being unable to use their swords effectively and getting jammed in their eagerness to close with them; while the officers used their revolvers with fatal effect until the cleared the gallery and enabled the storming party to effect a lodgement. About sixty of the garrison, mostly wounded surrendered; the rest were killed fighting to the last.
Major-General Trevor, born in India, on October 9th 1831, was the son of Captain R.S. Trevor, who was murdered by Akbar Khan, at Cabul in 1841, at the same time as Sir Wm. McNaghten was done to death. Educated at Addiscombe, he entered the Army in 1849. Served through the Butrmah Campaign, 1852-3, being severely wounded at the taking of the White House Picket Stockade at Rangoon April 12th 1852, and for his conduct was mentioned in despatches. Present at the action at Donabew March 19th 1853, and again wounded and mentioned for his gallant conduct. Served against the Dacca Mutineers in 1857, and through the Bhootan War of 1865, when he gained the Victoria Cross. Has been employed a great deal in the Public Works Department of India, having been Provincial Chief engineer, Director-General of railways, and Secretary to the Indian government.
1st Battalion Rifle Brigade
As will be seen on referring to Rule 5 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, the decoration could not be originally be awarded except for the acts performed ?in the presence of the enemy,? but on August 10th 1858, a new clause was inserted in the Order and under that rule Private O?Hea was awarded the decoration eight years later, being the only man who has benefited by the change. On June 9th 1866, a railway van, carrying 2,000 pounds of ammunition, caught fire at Danville Station while on the way from Quebec to Montreal, in Canada. While the guard was hesitating what to do under such terrible circumstances, O?Hea kept his nerve and, seizing the keys, opened the van doors, calling for water and a ladder. He tore the covering from the cases, discovered the source of the fire, and by his example it was suppressed, and a frightful explosion averted. Some years ago this brave man was lost in the Australian Bush, and no trace of him ever found.
THE WEST AFRICAN (RIVER GAMBIA)
4th West India Regiment
On June 30th 1866, at the storming of the town of Jubabecolong in the kingdom of Barra River Gambia, West Africa this private soldier behaved with very great bravery. Colonel D?Arcy having called for volunteers to hew down the stockade with axes, Hodge and another soldier (afterwards killed) sprang forward and commenced the work. On our troops gaining an entrance Hodge followed his officer through the town, opening two gates from the inside, which were barricaded and thereby allowing the supports to enter, upon which the enemy were cleared out at the point of the bayonet. As soon as the troops had issued through the West Gate of the town, the colonel in the presence of all the men, acknowledged Hodge as the bravest soldier in the regiment.
He is one of three men of colour who have gained the Victoria Cross. The two other are William Hall, of Peel?s Naval Brigade, in the Mutiny, and W.J. Gordon (West India Regiment), at Toniatbe, West Africa 1892.
LITTLE ANDAMAN ISLAND
CAMPBELL MILLIS DOUGLAS
(Assistant-Surgeons, now Brigade-Surgeon, Retired M.D., L.R.C.P.)
2nd Battalion 24th (2nd Warwickshire) South Wales Borderers
One of our ships, the Assam Valley, had put in at the island of Little Andaman, in the Bay of Bengal and some of the crew went ashore. Apparently they must have been set upon and murdered by the natives, for none of them ever returned. To ascertain their fate, a part of the 24th regiment was sent by steamer from Rangoon, and on some of them landing on May 7th 1867, they were attacked by the natives. Meantime a storm arose and turned the surf into a raging sea, and the soldiers on shore being in great peril, Dr. Douglas and four men most gallantry manned a gig and attempted to reach them. They very nearly succeeded in their endeavours, but, the boat beginning to fill rapidly, they were forced to retire. They then made a second attempt and were successful in reaching the shore, taking off five men. On these being placed safely on board, the doctor and his four brave men turned once more to the rescue of the rest of the soldiers, and by their strenuous efforts the entire party was eventually taken off the island. The London Gazette states that Dr. Douglas accomplished his trips through the surf by no ordinary exertion. He stood in the bows of the boat and worked her in an intrepid and seamanlike manner, cool to a degree. The four privates behaved in an equally cool and collected manner, rowing through the roughest surf when the slightest hesitation or want of pluck would have been attended with the bravest results. Their bravery and devotion were the means of saving seventeen men from an awful fate. The four privates with Dr. Douglas were Thomas Murphy, James Cooper, David bell and William Griffith and the Victoria Cross was awarded to them all. They were the first recipients of the decoration in the ?Old Green Howard?s,? which famous regiment had now sixteen to its credit, of which seven were gained at Rorke?s Drift in the Zulu War 1879. Fortunately it has been possible to reproduce photographs of Bell and Murphy, but those of Cooper and Griffiths, in spite of many inquiries, have not been able to be found.
Dr. Douglas retired in 1882. He is the son of Dr. G. M. Douglas, and was born in Quebec, being educated at St. John?s Canada, and Laval?s University, Edinburgh. Joined the 24th Regiment in 1863; was Medical Officer in charge of Field Hospital during he 2nd Riel Expedition 1885.
2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
With Dr. Douglas and three privates, Bell saved the lives of seventeen of his comrades on May 7th 1867, at Little Andaman Island, under circumstances of great bravery and pluck.
2nd Battalion Regiment
Was one of a party of five, including Dr. Douglas (V.C.), who at Little Andaman Island May 7th 1867, rescued a party of seventeen men of the regiment from almost certain death in a most gallant manner.
James Cooper died about fifteen years ago, at Birmingham and it has not been possible to find any trace of a likeness of him to reproduce.
2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
At little Andaman Island, Bay of Bengal on May 7th 1867, William Griffiths Dr. Douglas and three privates saved the lives of seventeen men of their regiment by an act of fearless devotion and bravery. Unfortunately no portrait of this gallant could be found to reproduce, or details of him to be given, excepting to state that he fell on January 22nd 1879, at the massacre of Isandlwana, in Zululand, where, with hundreds of his regiment, he fought to the last against fearful odds, keeping untarnished the name and fame of one of the finest regiments in the British Army.
2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
Accompanied Dr. Douglas (V.C.), when with Privates Bell, Griffiths, and Cooper (James), they rescued seventeen men of the regiment on May 7th 1867, from a most perilous position at Little Andaman Island, under Circumstances of very great bravery and devotion. A detailed account is given under the heading of Dr. Douglas.
THE ABISSINIAN WAR
Associated with James Bergin in a most heroic and courageous action at the storming of Magdala, Abyssinia on April 13th 1868. He and Bergin were the first two men to enter the city, after meeting with very severe difficulties.
33rd (Duke of Wellington?s) Regiment
At the storming of Magdala, under Sir Robert Napier April 13th 1868, Bergin was one of the first to force his way through the defences of the town.
Born at Killbricken, Queen?s County Ireland June 29th 1845. Enlisted in the 10th Regiment 1862, the following year volunteering into the 108th, with which he sailed for India in 1863. In 1867 transferred into the 33rd, with which he served through the Abyssinian War. Later served in the 78th Highlanders.
Hr died many years ago.
THE LOOSHAI (N.E. INDIA) EXPEDITION
(Major, afterwards Major General)
Bengal Staff Corps
On January 4th 1872, during the expedition against the Looshais, under General Nuttall and Bourchier, their chief stockade village, Lalgnoora, was attacked. The assault by a small party of Goorkhas up the steep and rugged hillside was led by Major Macintyre. On reaching it, it was found to be on fire, but this did not deter him, and undaunted, he sprang up the stockade, eight or nine feet high, and with his party successfully stormed the place. This was carried out under the heavier fire delivered that day by the enemy.
Born in 1831 at Kincraig, Ross-shire, educated at Addiscombe, entering the Army in 1850. Served with the 66th Goorkhas in 1852, in the expeditions against the Peshwur Hill tribes, being present at the destruction of Pranghur and the battle at Ishkakot. Served also in 1853 against the Boree Afridi, and in 1856 in the Koorum Valley, under Sir N. Chamberlain. Also in 1864 with the Doaba Field force. His next active service was in the Looshai Expedition, as detailed above, in which he gained the Victoria Cross, and his last was in the Afghan War of 1879.
He retired in 1880, and died April 15th 1903, at Fortrose.
THE ASHANTEE WAR
EDRIC FREDERICK (LORD) GIFFORD
(Lieutenant, now Major, Retired)
24th Regiment, South Wales Borderers
As a young lieutenant of the 24th (late of the 63rd), Lord Gifford proceeded to Ashantee in 1873. Soon after arrival he was placed in command of the Native Scouts. His conduct throughout the entire operations was conspicuously fine, and in all his duties he carried his life in his hands. He hung upon the rear of the enemy, dogging their movements, noting their positions, and unattended by any other white man, captured many prisoners. His finest act was performed before the taking of Becquah February 1st 1874, when he entered the ?city,? before our troops had arrived, and took note of all the enemy?s positions. The information he was able to place before his Commanding Officer, Sir Garnet Wolseley, contributed most materially to the subsequently successful capture of that town.
In 1879, at the close of the Zulu War, the capture of Cetewayo was nearly brought about by Lord Gifford. Had he been a few hours sooner, the credit would have been his. He had been on the search for the Zulu King for fifteen days and nights, and when he was finally successful in finding his whereabouts, his party of scouts was utterly worn out. For this reason he decided to wait till nightfall, before attempting the capture. Meanwhile, Major who had also been searching heard of the king?s hiding place, marched direct to it, and brought him away captive.
Edric Frederick, Lord Gifford (3rd Baron), born July 5th 1849, was educated at Harrow. Entered Army 1869; Lieutenant 63rd Regiment 1870, 24th Regiment 1873, Captain 57th Regiment 1876, Brevet-Major 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment 1880. Colonial Secretary for West Australia and Senior Member Legislative Council 1880-1883; Colonial Secretary of Gibraltar 1883-1888. Decorated by H.M. the late Queen at the review in Windsor Park in April 1874.
REGINALD WILLIAM SARTORIUS
(Major, now Major General, C.M.G., Retired)
6th Bengal Cavalry
Decorated for conspicuous bravery on January 17th 1874, during the attack on Abogoo in the Ashanti War, when under a heavy fire, he saved the life of Sergeant Major Braimah Doctor, a Houssa non-commissioned officer, who had been severely wounded.
He performed another splendid act during the war, by undertaking to ride fifty miles across the enemy?s country, accompanied by twenty natives, with the object of establishing connexion between Captain Glover, who was marching through unknown country, and Sir Garnet Wolseley, whose where about had to be discovered. Starting on March 9th he accomplished his mission on the 11th.
Son of the late Admiral Sir George Rose Sartorious, G.C.B. Has served in the Indian Mutiny, Bhutan War, Kossi Campaign, Volta Expedition 1874, under Sir John Glover, and Afghan War 1879.
(Lance-Sergeant, afterwards Sergeant)
42nd Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch)
Decorated for his bravery on January 31st 1874, at the battle of Amoaful in Ashanti, when in spite of a very severe wound he led his section through the heavy fighting in the bush during the whole day. This gallant Highlander, when landing in Cyprus four years later, dropped dead from sunstroke.
MARK SEVER BELL
(Lieutenant, now Colonel, C.B., Retired)
This officer was decorated with the Victoria Cross for his conduct at Ordahsu on February 4th 1874, which was stated-in the words of the Gazette-to be ?zealous,? ?resolute,? and ?Self-devoted.)
Sir John McLeod, commanding the 42nd, was an eyewitness and testified to his courage and fearless bearing. He urged on and encouraged an unarmed working party if Fantee labourers-who were exposed not only to the fire of the enemy, but also to that of our own native troops in the rear-to do what no European party was ever required to do in warfare, namely, to work under fire in the face of the enemy, without a covering party. His splendid example very materially contributed to the success of the day.
Colonel Bell, P.S.C., C.B., son of Mr. Hutchinson Bell, Leconfield, Yorkshire, was born at Sydney, New South Wales 15th 1843. educated at King?s College London. Entered R.E. 1862; Captain 1874, Major 1882, Brevet Lieut. -Colonel 1884, Brevet-Colonel 1887, Colonel on Staff and commanding R.E., Western District 1894-8, commanded R.E. and Bengal Sappers and Miners, and Assistant Field Engineer Bhutan Campaign 1865-6 (medal and claso); commanded R.E., and Assistant Field Engineer, Hazara Campaign 1868. His conduct in this letter campaign was brought to notice, and his forced march of 600 miles specially mentioned. During the Ashanti War of 1873-4 he was Adjutant R.E. Brigade, and special Service officer, being mentioned in despatches for other acts than that foe which he was awarded the Cross; intelligence Officer Burman Expedition 1886-7; A.Q.M.G. for Intelligence 1880-85; A.D.C. to Her late Majesty 1887-1900; C.B., 1893. Well known as a great traveller in the East and an author of military and geographical articles. Fellow of King?s College London. McGregor Gold Medallist, U.S. Institute, India.
GEORGE NICHOLAS CHANNER
(Captain, Now Major-General, C.B.)
Bengal Staff Corps
On December 20th 1875, during the Expedition in Perak, Captain Channer performed the hazardous and courageous act of creeping alone to the rear of the enemy?s stockade, which we were about to attack. He got so close to it that he could hear their voices, and discovered that no watch was being kept; upon which he beckoned to his men, and the party crept quietly forward, and, under Captain Channer?s lead, dashed into it, this officer shooting the first an dead with his revolver. The stockade was of a most formidable nature, and had it not been taken in the manner described, owing to the foresight and courage of Captain Channer, a great loss of life would in all probability have resulted before it could have been seized at the point of the bayonet, as guns could not have been brought to bear on it owing to its position.
Major-General Channer, born in 1843, was educated at Truro and Cheltenham. Entered the army in 1859, and served through the Umbeyla Campaign 1863; Malay Campaign 1875; Jowaki-Afridi Expedition 1877; Afghan War 1879, Hazara Expedition 1888. Has been continually mentioned in despatches and received a good service pension in 1892.
(Captain, afterwards Major)
Bengal Staff corps
On July 26th 1877, at Quetta in Beloochistan, Captain Scott was serving in the 4th Sikh Infantry. On the evening of that day, while on duty at the Regimental Parade Ground, this officer heard that some Pathans were attacking two Engineer Officers, Lieutenants Hewson and Kunhardt, upon which he at once rushed to their assistance. On reaching the scene he saw that Lieutenant Hewson had been cut down, and that Lieutenant Kunhardt had only Sepoy Ruchpal Singh to protect him from the fury of his assailants, before whom he was retiring hard pressed, and wounded. Captain Scott attacked the Pathans most bravely, with is own hand bayoneting two of them and closing with a third, who was killed during the struggle by a Sepoy of the Regiment. By his courageous conduct the life of Lieutenant Kunhardt was saved.
Major Scott entered the Army on March 4th 1860; was promoted Lieutenant January 1st 1862, and Captain March 4th 1872.
THE KAFFIR WAR
HANS GARRETT MOORE
(Major, afterwards Colonel, C.B.)
88th The Connaught Rangers
During the action near Komagha against the Gaikas on December 29th 1877, a small party of Frontier Mounted Police was formed to retire before a large body of the enemy. Private Giese was unable to mount his horse, and the enemy was rapidly approaching. Major Moore saw the terrible plight he was in, and heroically rode back to attempt to save his life. By the time he reached him he was completely surrounded by the Gaikas, but he did not desist in his attempt until the unfortunate man was killed. Before he himself could escape, h shot two of the enemy, and was severely wounded in the arm by an assagai.
Major Moore was drowned, some years after while attempting to save life in one of the lakes in Ireland.
THE AFGHAN WAR
Bengal Staff Corps
On December 2nd 1878, Captain Cook displayed signal gallantry at the attack on the Peiwar Kotal. Under a terrific fire he charged out of the entrenchments with such vigour and daring that the enemy fled before him. At that moment he caught sight of Major Galbraith, A.A.G. Kurrum field Force, who was in great danger, being in personal conflict with an Afghan soldier. He rushed to his rescue, cut at the Douranee with his sword, which the enemy avoided, sprang at him and grasped him by the throat. The Douranee, who was most powerful adversary, while still endeavouring to get hold of and use his rifle, seized Captain Cook?s arm in his teeth, but was shortly afterwards shot through the head. Captain Cook was severely wounded in the operations around Cabul on December 12th 1879, and died on December 19th. The Lieut published the following divisional order. ?General commanding-
?It is with deep regret the Lieu. ?General announces to the Cabul Field force the death, from a wound received on December 12th, of Major John Cook, V.C., 5th Goorkhas. While yet a young officer, Major Cook served at Umbeyla in 1863, where the distinguished himself, and in the Black Mountain Campaign in 1868. Joining the Kurrum Field Force on its formation, Major Cook was present at the capture of the Peiwar Kotal, his conduct on that occasion earning for him the admiration of the whole force, and the Victoria Cross. In the return in the Monghyr Pass he again brought himself prominently to notice by his cool and gallant bearing. In the capture of the heights at Sang-I-Nawishta Major Cook again distinguished himself, and in the attack on the Takht-I-Shah Peak on December 12th he ended a noble career in a manner worthy even of his great name for bravery.
?By Major Cook?s death Her Majesty has lost the services of an officer who would, had he been spared, have risen to the highest honours of his profession, and Sir F. Roberts feels sure the whole Cabul Field Force will share in the pain his loss occasioned him.?
REGINALD CLARE HART
(Lieutenant, Now Major-General, K.C.B.)
The Lieut. ?General commanding the 2nd Division Peshawur Field force brought the name of this officer to notice for a particularly fine act od courage and humanity near Dakkah. Lieutenant Hart was on convoy duty at the time, January 31st 1879, and a large body of the enemy, who poured a very heavy fire upon it from the hills, attacked the force. A Sowar of the 13th Bengal Lancers fell seriously wounded, 1,2000 yards distant from Lieutenant Hart, who, on seeing the precarious position of the man, ran to him, drove off his assailants, and with the assistance of some men who came up shortly afterwards, carried him under cover. During the entire time he was exposed to the rifle fire of the enemy from the banks of the river, and also from a party of them in the riverbed itself. Major-General Hart has the R.H.S. medal for saving life at Bologne on July 27th 1869, and another medal from the Mayor of that City; a Medal of Honour first class, from the President of the French Republic; a Silver Clasp, R.H.S., for saving the life of a gunner in the Ganges Canal, Roorkee, December 15th 1884.
Sir R. C. Hart, son of the late Lieut. ?General H.G. Hart was born at Scarif, Co. Clare, Ireland, on June 11th 1848. Educated at Marlborough Cheltenham, and R.M. Academy. Lieutenant R.E. 1869; Brevet-Colonel 1886; Assistant Garrison Instructor 1874-8; Garrison Instructor 1885-8; Director of Military Education in India 1888-96. Besides the Afghan War, has served through Egyptian War 1882, in which he was twice mentioned in despatches, receiving Brevet of Lieut. ?Colonel the medal and clasp, 4th class Osmanie and Khedive?s Star; through the Tirah Campaign 1897-8, in which he commanded the 1st Brigade, for his services in which he was mentioned in despatches, received medal and two clasps, and created K.C.B. From 1896-9 commanded the Belgaum District of Madras, and since 1899 the Quetta District of India. Now commands at Chatham.
EDWARD PEMBERTON LEACH
(Captain, now Major General, C.V.O., C.B.)
The action in which General Leach gained the Victoria Cross was fought among the hills of Afghanistan, far away in the Khyber Pass, against the Shinwarris, at Maidanah, on March 17th 1879. Captain Leach?s command was covering the retirement of a survey escort bearing lieutenant Barclay (45th Rattray?s Sikhs), who was mortally wounded. The escort was sorely pressed on all sides. Leach placed himself at the head of the brave Sokhs, and dashed against overwhelming numbers of the tribesman. In the encounter he slew three of them, himself receiving a severe wound from an Afghan knife on the left arm. But for his determination and gallantry the whole party would have been annihilated.
Major-General Leach, son of Sir George Leach, K.C.B., R.E., was born on April 2nd 1847, at Londonderry. Educated at Highgate School and R.M.A. Woolwich, entering the Royal Engineers in 1866. In the Looshai Expedition 1871, his first active service, he was mentioned in despatches and received the thanks of the Government of India. Later he served in the Afghan War from the first to the last, and besides the Victoria Cross, was mentioned in despatches, obtaining Brevets of Major and Lieut. ?Colonel. Took part in the operations at Suakin 1885 (despatches and C.B.), commanded the troops at Korosko 1885-6, and the British Brigade at Assouan in 1886-7. In command of the 9th Division 3rd Army Corps. Since 1900 has commanded the Belfast District.
WALTER RICHARD POLLOCK HAMILTON
Bengal Staff (Formerly 70th Foot)
On April 2nd 1879, at the battle of Futtehabad, Lieutenant Hamilton?s commanding officer, Major Wigram Battye, had been killed, in a charge made by the Guides Cavalry against the Afghans. Finding that he was the only officer left with the regiment. He promptly placed himself at the head of the men, led a most brilliant charge, and thoroughly routed the enemy. His bravery was most marked during this engagement. He saved the life of a Sowar, Dowlut Ram, whose horse had fallen, pinning him to the ground, and who was being attacked by three Afghans. Hamilton went to the man?s rescue, cut down the three assailants, and brought him out of the melee. Although recommended for the Victoria Cross on account of this daring act, the War Office at first refused to grant it, and it was only on October 7th 1879, that tardy recognition was paid to him. He, however never lived to know that they had recognized his conduct, for he accompanied the ill-fated mission under Cavagnari to Cabul, and fell on September 3rd 1879, when the entire party was massacred in that city.
(Captain, now Major General, K.C.B.)
Bengal Staff Corps
Sir O?Moore Creagh won the decoration on April 21st 1879. At the village of Kam Dakka on the Cabul River, Captain Creagh set out with two companies to attack the Mohmunds. The enemy, about 1,500 strong, advanced upon them, and the little force had to retire on a neighbouring Afghan cemetery, which was made as defensible as possible. Here his men repelled attacks with the bayonet all day up to 3 o?clock, when relief reached them. A charge by the 10th Bengal Lancers, under Captain (late Major-General) D. M. Strong, completely routed them, many being driven into the river. Sir F. Haines, the Commander-in-Chief in India, stated that had it not been for the admirable conduct displayed by Captain, the little party would probably have been cut off and destroyed.
Sir O?Moore Creagh served in china during the troubles in 1900, and for some years, during the occupation by European troops of part of that country, commanded those of England.
Son of Captain Creagh, R.N., he was born at Cahirbane, Co. Clare, Ireland. Educated privately and at R.M. College, Sandhurst. Ensign 95th 1866; Staff corps 1870. Commanded the 2nd Baluchis 1889. A.Q.M.G. Bombay Command 1895. Political Resident at Aden 1898-1900. Since January 1904, has been in command of the Mhow District, India, in succession to Major-General Sir Richard Westmacott.
GEORGE STEWART WHITE
(Major, now Field Marshal)
At the battle of Charasiah, Afghanistan, on October 6th 1879, our artillery and rifle-fire failed to dislodge the enemy from a hill which, strongly fortified, it was necessary should be taken by us. It was determined to attempt the capture by assault, and Major White led his men up the precipitous rocks, climbing from ledge to ledge until they found themselves face to face with a force outnumbering them by eight to one. The Highlanders were most exhausted, but it was necessary to take immediate action, and Major White, taking a rifle deliberately went straight at the enemy by himself, and shot the leader of the Afghans. His action so intimidated the rest that they fled down the hill, and the post was taken. On September 1st 1880, at the Battle of Kandahar, Major White led a charge upon the enemy with the greatest dash and gallantry. A heavy fire was being brought to bear upon his party from the Afghan Rifles and two guns; but nothing daunted, he charged the gunners and captured one of the pieces, the enemy retiring in all directions.
Born on July 6th 1835, Sir George White s the son of Mr. J. R. White, of Whitehall, Co. Antrim. Educated at Sandhurst , he entered the 27th Innskilling in 1853, with which he served in the Indian Mutiny 1857. Became Captain in the Gordon Highlanders in 1863; and fought through the Afghan War, taking part in the Battle of Charasiah, occupation of Cabul, expedition to Maidan, Sherpur and capture of Takti Shah; accompanied Lord Roberts in the march from Cabul to Kandahar, being frequently mentioned in despatches and receiving Brevet of Lieut. ?Colonel. Promoted Lieut. ?Colonel 1881, in which year he was Military Secretary to the Viceroy of India, took part in Nile Expedition 1884, became Colonel 1885, Lieut. ?General 1895; A.A.Q.G. in Egypt during expedition for the Khartoum Relief; in command of a brigade in Burma 1885-6, being promoted Major-General for his distinguished services, and thanked by the Indian Government. In command of the Zhob Expedition, and of the Indian Forces 1893-8. Q.G. to the force 1898-9.
His latest services to his country have been during the Boer War, when from almost the outbreak of hostilities until the ?Relief? by General Sir Redvers Buller, V.C., he commanded the garrison of Ladysmith, keeping the British flag flying against enormous odds, heavier armaments, and the privations and disease of a severe siege of 119 days (November 2nd, 1899-March 1st 1900).
Since 1900 has been Governor of Gibraltar, and was promoted in 1903 to the rank of Field Marshal.
EUSTON HENRY SARTORIUS
(Captain, now Major General, C.B.)
This gallant officer and his brother Major General R.W. Sartorius, are both wearers of the Victoria Cross. On October 24th 1879, Captain Sartorius behaved with conspicuous bravery during the action of Shah-jui. The Ghilzais had prepared a surprise attack on the British camp, but the information was brought to our command and the tables were turned on the enemy. Captain Sartorius led a small party of only five or six men, to a surprise attack on their stronghold at Tazi, on the top of an almost inaccessible hill. First creeping up and dashing unawares on the picket, the place was taken by assault with the loss of only one man. Captain Sartorius was himself, however, severely wounded in both hands by sword cuts.
Born at Cintra, near Lisbon in 1844, Captain Sartorius is the son of the late Admiral of the Fleet, Sir G. R. Sarorius, G.C.B. Educated at Woolwich and R.M. College, Sandhurst he joined the 59th Regiment in 1862, and passed Staff College. Besides being mentioned in despatches in the Afghan War, was thanked by the Indian Government for his services on the Survey, and obtained Brevet-Majority. Served in Egyptian War 1882, D.A.A.G.; Brevet-Lieut. ?Colonel, and mentioned in despatches. Military Attache in Japan. For saving the lives of three girls from drowning at Broad stairs, June 29th 1869, received the Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society.
THE REV. JAMES WILLIAMS ADAMS, B.A.
Bengal Ecclesiastical Establishment
Chaplain, Cabul Field force
At the village of Bhagwana, on December 11th 1879, two troops of the 9th Lancers were, during a charge hurled with their horses into a wide and deep nullah, the enemy close upon them. The Rev. J. W. Adams rushed into the water and dragged the men one after the other from under the horses, being at the time under a heavy fire and up to his waist in water. While this took place, the Afghans were pressing on most vigorously, the leading men getting within a few yards of Mr. Adams, who having, previous to the above act, let go his horse in order to render more effectual aid to a young lancer whom he had rescued from the Afghan horsemen, was compelled to escape on foot.
Lord Roberts refers in his memoirs to this latter act of bravery and devotion performed by ?The Fighting Parson,? as the Rev. J. W. Adams has been often called. Seeing a wounded man of the 9th Lancers staggering towards him, he dismounted and tried to life the man on to his own horse. Unfortunately, the mere broke loose, and was never seen again. He managed, however, to support the lancer until he was able to make him over to some of his own comrades. Referring also to the act for which the ?Padre? was awarded the Cross-, the same authority states that, on seeing the two lancers struggling under their horses, Adams did not hesitate an instant, but jumped into the ditch. He was an unusually powerful man, and by sheer strength dragged the lancers clear of the struggling animals. The Afghans had by this time reached Bhagwana, and were so close to the ditch that he thought Adams could not possibly escape. He called out to him to look after himself, but until he had pulled the almost exhausted lancers to the top of the slippery bank, Adams paid no heed to his own safety or the warnings of his commanding officer.
It was not only at Cabul that this Irish clergyman distinguished himself, for just a year previously, during the first days of the war in Afghanistan, when acting as ?aide? to Sir Frederick (Lord) Roberts, Peiwar Kotal way, he rode forth alone, early one winter?s morning, into the ravines, in search of a missing column, which he found, together with other benighted troops, led them to their position, and Peiwar Kotal was won.
He took part in that historic and splendid march under (then) Sir Frederick Roberts, from Cabul to Kandahar in August 1880 and was present at the battle with, and defeat of Ayub Khan on September 1st. Five years later was again in the field, this time among the Paddi fields, obtaining medal and clasp. This terminated his services in the east.
In 1887 Mr. Adams became rector of Postwick, Norfolk, and of Stow Bardolf, in the same county, in 1895, finally holding the living of Ashwell, Oakham, where he died on October 20th 1903 aged 63.
WILLIAM HENRY DICK-CUNYNFHAM
(Lieutenant, afterwards Lieut. ?Colonel)
2nd Gordon Highlanders
This gallant officer was decorated for conspicuous bravery at the attack on the Afghans, at the Sherpur Pass, December 13th 1879. On this occasion owing to the terrible fire brought to bear on them, the men were forced back, and for a moment were inclined to waver. Although facing the full fire of the Afghans, Lieutenant Dick-Cunyngham sprang forward and, calling on his men to follow him (which order with renewed confidence they promptly obeyed), the attack was successfully carried out.
Born in 1851, Lieut. ?Colonel Dick-Cunyngham joined the 2nd Gordon Highlanders in 1872; became Captain 1881; Major 1891; and Lieut. ?Colonel 1897. Serving through the Afghan War, he was engaged on transport duty in the advance to Kandahar and Khelat-I-Ghilzie under Sir Donald Stewart, and was with the Thull Chotili force under Major-General Biddulph, being mentioned in despatches. With Sir Frederick (now Earl) Roberts, V.C., in the Kurum Valley operations (including he action at Ali Kheyl), and in the fighting round Cabul in 1879, with the Maidan Expedition as Acting-Adjutant of a wing of the Gordon Highlanders, including the action of Charasiah. Took part in the historic march from Cabul to Kandahar, and was present at the battle of the latter plkace. During the entire war was frequently mentioned in despatches. In 1881 he served against the Boers as Adjutant to the Gordon Highlanders, and on the declaration of War against the same enemy in 1899, went to the front in command of the 2nd Battalion of his famous regiment, leading them into action at the battle of Elandslagate, where he was wounded in the leg, necessitating his forced in action during the early part of the siege of Ladysmith.
On January 6th 1900, almost the first day on which he had resumed his active duties, while the great attack on the town was in progress, he was killed by a chance shot nearly 3,000 yards range.
(Lance corporal, afterwards Sergeant)
72nd (Seaforth) Highlanders
On December 14th 1879, during the attack on the Asmai Heights, round Cabul, Lance Corporal Sellar, in a most gallant manner, led the attack and under a very severe fire, dashed up the slope in front of his party, and engaged in a desperate hand-to-hand combat with an Afghan who sprang out to meet him. He was severely wounded.
ARTHUR GEORGE HAMMOND
(Captain, now Colonel, K.C.B., D.S.O.)
Bengal Staff Corps
During the severe fighting around Cabul in December 1879, the troops were frequently hard pressed. The numbers to be met and defeated or kept in check were overwhelming, as the hilltop were alive with men keeping up a long-range fire. This became so harassing and annoying that it was at length resolved to storm the crags and drive them from their fastnesses once for all, and, on the 14th, vigorous action was taken, with splendid results. The position occupied by Colonel Hammond?s men was such an exposed and dangerous one, that a short retirement became necessary for strategic reasons, seeing which the exultant Afghans seized this opportunity to press on. Colonel Hammond took a rifle and, hanging in rear of his men, opened so deadly a fire upon them that their advance was effectually checked. Later on, when a Sepoy fell severely wounded, he rushed to his assistance and helped to rescue him from the Afghans.
Son of Major T. G. Hammond, he was born in 1843, and educated at Sherborne and Addiscombe.
Served in the Jowaki Afridi Expedition 1877, with the Guides under General Keyes; against the Ranizai village at Skhakat, March 14th 1878, and attack on Utman Kheyl villages March 21st. Through Hazara Expedition 1888 (obtaining the D.S.O.), and Hazara 1891; Izazai Expedition 1892; Chitral Releif 1895, receiving the thanks of the Indian Government; Tirah Campaign 1897. In 1890 was appointed A.D.C. to the Queen, and received his Colonelcy. Has a good service pension.
WILLIAM JOHN VOUSDEN
(Captain, afterwards Major General, C.B.)
5th Punjab Cavalry
Decorated for his exceptional gallantry on December 14th 1879, on the Koh Asmai Heights, near Cabul, when with a small party, he charged into the centre of the line of Kohistanis, who were retreating. Although greatly outnumbered by the enemy, who repeatedly attempted to close round them, he led his men through their ranks, backwards and forwards, several times, afterwards sweeping off round the opposite side of the village and rejoining the rest of the troop.
Major General Vousden, son of the late Captain Vousden, 21st R.N.B. Fusiliers, was born at Perth, Scotland, on September 20th 1845. Educated at King?s School, Canterbury; R.M.C., Sanhurst. Joining the 35th Regiment in 1864 was transferred in 1867 to the 5th Punjab Cavalry, serving in the Afridi Expedition on the staff, and the two Afghan Campaigns, in which he obtained Brevet of Major. His subsequent active service was in the Miranzai Expedition, Tochi Field Force and Tirah Campaign, and the fighting on the northwest of India 1897-8. In every one of these campaigns he was specially mentioned in despatches during the Afghan no lee than three times.
He died at Lashore, India, November 12th 1902.
(Sergeant, afterwards Sergeant Major)
Royal Horse Artillery
On July 27th 1880, after the disaster at Maiwand, our small force was retreating to Kandahar, when Driver Pickwell Istead fell badly wounded. Although the enemy were only ten or fifteen yards distant, Patrick Mullane, seeing the driver?s danger, unhesitatingly ran back two yards and lifted him on to the limber of his guns, where he unfortunately died almost immediately.
Later on, he volunteered to fetch water for the wounded, going for it to a village near, where already so many of our men had been killed.
Royal horse Artillery
After the fearful disaster at Maiwand, on July 27th 1880, a retreat was made to Kandahar by the remnant of our force. The road became blocked by masses of fugitives, and the sufferings of the wounded were increased by terrible thirst. The conduct of James Collis was most noticeable, for, time after time, he went into the villages on the road to procure water for them, running the greatest risk in so doing, by reason of the bands of Afghans who hovered around, attacking our disorganized soldiers whenever an opportunity presented itself. His finest act took place at the bend of a road through a narrow defile. A body of Afghan cavalry bore down upon the gun carriage he was guarding and directed a hail of bullets on the wounded, who had been placed upon the limber. In order to draw their attention from the helpless men, Collis to the side of the road and returned the fire of the pursuing horsemen, making himself their target, and by his heroic act the limber was dragged around the bend of the road and the wounded saved. Later on he again distinguished himself by volunteering to carry a message from the beleaguered garrison to General Dewberry, entrenched some distance off. This he successfully accomplished though fired at by the enemy both when going and returning.
James Collis was born at Cambridge in 1860. His Cross-was presented to him on Poona Racecourse by Sur Frederick (now Earl) Roberts.
WILLIAM ST. LICIEN CHASE
(Lieutenant, now Lieut. ?Colonel, C.B.)
Bombay Staff Corps
On August 16th 1880, during the Afghan War, the Khandahar garrison made a sortie against the village of Deh Khoja. Private Massey, of the Royal Fusiliers, having been severely wounded, took shelter in a blockhouse, and from there Lieutenant Chase carried him for over 200 yards to a more safe position, the whole time exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy. Private Ashford (V.C.) most bravely assisted him, remaining with him all the time.
Lieut. ?Colonel Chase, son of the late Captain R. H. Chase, commissary of Ordnance, was born at St. Lucia, West Indies. Joined the 15th Regiment in 1876, Indian Staff Corps 1878, and served through the Afghan War 1879-80, taking part in the Defence of Kandahar, the sortie above described, and the battle of Khandahar; Zhob Campaign 1884, Chn-Lushai Expedition and advance on Fort Haka; Naga Hills Campaign and Manipur 1893, Mohmund Expedition 1897, Tirah Campaign 1897-8, actions of Sampagha Pass; occupation of Maiden and Bagh Valleys, and operations in Dwatoi defile, Rajghul Valley, and Bara Valley. Mentioned continually in despatches for his bravery and gallant service. Now in command of the 28th Bombay Pioneers.
Associated with Lieutenant Chase (V.C.), in an act of conspicuous bravery on August 16th 1800, during the sortie from Kandahar against the village of Deh Khoja.
THE ZULU WAR
(Lieutenant and Adjutant)
O January 22nd 1879, when the camp at Isandlwana was attacked by the Zulus and nearly everyman killed, Colonel Pulleine, seeing the disastrous turn that affairs were taking, called to Lieutenant and Adjutant Melvill to take the colours of the regiment and endeavour to cut his way through the enemy to save them. His heroic conduct is described more fully in the record of Lieutenant Coghill (V.C.), with whom he was associated, and with whom, on the banks of the Buffalo River, he met his death.
Teignmouth Melvill, born in London on September 8th 1842, was the son of Philip Melvill, secretary in the Military Department to the East India Company. Educated at Harrow, Cheltenham, and Cambridge?s, he graduated B.A. in 1865. Entered the Army in 1865, and received his Lieutenancy December 2nd 1868. Proceeded with his regiment to Malta, Gibraltar, and (in 1875) the Cape. Passed examination for Staff College and was ordered home to join that establishment when the Galeka War broke out, upon which he obtained permission to rejoin his regiment, and served through the suppression of the Outbreak. At the commencement of the Zulu War he rejoined the Headquarters Column, and, with his regiment, took part in the attack and capture of Sirayo?s stronghold on January 13th 1879.
Her Majesty the late Queen Victoria, as a mark of her appreciation and recognition of his heroic conduct, caused his name to be placed upon the colour pole of the 24th Regiment, together with those of Lieutenants Cioghill, Chard and Bromhead.
NEVILL JOSIAH AYLMER COGHILL
Nevill Josiah Aylmer Coghill, eldest son of Sir John Joscelyn Coghill, Bart., J.P., of Castle Townshend, Co. Cork, Ireland was born on January 25th 1852.
He was educated at Haileybury, and passed direct commission in 24th Regimenta; became Aide-de-Camp to General Sir Arthur Cunynhame during the Galeka War 1877, afterwards serving in a similar capacity to Sir Bartle Frere, who, at his own request, gave him six weeks leave to join the fighting column in the Zulu War, under Lord Chelmsford.
He had been told off to act as galloper to Colonel Glyn on the unfortunate reconnaissance made from Isandlwana Camp, on January Camp, on January 22nd 1879, but that officer, seeing he was quite lame, insisted he should remain behind and nurse his knee, injured while out foraging a few days before. He therefore remained in the camp, which, as soon as the Zulus had drawn off Lord Chelmsford and the main body of our troops, was attacked by an impi of 25,000 men, completely surrounded and practically annihilated.
Colonel Pulleine, who was in command, seeing the desperate state of affairs, called to Lieutenant and Adjutant Melvill to take the Queen?s colour of the regiment and endeavour to cut his way through the mass of Zulus, to prevent its falling into the enemy?s hands. This order Lieutenant Melvill proceeded to carry out, and with Lieutenant Coghill, spurred his horse over the rocky and dangerous ground to the Buffalo River, six miles distant. The direction chosen was the only one possible, which gave any hope of success, for the road to Rorke?s Drift was now seen completely blocked and dense masses of Zulus. As it was, they had to fight nearly the whole way, for the enemy, whose running powers enabled them to keep up with the horses, were assuaging from the saddle most of the fugitives who had followed these officers. In company with one mounted soldier, Melvill and Coghill reached the Buffalo and plunged in, the soldier being at once carried by the whirling stream and drowned. Coghill reached the Natal side in safety, and, turning round, saw Melvil, whose horse had been drowned, being carried down by the rushing torrent, and that the colour he had tried so hard to save, had been wrenched from his grasp and was floating away down the river. Though unable to walk owing to his injured knee, and knowing, as he did, that any accident to his horse meant certain death to him, with safety and life at hand if he close to take them, yet Coghill refused to consider himself, and turning his horse?s head, rode back again into the stream to Melvill?s assistance. The Zulu kept up a hot fire upon both men and shortly afterwards Coghill?s horse was shot. With the greatest difficulty both managed to reach and climb the steep bank, and took shelter beneath some huge boulders. Higginson, an officer of the Natal Native contingent, who had succeeded in escaping thus far from Isandlwana, saw them at this point and joined them, but both Melvill and Coghill persuaded him to save himself by fight, as, being unarmed, he could render no assistance and, when discovered, would only add another to the two lives whose tide was so nearly at the ebb.
Leaving them, he had gone some distance, when he heard shots fired, and looking round, saw them both surrounded by Zulus. Of their actual end no living man has ever borne witness, but when the search party under Major Black man has ever borne witness, but when the search party under Major Black discovered the bodies of these brave men, a ring of dead Zulus around them bore silent testimony that they had sold their lives dearly and had fought it out to the last.
The Queen, whose colour these officers had died to save, was quick to recognize such a heroic bravery, and sent two wreaths to be placed on the arms of the cross which marks their grave by the Buffalo River, and later presented to the 24th regiment a silver wreath to be hung on the colour pole for ever, upon which were inscribed four names: - Broomhead and Chard, of Rorke?s Drift, and Melvill and Coghill, of Isandlwana.
With the exception of Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill and Private
(who was killed), this is the only man on the Victoria Cross list who was present at the terrible disaster of Isandlwana, January 22nd 1879. When the camp was sacked and nearly every man massacred, there were a few fugitives who succeeded in reaching the Buffalo River, six miles away. Wassall had just commenced to ford the river when he saw one of his comrades, Private Westwood, being carried down the stream, almost certain to be drowned. Though the Zulus were close behind him, without hesitation he sprang from his horse, which he tied up to the Zulu bank of the river, swam out to the man?s assistance and brought him back to the shore. Then, again mounting his horse, he urged the animal across the river, dragging the exhausted man hand by hand, and succeeded in getting him safely to the opposite side, in spite of a brisk fire kept up on him by the enemy, who had by then arrived at the river.
THE DEFENCE OF RORKE?S DRIFT (ZULU WAR)
January 22nd-23rd 1879
JOHN ROUSE MERRIOTT CHARD
Lieutenant, Royal Engineers
GONVILL S. BROMHEAD
Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
HENRY HOOK. ????Private
WILLIAM JONES????.Private 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
JAMES HENRY REYNOLDS
Surgeon-Major, Army Medical Department
JAMES LANGLEY DALTON
Acting Assistant, Commissariat and Transport Department.
F. C. SCHIESS
Corporal, Natal Native Contingent
The Zulu War of 1879 is full of individual acts of heroism and devotion, and of situations of the gravest peril; yet, from among so much that is splendid in the behaviour of our troops against the fearful odds they had to face in that fierce conflict, the famous defence of Rorke?s Drift stands out as one of the finest examples of discipline and valour ever recorded to the credit of British soldiers. Coming as it did, within a few hours of one of the most terrible disasters which has ever befallen a British force-that of the battle of Isandlwana, which was followed shortly after by the reserves sustained at Intombi and Inhlobane-the heart of the nation went out in admiration and gratitude to the little band of about a hundred men which held Rorke?s Drift against 4,000 Zulus, whose natural ferocity and reckless disregard of death was rendered more dangerous by the confidence or recent victory.
On the morning of January 22nd, orders had come to Colonel Durnford to move up with all his command from Rorke?s Drift to the camp at Isandlwana. Thus the Post was denuded of troops, a fact which is the more astonishing in view of its tactical importance as a point on the direct route from Zululand into Natal. The position was further left without any preparation for its defence, although it constituted a base for supplies, and an enormous quantity of provisions and commissariat was collected and kept there. The Post was a mission station, and consisted of two buildings standing about thirty yards apart, the walls being constructed of sun-dried clay bricks, and the roofs that thatch. The Mission House was, at the time, used as a hospital, and contained a number of wounded and convalescent soldiers. The fate of Colonel Durnford and his men at Isandlwana is well known. After the massacre and complete annihilation of the force, the Zulus advanced towards Rorke?s Drift with the intention of overwhelming the small guard, which occupied it, and then a successful attack upon the garrison at Helpmakaar, fourteen miles distant, would have left them free to overrun and devastate the Colony of Natal.
About 3.30 p.m. Lieutenant Chard, R.E., the officer in command of the Post, was on duty at the river superintending work on the pontoons, when he saw, in the distance, two horsemen riding hard for the Drift. On reaching the bank they shouted to be taken across. They were Lieutenant Adenorff of the Natal Native Contingent, and a trooper, and were survivors of Durnford?s force. They informed him of the disaster at Isandlwana, and warned him that the enemy were advancing on Rorke?s Drift. The trooper then rode on to warn the garrison at Helpmakaar, while Lieutenant Adenorff remained and subsequently assisted in the defence. Lieutenant Chard was at once preparing to return, when he received a message from Lieutenant Bromhead, who was in command of the Company of the 24th regiment at the Post, asking him to return there immediately, which he proceeded to do after mooring the pontoons in midstream. Lieutenant Bromhead had also received warning of their peril from Captain Gardner, 14th Hussars, with orders to defend the Post at any cost. Immediately the message was received, defences were erected, as far as was possible, in the time and with the materials at their disposal.
It was decided to form a laager, by connecting the two small buildings with barricades, so that a square or oblong enclosure would be formed on two sides by the barricades, and at the ends of the walls of the two buildings, which faced each other. The barricades, to a height of four feet, were hastily constructed with bags of mealies and biscuit boxes. The building were loophole, their interiors constituting, in a sense, two separate extensions of the central laager. A number of natives at the station deserted in a panic at the approach of danger, and this handicapped the construction of the defences in the loss of so much labour. Further, the garrison were thereby reduced to about eighty men, slightly reinforced by a few of the patients in the hospital who turned out to give what help they could. While the defences were hurriedly being constructed-Mr. Dalton?s energies being particularly noticed by Lieutenant Chard in his report-it occurred to the officers that they would necessitate dispositions too extended for the effective handling of the small force at their command, and therefore the laager was divided into half by a transverse barricade of biscuit boxes. The foresight, which resulted in the construction of this extra defence ultimately, proved the salvation of the little force from certain annihilation. So swiftly did the attack follow the warning received by the garrison, that only half an hour elapsed between the appearance of the fugitive horsemen at the drift, and the actual appearance of the enemy. Consequently, the garrison had not time to complete the laager before they were compelled to defend iit for their lives. About thirteen feet of the barricade connecting the two buildings remained unfinished on one side, and it was at this point that the fiercest fighting throughout the attack took place, preceding the retirement of the defenders into the completely finished half of the laager. Unfortunately for the defenders, cover for the attack, afforded by the trees of the mission orchard, ran right up to his gap in the barricade. It was about 4 p.m. when the first of the enemy came in sight. Private Hitch, of the 24th Regiment, posted as a lookout on the roof of the hospital, saw Zulu on the crest of the hill and fired at him. This was the first shot of the action of Rorke?s Drift.
The laager was situated at a short distance from a small kopje, which rose above the mission buildings. On the other three sides stretched the bare undulating veldt, which did the river and was devoid of all cover beyond the hollows between rise and ridge. Near the laager, however on the side of the kopje, a number of ovens afforded cover, while the orchard, already mentioned, also afforded advanced cover for the attack in the trees which grew right up to the gap in the barricade. No sooner had Private Hitch fired, than the Zulus emerged from the cover of the kopje. They extended swiftly and silently in the horn-shaped formation if Zulu attack, and constantly preserving the direction of this curve, under cover of the hollows of the veldt, until they completely encircled the little laager with its desperate defenders. Then, with a yell, the circle closed in a combined attack upon the laager. The enemy advanced, firing and attempted to carry the barricade with the rush of a sudden assault. As has already stated, the weak point in the defences was the uncompleted portion of the barricade. Here the fiercest fighting took place through the desperate hours of succeeding attacks. It was a hand-to-hand conflict. The Zulus burst through the orchard trees till within a few yards of the gap, and hurled themselves repeatedly upon the men who held this point. And it was the bayonet work, which held the gap.
Mr. Dalton?s conduct at this point was exceptionally fine. He directed the fire of the men, and by his own unerring aim during the Zulu rush, and his courageous behaviour when they closed on the bayonet, contributed very considerably towards the repulse. The general nature of the attack, throughout, was a succession of desperate attempts to force and climb over the barricades, and the strain upon the defenders can be imagined under the stress of the circumstances in which they were placed. For twelve long hours, without cessation, this magnificent defence continued. The heroic bravery of the two young officers in command stimulated their men in continual repulse of rush after rush of the fearless enemy. Lieutenant Chard, standing in the centre of the laager, directed men from one point to another, as he saw that any particular part of the barricade required extra assistance. Lieutenant Bromhead bayoneted Zulu after Zulu, and throughout the action, led his men where the attack was fiercest. But a much more serious and terrible defect in the defence, due under the circumstances to, perhaps, a venial want of foresight rather than to want of time, became apparent when the attack developed. It has already been stated, that the two mission buildings constituted extensions of the laager formed in the square by barricades connecting the two. Therefore, each of these buildings was truly outside the lagger altogether. Moreover the doors of the mission house-used as a hospital-were so arranged that the inmates could only exit in the face of the enemy?s attack, when they would find themselves outside the barricades of the laager. With the exception of a tiny window in the wall opening into the laager, no communication could possibly be made between those in the hospital and their comrades. This window, moreover, could not be reached from any of the rooms, as with one exception there was no interior communication from one to another of the several rooms, which all opened outwards towards the enemy. Now the terrible situation of the sick and helpless men in this building when the attack developed can be fully realized. On three sides of them surged their fierce relentless enemy; yet escape from room to room was impossible, and the wall not only barred them from refuge into the laager, but also shut them effectually from the succour of their comrades. Private John Williams was posted with Privates Joseph Williams and Horrigan in one of these isolated rooms, having three patients under their care. For upwards of an hour, they held the door against the Zulus, John Williams working to cut a hole in the partition to enable him to get his patients through to safety. At last the Zulus forced the door, and dragged out Joseph Williams and Horrigan, and killed them, together with one of the patients; but John Williams contrived to get the other two through the wall and joined Henry Hook, who was in a room farthest from the laager, with six wounded men under his care. These two men rescued every one of their charges by the exercise of splendid valour and devotion. The doors of the hospital were blocked up with mealie-bags, and the attack upon both doors and windows was defended by Hook and Williams, for some time, by rifle-fire through loopholes, which the former had made with a pick-axe in the wall of the building. But at last the door was carried, and the Zulus attempted to rush into the room. While Hook held the door single-handed against the enemy. Williams moved the patients out of this room into the next one nearer the laager. Hook retreated last; carrying in his arms one of the patients whose leg was broken. The enemy rushed the room, and again Hook held the inner door, while Williams, with the pickaxe, attacked the partition wall of clay bricks to make an aperture large enough to enable them to continue their escape. Happily the door of this room, which opened outwards, resisted the attacks of the enemy to batter it in, so that Hook?s attention was concentrated in the defence of the inner door by which they had entered. By now the roof of the building was in flames. The Zulus, tying lighted material to assegais, had flung them on to the thatch, which caught readily, and the interior soon became filled with smoke, in the choking fumes of which this desperate conflict continued. When, at last, Williams had succeeded in breaking through the wall, the party retreated into another room still nearer the laager, while Hook again retreated last with his disabled comrade in his arms, only to turn again and defend this aperture against the rush of their pursuers, while Williams once more attacked the wall leading into the last room that now divided them from refuge in the laager. The retreat into this room was successfully accomplished. They were now in the room nearest to the laager, but their only means of exit was through the small window to which reference has already been made. This window, too small to allow a man to pass through, much less to drag wounded men through it, had to be enlarged by Williams with the pickaxe. Hook defended the aperture till all had passed through with safety while the Zulus stabbed at him through blinding almost suffocating smoke. When the window was enlarged, Williams lifted the patients through into the laager. Then he himself followed; pulling Hook after him, just in time to evade a final rush of the Zulus.
The fact that the enemy were now in possession of a building actually commanding the lagger, would have proved a matter of extreme peril for its defenders, had not a greater part of the blazing roof fallen in with a crash upon its inmates, very shortly after its evacuation by the British. Many of the Zulus perished in the blazing ruins of the roof, their charred and roasted bodies subsequently discovered. Meanwhile William and Robert Jones had enacted an equally heroic action in another part of the hospital. Seven patients were under their case, and these two men defended them to the last, succeeding in saving six of them. The seventh, Sergeant Maxwell, was delirious, and when his brave comrades had dressed him he refused to be moved. After saving the other six, Robert Jones returned to save him by force, but found the Zulus had stabbed him as he lay on the bed. William Allen and Frederick Hitch kept the open space between the hospital window and the inner defence clear, enabling the patients to be brought safely across from the burning building. Under a raking fire they held their post against terrible odds, and both received severe wounds, but preserved in their heroic duty. Later on, when so badly wounded as to be almost incapacitated, they braved the bullets and rain of spears showered all around them, and carried ammunition to their comrades during some hours of the defence. Amid the hail of missiles which beat upon the gallant defenders of the barricades there was one heroic figure moving from point to point, taking no active part in the defence, and with no excitement of battle to sustain him. It was Surgeon-Major James Henry Reynolds, who worked calmly and devotedly, ministering help to those struck down. During those long hours of desperate battle he earned his cross repeatedly, and when not actually attending to the wounded, busied himself in carrying ammunition to those at the barricade. His example of cool bravery was the admiration of all. Another brave man among many was Corporal Schiess, of the Natal Native Contingent. He noticed that one Zulu in particular was doing great damage from behind an anthill, crept along the barricade far out, and under fire, and after a short time was able to shoot this Zulu marksman. Before he returned he disposed of two others in a similar way. Three times he leapt on to the top of the wall of sacks, stabbed a Zulu and sprang back, in spite of the fact that he had just come out of hospital when the attack commenced, having been previously severely wounded in the foot.
The garrison had now been forced to retreat behind the inner line of defence into the half of the laager against opposite mission building, and a breach made in the barricade of this half, to render possible the retreat of the garrison with the sick, had to be desperately defended throughout the remainder of the attack. Night had now fallen. The Zulus upon all sides continued, with unabated fury, their combined attack upon the remaining portion of the laager. The blazing roof of the hospital threw a lurid glare upon the scene, and showers of burning sparks fell in a fierce rain upon the conflict and confusion beneath, while high into the air rose a great volume of smoke, flaming with the reflection of the fire underneath, and shore in the night, visible from far in the surrounding country. It was this glare that attracted the attention of Lord Chelmsford and his force, telling them of the attack upon Rorke?s Drift, and filling them with apprehension for the fate of their comrades of the garrison.
To the last this terrible conflict remained a hand-to-hand struggle against odds. The Zulus swarmed into the space between the inner barricades of the hospital, and attempted, by force of numbers, again and again to overwhelm the garrison. But, hard pressed as they were, their daring spirit remained undiminished; after hours of hopeless battle, men were found to follow Hook, in a charge through the mass of their foes, to bring in the water-carts, abandoned in the retreat, the necessity for which was absolute, to mitogate the suffering of the sick and wounded men within the laager. This brave act was successfully accomplished without any loss to this sortie of a forlorn hope.
Until 4 o?clock in the morning the fighting continued. Then, after some desultory firing, the enemy withdrew over the hill. Fearing a fresh attack, the position was strengthened, the weapons of the dead Zulus were collected and a message was sent to Helpmaker for reinforcements. About 6 a.m. another large body of Zulus appeared in sight, but shortly afterwards Lord Chelmsford?s column was sighted coming towards the Post. The heroic little garrison was relieved. The total number present during the defence was eight officers, ninety-six non-commissioned officers and men, and thirty-five non-commissioned officers and men sick. Their losses were fifteen killed and two died of wounds received. The official number of Zulus killed is given as 350, this being the number found around the defences, but many more were afterwards found some distance from the Post, bringing the number up to 600.
JOHN ROUSE MERRIOTT CHARD
(Lieutenant, afterwards Colonel)
This officer was in command of the Rorke?s Drift Post on January 22nd 1879, when with about a hundred men, mostly of the 24th Regiment, the position was attacked by 4,000 Zulus. Throughout the entire defence, which lasted from 4 p.m. till daybreak next morning, Colonel Chard directed the operations with the most heroic bravery. The Lieut. ?General in command of the troops reported that ?had it not been for the fine example and excellent behaviour of these two officers under the most trying circumstances, the Defence of Rorke?s Drift Post would not have been conducted with that intelligence and tenacity which so essentially characterized it?; also ?that its success must in a great degree, be attributable to the two young officers who exercised the chief command on the occasion in question.?
The Defence of Rorke?s Drift will go down to posterity as one of the finest examples of British heroism, and the names of Chard and Bromhead will hold a prominent position in the annals of the British Army. The late Queen Victoria caused their names to be inscribed on the colour pole of the 24th Regiment, together with those of Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill, who fell so heroically on the banks of the Buffalo River on the same day, while endeavouring to save the colours of the regiment from the enemy after the Massacre of Isandlwana.
Colonel Chard, son of Mr. W.W. Chard, of Pathe, Somerset, and Mount Tamar, Devon was born in 1847. Educated at Plymouth New Grammar School, Cheltenham and Woolwich he entered the Royal engineer in 1868. He was stationed at Bermuda for some time, ultimately going to South Africa on the outbreak of the Zulu War. After the Defence of the Drift, for which, in addition to the Victoria Cross, he was promoted Captain and Brevet-Major, he became ill of fever, and went to Ladysmith to recruit his health, but recovered sufficiently to take part in the battle of Ulundi. Towards the end of 1879 he was ordered home, and on his arrival at Plymouth was met by a telegram from the late Queen and received by her at Balmoral. He retired from the service in August 1897, and died at Hatch Beauchamp Rectory, near Taunton, Somerset, on November 1st 1897.
GONVILLE S. BROMHEAD
(Lieutenant, afterwards Major)
In the Defence of Rorke?s Drift Post, on January 22nd 1879, Lieutenant Chard, and the eulogistic remarks made by the Lieut. ?General in Command on that officer, were made to apply equally to him. By his splendid example of courageous bearing he inspired his men in the magnificent defence of the barricade, where, with rifle and bayonet, he assisted to repel the terrific and continuous attacks made for hours by the Zulus.
His name, together with those of Chard, Melvill, and Coghill, are inscribed upon the colour pole of the 24th Regiment, and will go down to posterity associated ever with one of the grandest achievements of British arms. In addition to being awarded the Victoria Cross, he was promoted Captain and Brevet-Major.
Was the son of Sir Gonville Bromhead, Bart., and died in Lucknow India on February 10th 1891.
JAMES HENRY REYNOLDS
(Surgeon-Major, Now Lieut.- Colonel)
Army Medical Department
On January 22nd 1879, during the Defence of Rorke?s Drift, Lieut. ?Colonel Reynolds behaved with conspicuous bravery, attending to the wounded under a heavy crossfire from the Zulus on the hills above the Post, and a continual shower of assegais from those attacking the barricades. When not actually engaged in his humane task, he carried ammunition to the men from the magazine.
Son of Mr. I. Reynolds, J.P., of Dalyston House, Granard, Ireland, Colonel Reynolds was born at Kingstown, Dublin on February 3rd 1844. Educated at Castle Knock and Trinity College, Dublin he entered the Medical Staff Corps as Assistant-Surgeon, March 31st 1868, becoming Surgeon March 1st 1873; surgeon-Major (fir distinguished field service), January 23rd 1879; Lieut. ?Colonel, April 1st 1887, and attained substantive step (Brigade-Surgeon Lieut. ?Colonel) December 25th 1892, retiring in 1896. Served I the Kaffir War of 1877-8, and in Zulu War; besides Rorke?s Drift, was present at the battle of Ulundi. Possesses the South African Medal with three dates-1877-8-9-being equivalent to three clasps, and also the Gold Medal of the British Medical Association for his services at Rorke?s Drift. During his second years service received the approbation of the Commander-in-Chief (Lord Sanghurst), for services rendered during a severe outbreak of cholera in India in the 36th Regiment. Colonel Reynolds is now (although on retired list) in Medical Charge of the Royal Army Clothing Factory, London.
JAMES LANGLEY DALTON
Commissariat and Transport Department
(Afterwards Commissariat Staff Corps)
The successful defence of Rorke?s Drift on January 22nd 1879 was in a great measure due to this officer, who on hearing the news that the Zulus were marching on the Post, devoted his energies and resource to the construction of the barricades. He was at the corner of the hospital when the first onslaught was made by the dense mass of Zulus, and his unerring aim and cool courage did much to contribute to the repulse of, and heavy loss inflicted on, the enemy at that point. One Zulu had sprung on to the barricade, and having seized the rifle of one of the defenders, was about to assagai him, when Dalton rushed forward and saved the man?s life by shooting the Zulu. During the Defence he was very severely wounded, but continued at his post until the Zulus retired. In spite of the invaluable work done by Dalton, the War office ignored his merits, and it was not until many months after-in November 1879-that they were awakened to the fact that his bravery had been overlooked, and he would have been awarded had not the facts been laid before Parliament, and pressure of public opinion been brought to bear in his favour.
Dalton had been a Sergeant Major in the British Army before the war. He died at Portsmouth in April 1887.
(Corporal, afterwards Sergeant-Instructor of Musketry)
To this man?s undaunted bravery at the Defence of Rorke?s Drift, January 22nd 1879, when with Frederick Hitch, he held a most dangerous and difficult position; the removal of the wounded and sick patients from the burning hospital across to the inner defence could be accomplished. Severely wounded, he still held his post, raked by a heavy fire from the Zulus on the adjacent hill. When the wounded had been removed and his post was o longer tenable, he served out ammunition to the holders of the barricade.
Unfortunately this brave man is no longer on the List, having died some few years ago.
2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
On January 22nd 1879, at the Defence of Rorke?s Drift, Hitch was associated with William Allen (V.C.) in a most courageous defence of a dangerous and important position. By their steady fire the two help open the communication between the Hospital and the Inner Defence, enabling the wounded to be carried across, when the Zulus had set light to the thatched building. He was very badly hit by a roughly made Zulu bullet, which inflicted a fearful gash in his shoulder, no less than thirty-six pieces of bone being taken away afterwards from the wound. He was presented with the Cross-by Queen Victoria at Netley Hospital on his return in the summer of 1879.
Born at Southgate in Middlesex, November 28th 1856. Previous to the Zulu War, he had served through the Kaffir War of 1877-8, and since leaving the army has held various positions of responsibility, chief among them that of one of the ?Right of the Line? Corps of Commissionaires, stationed at the Imperial Institute, and also at the Untied Service Institute, Whitehall. Hitch, though his arm has lost a great deal of its former power, may now often be seen in London, driving his smart cab, with which (possessing two horses of his own) he makes a comfortable living.
The heroic conduct of Private Henry Hook on January 22nd 1879, and his superhuman efforts in saving the wounded from the burning hospital will be found fully related in the account of the Defence of Rorke?s Drift Post.
He was born at Churcham, Gloucestershire, and served for five years in the Monmouthshire Militia before joining the 24th Regiment. Served through the Kaffir War 1877-8, and for his bravery at Rorke?s Drift was presented with the Victoria Cross by Lord Wolseley on August 3rd 1879. Has served in the Volunteers, and at present is Sergeant in the 1st Volunteer Battalion royal Fusiliers, and one of the staff at the British Museum.
2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
Decorated for conspicuous bravery and devotion to the wounded at Rorke?s Drift, January 22nd 1879. Privates Robert and William Jones, posted in a room of the hospital facing the hill, kept up a steady fire against enormous odds, and while one worked to cut a hole through the partition into the next room, the other shot Zulu after Zulu through the loop holed walls, using his own and his comrade?s rifle alternately when the barrels became too hot to hold owing to the incessant firing. By their united heroic efforts six out of seven patients were saved by being carried through the broken partition. The seventh, Sergeant Maxwell, being delirious, refused tp be helped, and on Robert Jones returning to take him by force he found him being stabbed by the Zulu on his bed.
Robert Jones died in London only a few years ago.
2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
To the heroic efforts of this man and his namesake Robert Jones, six out of seven patients were saved from the burning Hospital at Rorke?s Drift on January 22nd 1879. The fate of the seventh, together with the courageous defence of both these men, in a room of the building, against tremendous odds, is described in he record of Robert Jones.
F. C. SCHIESS
Natal Native Contingent
The heroic share of Corporal Schiess in the splendid Defence of Rorke?s Drift was only tardily recognized by the authorities, and the same pressure was brought to bear upon them was necessary in the case of James Dalton (V.C.), before his undoubted merits were rewarded. By birth a Swede, he was one of the wounded in the Hospital when the news brought that the Zulus were marching on the Drift, and in spite of a severe and painful injury to his foot, he came from his bed and took part in the heroic defence. His conduct at the barricades was brave to a degree. On one occasion he leapt on to the wall of mealie-bags, stabbed a Zulu, and sprang down again, repeating the performance three times in succession.
2nd Battalion 24th Regiment
At the defence of Rorke?s Drift January 22nd 1879 john Williams was posted with two other men in a distant room of the Hospital, and by his heroic bravery and devotion was the means of saving the lives of two patients. When the Zulus had fired the hospital, he broke a way through the partition and succeeded in getting them through into the next room. His courageous conduct, when afterwards associated with Private Hook (V.C.), is detailed in the Chapter on the Defence of Rorke?s Drift.
After the appalling disaster of Isandlwana seven weeks previously, it was inconceivable that any body of our men should have formed a laager at any place in Zululand without adequate precaution against surprise. Yet such actually happened on March 11th and 12th 1879, when about twenty wagons, carrying provisions for the garrison at Luneberg, were laagered up on the Intombi River, only a solitary sentry being placed on watch during the night, and in spite of the fact that Umbelini, a notoriously evil-disposed Zulu chief, was close at hand in his kraal. Besides the convoy-guard, these were only a company of the 80th Regiment under Captain David. B. Moriarty, as a protection, this officer having taken the handful of men out of Luneberg to meet the wagons a day or so earlier. In the middle of the night the sentry was set upon, but contrived to fire a shot and warn the camp. Four thousand Zulus were, however upon them, and a general massacre ensued. A few survivors on the opposite bank of the Intombi River opened fire, but 200 of the enemy got across. The lieutenant in command of this small party of survivors rode off to Luneberg for assistance, leaving them without any commanding officer, but Booth rallied his men, ten only in number, and showed so bold a front, that, though the enemy followed for three miles, he was bale to bring his little party back to Luneberg and even secure the safety of a few more who escaped from the slaughter on the left bank. His resolute valour was the means of saving the lives of any whom eventually reached Luneberg, for had he not acted with such presence of mind and conspicuous courage in the face of terrible odds, not one man would have lived to tell the tale.
WILLIAM KNOX LEET
(Major, afterwards Major General, C.B.)
1st Battalion 13th Prince Albert?s Somersetshire Light Infantry
On March 28th 1879, the fighting on the Inhlobane Mountain, under Sir Evelyn Wood, was so severe that a retirement was deemed advisable. During the retreat the Zulus continuously harassed our men. The 13th Light Infantry formed part of the small force. Towards evening Lieutenant A.M. Smith, Frontier Light Horse, had his horse shot from under him, and being closely pursued by the enemy, was on the point of being speared, when Major Leet, galloping to his rescue, took him up behind him, riding with him under rifle fire and a shower of assegais to a place of safety.
During the Indian Mutiny General Leet served with marked distinction, both with his battalion under Lord Mark Kerr, and as a Staff Officer to several columns towards the end of the campaign, being twice mentioned in general orders. Served in South Africa 1878, against Sckukuni, and also in the Expedition to Mandalay 1886-7, in both latter campaigns being mentioned in despatches. Was in 1887 created a Companion of the Bath, and died on June 29th 1898, aged 65. (Born November 3rd 1833.
EDWARD STEVENSON BROWNE
(Lieutenant, now Brigadier-General, C.B.)
1st Battalion 24th Regiment
Decorated for his bravery at Inhlobane Mountain, in Zululand March 29th 1879, when during the disastrous retreat have out force, he twice rode back towards the pursuing Zulus and assisted an unmounted man to escape.
Brigadier-General Browne entered the Army in 1871, and since 1902, has commanded the 5th Army Corps at York.
LORD WILLIAM LESLIE DE LA POER BERESFORD
(Captain, afterwards Colonel, K.C.I.E.)
9th (Queen?s royal) Lancers
Previous to the battle of Ulundi, which broke the Zulu power and brought that sanguinary war to a close, reconnaissance was made across the White Umvolosi River on July 3rd 1879. The cavalry having pushed far out towards Ulundi, thousands of Zulus, hidden up to that moment in deep hollows, opened a brisk fire on our men. The ?retire? was sounded, and at that instant Sergeant Fitzmaurice, of the 24th was thrown from his horse, severely injured and partially stunned, and the Zulus being now only a few yards away, his fate seemed sealed. Lord William Beresford then rode back, cur his way to the man, took him up on his horse and brought him away safely. This task was rendered all the more dangerous and difficult owing to the fact that Fitzmaurice twice nearly pulled him off the saddle, but Sergeants O?Toole rendered valuable assistance by helping to keep the man on the horse at the same time checking the advance of the nearest Zulus with his carbine. O?Toole was deservedly awarded the Victoria Cross also, thanks to Lord William speaking on his behalf, for when commanded to Windsor to receive to decoration, he told Her late Majesty that he could not in honour receive the recognition of his services unless it were shared in by Sergeant O?Toole, who he generously affirmed, deserved infinitely greater credit than any which might attach to himself and the next Gazette announced O?Toole?s reward.
Colonel Lord William Leslie de la Poer Beresford, third son of the Rev. John de la Poer, fourth Marquess of Waterford, was born on July 20th 1847. Educated at Eton, he entered the 9th Lancers in 1867 as Cornet, obtained his commission as Lieutenant in 1870, and his Captaincy in 1876. Was an A.D.C. to Lord Lytton, Viceroy of India, from the end of 1875 to October 1881. Served through the Jowaki Expedition 1877-8, this being his first active service. Besides the Zulu War, he served with the gallant Lancers in the Afghan War, being present at the capture of Ali Musjid, and from 1881 to 1894 was Military Secretary to the successive Viceroys of India, Lords Dufferin and Lansdowne. Became Major in 1884, and served with the Burmese Expedition, being mentioned in despatches and receiving Brevet of Lieut. ?Colonel. Became Colonel in January 1891. Died December 28th 1900.
Frontier Light Horse
In the Zulu War of 1879 a reconnaissance was made, prior to the battle of Ulundi on July 3rd 1879. When ordered to retire, vast hordes of Zulus advancing towards the mounted men, his horse falling and rolling on him injured Sergeant Fitzmaurice. Lord William Beresford rode back and took him up in front of him, but the enemy were now only a short distance from them and O?Toole kept them in check, shooting many with his carbine. Fitzmaurice, however, was so stunned by his fall that he could not keep upon the horse, and nearly dismounted Lord William, upon which O?Toole threw away his carbine and together they were able to rescue him.
Frontier Light Horse
On July 3rd 1879, during the reconnaissance before Ulundi by the Mounted Corps, Trooper Raubenheim, of the Frontier Light Horse, fell from the saddle as the rest were retiring. Notwithstanding the proximity of the Zulus, who were rushing towards them, Captain D?Arcy waited until his companion had mounted behind him and then proceeded to ride away, but the horse kicked both men off. Raubenheim was stunned, so D?Arcy tried to lift the man into the saddle again, heroically making several attempts, though the Zulus were getting nearer and nearer; but at last finding he was powerless to do so, he was obliged to leave him. It was a miraculous escape for Captain D?Arcy as, when he started to save himself, the Zulus had actually close upon him.
Sir Redvers Buller, V.C., saved Captain D?Arcy life during the Zulu War.
THE BASUTO WAR
OPERATIONS AGAINST SEKUKUNI
1879 & 1881
Cape Mounted Rifles
This Colonial trooper was awarded the Victoria Cross for a particularly humane and courageous act at the storming of Moirosi?s Mountain, Zululand April 8th 1879.
The following letter, which appeared in a Cape newspaper, gives the details of his heroic act and the subsequent disposal of the Victoria Cross he so well deserved. The Second paragraph appeared in the Cape Argus of August 1895, but the first bore no name ot date when it came into the authors hands, though probably it issued from the same source-
?It may interest you to hear how Peter Brown won his Victoria Cross. Everybody who knows the circumstances under which he got it believes that no man ever deserved the decoration better than he did, if as well. He was a rough, ignorant, but excessively manly and kind hearted man; exactly the sort of man so well described by the late Sir Hastings Doyle in his well known poem, ?The Private of the Buffs.? I am certain that Brown did not know of the existence of such a decoration as the Victoria Cross when he performed the signal act of valour that got it for him, and this, of course, made his conduct all the more admirable. He was one of the advanced parties of stormers in the assault made on Moirosi?s Mountain stronghold, on the 8th of April 1879. In rushing up to the assault, several men (officers, non-commissioned officers and privates) fell, killed and wounded. Three wounded men crept to the shelter of a small rock that lay in the middle of a perfectly open space, not twenty yards from the lower tier of schanzen. The stormers had passed on to the left of this open space, and were trying to scale defences on the flank of the position, when these three men began to cry piteously for water.
?It appeared to be certain death to go to them, as the open space, where this sheltering stone lay, was completely swept by the fire of all the schanzen on that part of the mountain. Their screams, however, became quite heart-rending, and after a minute or two Brown said with an oath, ?I can?t stand this any longer; has any one any water?? He was handed a tin canteen half full of water, and he coolly walked across the open space, knelt down beside the rock, and, without making the slightest attempt to shelter himself, began to pour water into the mouth of one of the wounded men; while doing this a bullet broke his arm; he quietly picked up the canteen and went on pouring the water into the man?s mouth with his other hand, and almost immediately a second bullet struck him in the leg, and he fell over amongst the men to whose help ha had gone.
?It is impossible to imagine an act of more deliberate self-sacrifice, coupled with absolutely dauntless bravery, than that performed by Peter Brown.
From the Argus (Cape), August 1895-
?At a recent Parade sale, Trooper Brown?s Victoria Cross, together with the 77, 78, 79 war medal and clasp, war medal and clasp, were put up to auction, and knocked down to a bidder at twenty-five shillings. Twenty-five shillings was the exact price of the rarest distinction that can be conferred on a Briton for doing his duty on the field of battle. The purchaser, a Captain in the Cape Town highlanders, who says he would give his own right hand for such a distinction, purposes presenting the Cross and medal to the Commanding Officer of the C.M.R., and in so doing he is taking the only right and proper course. The little story is its own moral, and we leave our readers to follow out the reflections, which it may awaken. Of one thing we may be certain-that the dead troopers Cross and medal will not again come beneath the hammer of the auctioneer. The Commanding Officer of the C.M.R. will see to that.?
ROBERT GEORGE SCOTT
(Sergeant, now Lieut. ?Colonel)
Cape Mounted Rifles
Decorated for a particularly fine act of courage and devotion on April 8th 1879, during an attack on Moirosi?s Mountain. The enemy were concentrating a very severe fire upon our men from behind a line of stone barricades, and it was impossible for the Colonials to reply in any effective manner. Seeing the serious state of affairs, Robert George Scott, then a Sergeant in the Colonial corps, volunteered to creep up to the enemy?s defences and fling time fuse shells into their midst. He, first caused all his men to retire under cover, lest any shell should burst prematurely-by which precaution he probably saved many of their lives-and then, under a hail of lead, deliberately advanced under the enemy?s defences, and twice attempted to throw the shells over. The second time, owing to some defect in the fuse, which he had lighted, the shell burst almost in his hands, blowing the right one to pieces, and severely wounding him in the left leg.
During the Boer War 1899-1902, he served with the Kimberley Light Horse.
EDMUND BARON HARTLEY
(Surgeon-Major, now Colonel, C.M.G.)
Cape mounted Rifles
Decorated for his great bravery in attending the wounded during the unsuccessful attack on Moirosi?s Mountain, Basutoland June 5th 1879. Corporal A. Jones fell, severely wounded, and in spite of the very heavy fire from the enemy, Surgeon-Major Hartley crossed the open ground and carried the wounded man to shelter. Having done this, he continued ministering to the other injured among the storming party, exposing himself freely and fearlessly during his devoted duties.
Colonel Edmund Baron Hartley has been principal Medical Officer, Cape Colonial Forces since 1878. Son of Dr. Edmund Hartley. Was born on May 6th 1847, at Ivy Bridge, Devon receiving his medical education at St. George?s Hospital, London. M.R.C.S. England; L.R.C.P. Edinburgh, from 1867 to 1869 was a clerk in H.M. Inland Revenue; 1874-7 was District Surgeon in Basutoland, joining in the latter year, the Colonel Forces, with which he served during the next four years in the Galeka, Gaika, Moirosi, Tembu and Basuto campaigns. He next saw active service in 1897, in Bechuanaland, where he was wounded; and later, in 1900, in South Africa against the Boers. For his services he was created C.M.G.
94th Regiment (Now 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers)
Sekukuni?s Town was the stronghold of a native chief in South Africa who caused us much trouble to reduce and capture in 1879, long after the Zulu War was ended, and out of which it arose. On November 28th, Lieutenant J. C. Dewar, King?s Dragoon Guards, fell severely wounded. He was, with the exception of Private Fitzpatrick and Private Flawn (to whom the Victoria Cross was also awarded), practically alone, having under his command only six of the native contingent. These were proceeding to carry him down a steep hill, when suddenly about forty of the enemy, spear in hand, appeared in pursuit, whereupon the wounded officer was dropped and deserted by all but the New Irishmen, one of whom bore him on is back, while the other fired at the oncoming enemy. Alternately, one bearing and the other defending, her was eventually carried off into safety.
94th Regiment (Now 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers)
At the attack on Sckukuni?s Town, South Africa, on November 28th 1879, Flawn with Private Fitzpatrick (V.C.), saved the life of Lieutenant Dewar, King?s Dragoon Guards. Further details if this gallant act are given in the record of Private Fitzpatrick (V.C.).
JOHN FREDERICK McCREA
1st Regiment, Cape Mounted Yeomanry
On January 14th 1881, during the action against the Basutos at Tweefontein, near Thaba Tsen, Surgeon McCrea behaved with very great bravery and devotion to the wounded. The enemy had charged with the greatest determination, forcing the Burghers to retire with a loss of sixteen killed and twenty-one wounded. Among the latter was a man named Aircramp, who had been shot and lay some considerable distance away, but McCrea went to his assistance under a heavy fire, and with the help of Captain Buxton of the Mafeteng Contingent, carried him t the shelter of an ant-heap, and then returned for a stretcher. While again crossing the open space he was severely wounded in the right breast by the bullet, but still continued in his duties with the Ambulance, and carried many wounded from the field. He paid little attention to his own injury, and was forced to dress it as well as he could later on, as no other medical officer was present. The Gazette stated that, had it not been for his exertions, the sufferings of the wounded would have been greatly aggravated and many more lives lost.
He died in Africa in the summer of 1894.
THE NAGA (INDIA) EXPEDITION
RICHARD KIRBY RIDGEWAY
(Captain, now Colonel)
Bengal Staff Corps
On November 22nd 1879, during the attack on Konoma, in the Naga Hills Expedition, Captain Ridgeway displayed very great bravery in charging up to a barricade and, under a very severe fire, attempting to tear down the planking surrounding it. During this brave act he was severely wounded in the left shoulder by a rifle bullet.
Colonel Ridgeway, son of R. Ridgeway, Esq., and F.R.C.S. was born in Co. Meath, Ireland on August 18th 1848. Educated privately and at R. M. C. Sandhurst, he joined the 96th Regiment in January 1868, and the Indian Staff Corps 1872. Passed Staff College, 1883. From 1847 to 1880 was Adjutant of the 44th Goorkha Rifles. Served through the Naga Hills Expedition of 1875, and that of 1879; Manipur 1891; Tirah 1897.
THE BOER REVOLT
94th Regiment (Now 2nd Battalion Connaught Rangers)
At Elandsfontein, near Pretoria, January 16th 1881, Murray and his comrade, John Danaher, advanced for 5oo yards into the open, under heavy fire, to rescue two men of the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers-Byrne and Davis-who had been severely wounded. No sooner had they started forward than Murray?s horse was shot under him; still, without hesitation, he proceeded on foot. ?We both,? writes Murray, ?reached them together, and on stooping to raise Byrne?s head, I was hot through the body, the ball entering my right side and passing out near the spine. Seeing how useless it was for Danaher to remain, I ordered him to secure my carbine and escape. Byrne breathed his last, by my side, soon after. Davis and I were taken prisoners, and together Burne?s body, carried in a bullock hide to the Boer Camp on the mountaintop, where we were well treated. They kept us their twenty-six hours. By the courtesy of the Bower commandant, we were then permitted to return to Pretoria, under a flag of truce, bringing with us the body of our poor comrade. Davis died five days afterwards.?-Extract from a letter dated Dublin March 25th 1891.
Nourse?s Horse (Afterwards 94th Regiment)
The Victoria Cross was conferred upon this brave soildier for his gallantry at Elandsfontein, near Pretoria, January 16th 1881, when, with Lance-Corporal Murray (V.C.), he advanced under heavy fire to the rescue of two men of the Royalk Scots Fusiliers. The details of the act are given in the record of Lance-Corporal Murray.
2nd Battalion 58th (Northamptonshire) Regiment
On February 22nd 1881, during the action at Wesselstroom, Private Osborne rode towards a party of forty-two Boers, and under a heavy fire picked up Private Mayes, who was lying wounded, and carried him back to camp.
ALAN RICHARD HILL
(Lieutenant, Now Major Alan Richard Hill-Walker, Retired)
58th The Rutland (Now 2nd Battalion Northampton) Regiment
On January 28th 1881, during the action of Laing?s Nek, Lieutenant Hill remained behind after the retreat had been ordered, and attempted to carry Lieutenant Baillie, who had been severely wounded. Being unsuccessful in getting the injured officer on to a horse, he was forced to carry him in his arms, and during this humane action Lieutenant Baillie was again hit, and this time mortally wounded. After this, in spite of the heavy fire from the enemy, Lieutenant Hill twice returned on to the open ground, each time rescuing a wounded man.
Major Alan Richard Hill-Walker, V.C., son of the late Captain Hill, Chief Constable North Riding of Yorkshire, was born on July 12th 1859. Educated at Richmond (Yorkshire) and privately. In 1877 jopined the North Yorks Rifles and in 1879 the 58th Regiment, with which gallant corps he served through the Zulu War of 1879, and the Boer War of 1881, taking part in the Battles of Ingogo, Majuba Hill (where he was severely wounded), and Laing?s Nek, mentioned in despatches, and where his V.C. was won as decribed above. In 1833-5 he served in Natal, Cape Town and South Africa; was Adjutant 3rd and 4th Battalions Northampton Militia 1887-92; Station Staff Officer at Bangalore during the next three years; officiating A.A.G. in Mandalay 1897; took part in the Tirah Campaign and the march down the Bara Valley 1897.
(Late) 1st Dragoon Guards
On January 28th 1881, at the action of Laing?s Nek, Major Brownlow was dismounted during a charge, owing to his horse being shot. Doogan who was the Major?s servant, seeing the precarious position of his master, rode to his assistance, and though himself severely wounded, sprang from his horse to induce him to accept his mount, receiving another wound while engaged in this gallant act.
JOSEPH JOHN FARMER
Army Hospital Corps
On Febuary 27th 1881 during the battle of Majuba Hill, when our men were driven back, the Boers rushed forward and, disregarding the rules of modern warfare, commenced firing at the wounded whom Farmer was attending. He held up a white handkerchief in order to induce the Boers to stop firing in his direction, but immediately was shot through the hand. Nothing daunted, and determined to do his best for those in his charge, he seized the handkerchief again in his unwounded hand, but instantly a bullet passed through it, rendering him powerless to continue.
This brave man, owing to his wounds, has now left the services and follows the occupation of house painter in London. He was born in ondon on May 5th 1854, and Queen Victoria at Osborne presented his cross to him on August 9th 1881.
THE EGYPTIAN WAR
H.M.S. ?Alexander,? Royal Navy
On July 11th 1882, the guns of H.M.S. Alexandra were pounding the forts of Alexandria, and a 10-inch spherical shell struck the side of the ship, passed through it and lodged on the main deck. Hearing some one shout ?There is a live shell just above the hatchway,? Harding dashed up the ladder from below, and saw the shell with the fuse burning. Without any hesitation he threw some water over it, then pickihng it up, he placed it in a tub standing close by, thereby saving many lives which would undoubtedly have been lost had it been given time to explode. He was at once promoted Chief Gunner.
3rd Battalion 60th King?s Royal Rifle corps
On August 5th 1882, the Mounted Infantry, to which Corbett was attacked, made a reconnaissance upon Kafr Dowar. They came under a severe fire from the enemy, and Lieutenant Howard-Vyse was mortally wounded. Hee fell in the open, in a very exposed position, and, they?re being no time to move him, Corbett asked for, and was granted, leave to say at his side and endeavoured to stop the bleeding of his officer?s wound. Although a target for the rifles of the enemy, who poured a constant fire upon him, he did not move until the Mounted Infantry retired to where he was knelling, when he assisted in carrying the officer from the field.
WILLIAM MORDAUNT MARSH EDWARDS
(Lieutenant, now Major)
74th Regiment (2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry)
At the battle of Tel-el-kebir, on September 13th 1882, Lieutenant Edwardsdisplayed great courage in leading a party of his men to the attack on a redoubt. He outdistanced his followers and dashed alone into the Egyptian Battery, killed the officer in charge, and was knocked down by a gunner. Three of his men arriving at that moment saved him from being killed.
Major Edwards, son of H. W. B. Edwards, Hardingham Hall, was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. Gazetted Sub-Lieutenant (unattached) 1876. Joined 74th Highlanders 1877. Served in Straits Settlements and Hong Kong; Egypt 1882, in which, in addition to the Victoria Cross, he received the medal and clasp and khedive?s Star; India 1884-9. Five years Adjutant of 3rd Battalion Highland Light Infantry. Retred November 1896. Appointed H.M. Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms 1899.
THE SOUDAN WAR
(Red Sea Littoral)
ARTHUR KNYVET WILSON
(Captain, now Admiral, K.C.B., K.C.V.O.)
On Febuary 29th 1884, at the battle of El-Teb Captain Wilson, on the staff of Rear-Admiral Sir William Hewett (V.C.), attached himself, during the advance, to the right half battery, Naval Brigade, in the place of Lieutenant royds, R.N., who had been mortally wounded. As our troops closed on the enemy?s Krupp battery, the Arabs charged out on to the corner of the square, and the full force was received by the detachment who were dragging the Gardner gun. Captain Wilson dashed out to the front, and attacked several Arabs single-handed. His sword, during the fight, was broken but he attacked the savages with his fists. By the diversion caused by his gallant action, time was given to some of the York and Lancaster Regiment to come to support with their bayonets.
Sir Redvers Buller, V.C., in command stated that but for the courageous action of Captain Wilson some of the detachment must have been speared. Although he wounded, he continued with the half battery during the day.
Sir Arthur Wilson, born March 4th 1842, served in the Crimean War; the China War 1858; the Egyptian Campaign 1882, and Soudan 1884. Was A.D.C. to the Queen 1892-5, and Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty and Comptroller of the Navy 1897-1901. Since the latter year has been in command of the Channel Squadron.
WILLIAM THOMAS MARSHALL
(Quartermaster-Sergeant, now Major)
During the charge of the Cavalry at El-Teb, on February 29th 1884, Lieut. ?Colonel Barrow, 19th Hussars, severely wounded and uphorsed lay on the ground surrounded by the enemy. Quartermaster-Sergeant Marshall, who had stayed behind with him, seized him by the hand, dragged him through the enemy back to the regiment and saved his life.
Born on December 5th 1854, Major Marshall joined the 19th Hussars in 1873. Served through the Egyptian War of 1882, and received his Commission in 1885.
42nd Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch)
At the battle of Tamaai on March 13th 1884, Edwards was attached to the Naval Brigade as mule-driver. The enemy directed a particularly fierce attack on the guns, and at one of them, Edwards was standing with Lieutenant Almack, R.N., when a hand-to-hand fight took place. The Lieutenant was killed, as also was one of the bluejackets, but Edwards bayoneted two Arabs and, though severely wounded by a appear, rejoined the ranks and did excellent service in the defence of the guns.
PERCIVAL SCROPE MARLING
(Lieutenant) 60th the king?s Royal Rifle Corps
(Now Lieut-Colonel, 18th Hussars)
On March 13th 1884, at the battle of Tamaai Private Morley (35th Regiment) was severely wounded. Lieutenant Marling at once rode up, and had the injured man placed on the saddle in front of him, but he immediately fell off. Thereupon Lieutenant Marling dismounted, and giving up the horse, succeeded in carrying him for eighty yards into safety, the enemy being close upon him and keeping up a sharp fire.
Lieut. ?Colonel Marling, son of Sir William Marling, was born in Glocestershire March 6th 1861. Educated at Harrow and R.M.C., Sanhurst. Served through the Boer War 1881; present at Laing?s Nek and Ingogo engagements. Through Egyptian Campaign of 1882, present at the battles of Tel-el-Mahuta, Kassassin, and Tel-el-Kebir. In Suakim Campaign, battle of El-Teb, and relief of Tokar, actions of Tamaai, and Tamanib; Khartoum Exhibition 1884; battle of Abu-Klea, El-Gubat, and Metemmeh, and through the many actions fought under Sir H. Stewart. Major August 1896. On the outbreak of the Boer War embarked for South Africa, taking part in the operations extending over 1899-1900.
THE NILE EXHIBITION
On January 17th 1885, the Soudanese broke our square, and the soldiers were compelled to fall back slightly. By this a gun was left in a comparatively unprotected position, and a native rushed at Lieutenant Guthrie, who was in command of it, and who, at that moment was superintending its working. Being unarmed, he would certainly have been speared had not Smith warded off the blow with a handspike, which momentary diversion gave the officer time to draw his sword and by a blow bring the Soudanee to the ground. In falling, however the savage cut at him with a long knife, which Smith again warded off, not however, in time to prevent the infliction of a severe wound in the officer?s thigh. The native ws then killed by Smith, but Lieutenant Guthrie died a few days afterwards from his wound.
(Surgeon, now Lieut. ?Colonel, C.I.E.)
?Non-Combatants? run a good deal more risk in the course of their duties than the world generally is aware of, and it is well when a gallant deed, such as that which earned Surgeon Crimmin the coveted distinction of the Victoria Cross, draws public attention to the dangers that are braved by the nominally non-fighting portion of our forces. Surgeon Crimmin, born on March 19 1859, is a Dublin man, and a Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland, and of the King and Queens College of Physicans, Ireland. He entered the Indian Medical Service in 1882, passing out Netley fifth on the list. He was senior medical off icer to the expeditionary force against the rebellious Karens at the end of 1888, and it was a skirmish with the rebels on Jnuary 1st 1889, that he earned his V.C. ?I especially wish to bring Surgeon Crimmin to the notice of the Brigadier-General,? wrote the officer commanding the Mounted Infantry, ?for the gallant way I which he attended the wounded under a heavy fire. At one time, while attending an injured man, he was surrounded by the enemy, and defended himself and the wounded man, he was surrounded by the enemy, and defended himself and the wounded man, killing some of the Karens.? It was recorded also that Surgeon Crimmin was as capable in the hospital as on the battlefield. ?His arrangements for the comfort and disposal of the sick and wounded were,? says Brigadier-General Collett, ?as perfect as the circumstances of the time permitted.? Became Surgeon-Major on September 30th 1894, and Lieut. ?Colonel in 1902. Was Civil Surgeon at Rutnagherry, and is now Health Officer of the Port of Bombay.
FERDINAND SIMEON LE QUESNE
(Surgeon-Captain, now Major)
Royal Major Medical Staff
During the attack on the village of Tartanon May 4th 1889, a young officer, William Graham Michel (of the 2nd Norfolk, or 9th Regiment) was mortally wounded. Surgeon-Captain La Quesne remained for some minute?s whith him, within five yards of the loopholes of the enemy?s stockade, whence proceeded a hail of lead. While dressing the wounds of another officer soon afterwards, Dr. Le Quesne was himself severely wounded.
Born at Jersey December 25th 1863, Major Le Quesne is the son of the late Lieut. ?Colonel G. N. Le Quesne. Served in the Chin Looshai (1890), and Wunthoo (1891) Campaigns; also through the Boer War, 1899-1902. Educated at king?s College Hospital, London, of which he is Honourary Fellow. Sir Evelyn Wood, V.C., in command of the mounted men, taking part in the assault of the Inholbane Mountain, noticed that some Zulus who had taken up a strong position in some caves, from which they commanded the spot where some of our wounded were lying, were causing much loss to our men. He therefore ordered their dislodgement. Some delay taking place in carrying it out, Captain the Honourable Ronald Campbell, Coldstream Guards, with Lieutenant Lysons and Private Edmund fowler, ?advanced in a most courageous manner over a mass of fallen boulders and between rocks which led to a cave on which the enemy lay hidden.? There being only room for one man to pass at a time, they advanced in single file, and the first to reach the cave was Captain Campbell. On seeing him the Zulus fired, shooting him dead, upon which Lysons and Fowler sprang forward, and with great gallantry drove them from their stronghold. Afterwards Lysons remained at the cave?s mouth while Captain Campbell?s body was carried down the hill.
Lieut. ?Colonel Lysons, son of the late Sir Daniel Lysons, of Crimean fame, was born at Modern, surrey on July 13th 1858. Educated at Wellington he joined the 90th Light Infantry in 1878, serving through the Zulu War as A.D.C. to Sir Evelyn Wood, V.C., taking part in the affairs of Zungen Nek, and the Inhlobane Mountain, and the battles of Kambula and Ulundi, being twice mentioned in despatches and obtaining medal and clasp. Served through Soudan War 1884-5, obtaining medal and clasp. Served through the Soudan War 1884-5, obtaining medal, clasp and bronze star with Egyptian Army.
(Private) 90th Perthshire Volunteer Light Infantry (The Scottish Rifles); Now Sergeant The Royal Irish
This gallant soldier was associated with Lieutenant (now Lieut. ?Colonel) Lysons, in a most courageous act at the Inhlobane Mountain, Zululand, March 28th 1879. Fuller details are given in the record of that officer.
REDVERS HENRY BULLER, C.B.
(Captain and Brevet-Lieut. ?Colonel, now General, the Right Honourable G.C.B., G.C.M.G., P.C.)
The Zulu War of 1879, though successfully carried out in the end, was responsible for terrible loss of life during the short time occupied n forcing the Zulus to submission. The disaster at Isandlwana was terrible enough, that at Intombi followed soon after, and the affair at the Inhlobane Mountain narrowly escaped equalling the first-named in appalling consequences. Hearing that vast herds of cattle were on the top of the Mountain, a raid upon them was arranged, and on March 28th, 500 mounted men set off to bring them down. The ascent of the side approached was so steep, that it was hardly passable for horses, but they succeeded in gaining the summit, and had commenced to drive the herds together, when Sir Redvers Buller saw, about six miles away, a force of 20,000 Zulus advancing upon him. This impi was known to be ?on the way? from Ulundi, bit it was never imagined that it could compass the distance in so short a time. There was now nothing for our en but a hasty retreat, and down the precipitous paths they had ascended (the easier road on the other side, which they had intended to use being now blocked by the enemy) men and horses struggled, fell, and crowded together. The advanced Zulus promptly fell upon them, assuaged the horses, and speared every man they could reach, and it was during the terrible time that Captain Buller performed the many heroic acts for which he was deservedly awarded the Cross
THE MANIPUR (N.E.INDIA) RISING
CHARLES JAMES WILLIAM GRANT
(Lieutenant, Now Major)
Indian (Madras) Staff Corps, Formerly 12th (The Suffolk) Regiment
Lieutenant Grant gained the decoration in the outbreak, which occurred at Manipur, a small native State at the foot of the Eastern Himalayas. While at Tummu, a small military station, news was brought him of the massacre of the residents at the former place on the night of March 24-25th 1891, and of the danger the survivors, if any, were in. Promptly taking with him eighty native soldiers, he marched day and night through Northern Burma, reached Thobal, near Manipur, and from March 31st held it against the whole Manipuri army until relieved on April 9th. For this he was awarded the Cross-, and promoted Captain and Major on May 26th, two months after his gallant exploit.
Major Grant is son of Lieut. ?General D.G.S. St. J. Grant, late Madras Staff Corps. Was born at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire on October 4th 1861; educated privately and at R.M.C., Sandhurst. Joined Suffolk Regiment on May 10th 1882, the Madras Staff Corps two years later-May 10th 1884; and the 2nd Burma Battalion in 1890. In 1891 was A.D.C. to the Commander-in-Chief in Madras, Lieut. ?General Hon. Sir J. C. Dormer; A.A.G. Madras District 1897. Served through the Burma Expedition 1885-87. Promoted Major, May 10th 1900.
In the Manipur Rising, in the fighting subsequent to the occurrence above related, he had his horse under him, and was him severely wounded. All the surviving faithful and heroic men who accompanied him on his march to Thobal were decorated with the Order of Merit.
THE HUNZA NAGAR (N.W. INDIA) EXPEDITION
FENTON JOHN AYLMER
(Captain, now Colonel)
On December 2nd 1891, an Expedition sent into the Hunza Nagar country arrived at the Nilt Fort. Our force consisted of about a thousand men, mostly Kashmir Imperial Service Troops, and sixteen British officers. The fort, which had to be attacked, standing at the extremity of a ledge, which overhung the Nilt nullah, was protected on three sides by a precipice, and the only approach to the gate had been strongly defended by abattis of branches. It was impossible to bring the mountain guns to bear on this part, owing to the impracticability of ragging them up the cliffs which overlooked it, and for a long time a hot rifle-fire was kept up by our men, which was equally severely replied to by the enemy from their loopholed stronghold. At length it was resolved to taje the fort by storm, and, to enable an entry to be made, the great gate had to be blown in. This dangerous duty was entrusted to Captain Aylmer, in command of the Engineers, and a hundred Goorkhas, under Lieutenants Boisragon (V.C.), and Badcock, supported him. While the Gootkhas hacked at thebranches of the abattis to make an entrance, the three officers, with a small handful of men, sprang through the opening and forced the gate of the outer wall. Captain Aylmer then, in a most cool and courageous manner, advanced under heavy fire and placed the charge of gun-coton against the main gate, lighted the fuse, during which he was shot in the leg, and retired to await the explosion. For some reason the charge failed to ignite, upon which he returned, arranged the charge afresh, and re-lit the fuse. He was again severely injured in the hand by a rock hurled from above by one of the enemy. The explosion, which now took place, sufficied to blow in the gate, and the officers, followed by their men, dashed through and commenced a terrific hand-to-hand combat with the defenders, who after a most desperate reisitance, were driven from the Fort. Captain Aylmer, though again severely wounded, fired nineteen shots with his revolver, killing several of the enemy, and remained fighting, until at last, owing to loss of blood, he had to be carried out of action.
The following is another account of his marvellous pluck, and athletic prowess, given in The Relief of Chitral by Captains G. J. and F. E. Young husband-
?During the construction, a very prompt and plucky act on Major Aylmer?s part saved the life of a soldier. About a mile up stream, where the first floating bridge had been constructed, a flying bridge and rafts were still working backwards and forwards to supply the Guides with their wants on the other bank. One of these rafts, on which we were two men of the Devonshire Regiment Maxim Gun Detachment, got accidently overturned, and the boatmen and oars were washed away. The two soldiers managed to climb on to the raft and were carried down stream at a great pace. General Gatacre, seeing the accident, immediately galloped down to the site of the new beidge to give warning, in the hopes of saving the men. Meanwhile one of them had made an attempt to jump on shore and had been swept away and drowned, and the survivor on the raft came flying down the torrent. With the greatest presence of mind MajorAylmer immediately slipped down a slack wire that was across the river and just managed to grab the soldier as he shot past. The raft was immediately fater dashed to pieces on the rocks below. With considerable difficulty they were both hauled on shore and it was then found that the Major was badly bruised and cut by the wire. The Royal Humane Society?s medal has been given for many a less distinguished act of bravery, yet I do not think that, in the stir of passing events, it actually occurred to any of the spectators to send the recommendation home.?
Fenton John Aylmer, 2nd son of the late Captain F. J. Aylmer, 97th Regiment, was born at Hastings April 5th 1862. Educated privately. Joined Royal Engineers 1880. Served in India since 1883; has been A.A.G., and acted as A.Q.M.G. and D.Q.M.G., Army Headquarters. Served in Burma Expedition, 1886-7 (despatches, medal and clasp); Hazara Expedition 1891 (despatches clasp); Hunza Expedition 1891-2 (despatches, clasp, V.C., Brevet-Major); Isazai Expedition 1892; Chitral Expedition 1895 (despatches, medal and clasp, Brevet-Lieut. ?Colonel). At present A.Q.M.G. Madras Command (Ootacamund).
GUY HUDLESTON BOISRAGON
(Lieutenant, now Major)
Indian Staff Corps
On December 2nd 1891, at the capture of the Nilt Fort, this officer displayed great bravery in leading the assault, through very severe difficulties, to the inner gate. Finding his force insufficient, he went back under a heavy cross fire and collected more men with whom he returned to the relief of the first party, now sorely pressed. With the additional help he obtained, the enemy were driven from the Fort. A more detailed account of the action is given in the record of Captain Aylmer (V.C.).
Major Boisragon, son of Major-General H.F.M. Boisragon, ws born at kohat, Punjab, on November 5th 1864. Educated at Charterhouse and Sandhurst, joined the 10th (Lincolnshire) Regiment in 1885 and the 5th Goorkhas 1887,. Became Captain 1896; Major 1903. Served through the Hazara Expeditions of 1888 and 1891, with the two Miranzai Expeditions 1891, also in that in Waziristan 1894-5. Took part in the fighting on northwest Frontier 1897; the operations in the Sarnana and Kurram Valley; Tirah Expedition 1897-8; operations against the Khani Khel Chamkhannis.
JOHN MANNERS SMITH
(Lieutenant, now Major, C.I.E.)
Indian (Bengal) Staff Corps, Formerly 9th The Norfolk Regiment
Decorated for conspicuous bravery at the attack and capture of a strong position occupied by the enemy near Nilt, in the Hunza Nagar country, on December 20th 1891. From their almost inaccessible position, the enemy had barred the advance of our men for seventeen days, but two parties of fifty rifles eventually dislodged them, the first being under the command of Lieutenant John Manners Smith. For nearly four hours he steadily moved his handful of men from point to point on the face of an almost precipitous cliff, whenever he was bale to avoid the showers of rocks hurled upon him from the enemy above; and during the entire time he was quite unable to deend himself for any attack the enemy might choose to make. Eventually the summit of the cliff was reached, which was within a few yards of the tribesmen?s sangars, into which he led his gallant little band and shot the first man with his revolver. The Gazette states that it was entirely due to the splendid leading of this officer, together with the coolness and dash he displayed, that a success was obtained.
Born at Lahore, August 30th 1864, son of the late Charles Manners Smith, F.R.C.S., Major Smith was educated at Trinity College, Stratford-on-Avon; King Edward VI School at Norwich, and the R.M.C., Sandhurst. Lieutenant in the Norfolk Regiment 1883-8, joining the Indian Staff corps, and serving with the 3rd Sikhs and 5th Goorkha Rifles 1885-7. On the mission of Sir Mortimer Durand to Sikkim in 1888 and to Cabul in October 1893, this officer formed one of the staff, being created C.I.E. for his services. He has held political appointments in the East from 1889-98, taking part in the Isazai and Tirah Expeditions.
THE WEST AFRICAN RIVER GAMBIA) EXPEDITION
WILLIAM JAMES GORDON
1st Battalion West India Regiment
On March 13th 1892, an attack was made on the town of Toniataba, in West Africa. Major G. C. Madden, who commanded the troops, was superintending a party of twelve men who were trying to break down the South Gate of the town with a huge beam, which they were using as a battering ram. The Major?s back was, for a moment, turned to the gate, when suddenly, several musketbarrels, not more than two or three yards from him were pushed through two rows of loopholes, which up to that moment had been masked. In an instant Gordon called to his officer to ?Look out,? and, pushing him aside, flung himself between him and the muskets, which were at that moment fired, the contents of one of them entering gordon?s lung. His quick act of heroic devotion undoubtedly saved the life of Major Madden.
OWEN EDWARD PENNEFATHER LLOYYD
(Surgeon-Major, now Lieut. ?Colonel)
Army Medical Staff
On January 6th 1893, Kachins made a severe attack on the Sima post. The commanding officer, Captain Morton, was wounded, upon which Surgeon-Major, accompanied by Sunadar Matab Singh, ran at once to his assistance and, on reaching him, sent the Subadar back for help, remaining with him, and attending to his injuries. During this time, Lloyd was himself severely wounded; the enemy were within ten or fifteen paces of him, and they killed three men and a bugler. On the help he had sent for arriving, he assisted in carrying him back to the Fort, where, however, in spite of their efforts, in a few minutes he expired. The Sunadar and five Sepoys who assisted were all awarded the Order of Merit.
Lieut. ?Colonel Lloyd, son of the late Major M. Pennefather Lloyd, late 59th Regiment, was born on January 1st 1854. Educated at Fermoy College, Cork, he is a member of the Royal Irish University. Is L.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., L.M., and Edinburgh. On August 4th 1878, joined R.A.M.C., serving through the Zulu War, and the operations against Sekukuni. Transvaal War 1881-2, taking part in the siege of Standerton. Was Medical Officer to the Franco-British Boundary Commission to the Mekong River 1894-5, and since 1898 has been in medical charge of the Burma-China Boundary Commission.
HARRY FREDERICK WHITECHURCH
(Surgeon-Captain, now Surgeon-Major)
Indian (Bengal) Medical Service; 24th Bengal Native Infantry
On March 3rd 1895, the garrison of Chitral Fort made a sortie. When about one-and-a-half miles from the Fort, Captain Baird was mortally wounded, and Surgeon-Captain Whitechurch went to his assistance. The enemy, in great strength, had now succeeded in forcing their wy through the fighting line. Darkness had set in, and with only a small handful of Goorkhas and men of the 4th Kashmir Rifles, they were completely isolated from assistance. Placing the wounded officer in a dhoolie, they then attempted to return. The Goorkhas most bravely clung to their load until three of them were killed and a fourth severely wounded, upon which Surgeon Whitechurch took Baird upon his back and continued the journey. Unable to take a direct road, they were obliged ti make their way by a circuitous route of three miles, exposed to a raking fire from the enemy who were posted oon all the surrounding cliffs and walls, and it was only the darkness that prevented the total annihilation of the devoted little band. Time after time, in order to force a way over some walls held by a more than usually obstinate group of the enemy, Whitchurch had to lay down his burden, and charge with his men, after which he would pick him up and make his way on a little further. Eventually the Fort was reached with but seven men, whose devotion to their wounded officer has seldom been equalled. Just as the doctor reached the Forts, Baird ws hit for the third time, the bullet striking him in the face, and, in spite of every care, he died next day. Before his dath, however he was bale to tell of the heroic devotion of surgeon Whitchurch, being anxious it should not go unrecognised.
Captain Younghusband in his story of Chitral says that Mr. Robertson, Political Agent, wrote in his report to Government saying, ?It is difficult to write temperately about Whitchurch,? and men who have rhemselves won the Victoria Cross have said that never has it been more gallantly earned than on this occasion.
Dr. Whitchurch, son of Mr. F. Whitchurch, of Sandown, Isle of Wight, was born on September 22nd 1866. Educated in England, France amd Germany. Entered St. Bartholomew?s Hospital 1883, and the Indian Army 1888, serving in the Looshai Eexpedition and the relief of Aijal and Changsil, Defence of Malakand; relief of Chakdara, Northwest Frontier of India 1897-8; China 1901, taking part in relief of Pekin Legations.
THE MATABELE REBELLION
HERBERT STEPHEN HENDERSON
Buluwayo Field force
When the Matabele broke out into rebellion in 1896, Henderson joined the Rhodesia Horse as a scout, and accompanied Captain Macfarlane?s party, which rode to the rescue of some settlers living in isolated districts. At daybreak, on March 30th the party was suddenly fired upon by Matabele uin ambush, and Henderson, with a fellow trooper named Celliers, forming the advance guard, were cut off from the rest. Celliers was shot through the knee, and his horse, being hit in five places, after going a short distance fell dead. Left alone with Celliers, Henderson dismounted, put him on his own horse, and in this manner, travelling by night and hiding by day, walking alongside, supporting his comrade who was enduring untold agonies, they at least reached Buluwayo, absolutely exhausted, thirty-five miles from where he had started on his devoted and heroic task. When one realizes that the enemy was swarming around them, that these men were without food (except a few sour plums) from daylight on the Sunday, when Celliers was shot, until Wednesday morning; that his friend was in such pain that he impolored to be left behind, and that the risk of capture and death by fiendish methods was with them every moment of those long hours, it will not be considered too much to say that his heroic act ranks among the most worthy for which the Victoria Cross has been bestowed. But, unhappily, in spite of the care with which hr was guarded and tended by his friends, Celliers died on May 16th 1896, in hospital, having had to undergo amputations of the leg, owing to the length of time which elapsed from the day he was wounded to the date when the operation was performed.
Herbert Stephen Henderson, son of Mr. William Henderson, of Bishop Street Engineering works, Glasgow, was born at Hillhead, Glasgow on March 30th 1875. Educated at Kelvinside Academy. Served for some years with engineers in Glasgow. In 1892 went to the Rand goldfields, being connected with some well-known mines. In 1894 started for Rhodesia and volunteered, on the outbreak of the Rebellion, as a Scout. Was presented with the Victoria Cross by Lord Milner at the opening of the Buluwayo Railway in 1896.
FRANK WILLIAM BAXTER
Buluwayo Field Force
The Victoria Cross would have awarded to Frank William Baxter had he survived. There are few cases on record to equal the heroism, devotion, and nobility of heart displayed by this trooper, who on April 22nd 1896, gave up his horse to hi wounded friend to save him from falling into the hands of the Matabele, and, remaining on foot himself, was assagaied.
The following account of the occurrence is taken from Mr. F. C. Selous book, Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia-
?When the scouts recalled, and commenced to retire from the Umguza, after having driven a body of natives from its shelter, as I have already related, they wer suddenly fired on by a party of Matabele who had taken up a position amongst some bush to the left of their line of retreat. The foremost amongst the Scouts galloped past this ambush, but Captain Grey, with a few of those in the rear, halted and returned the enemy?s fire. Trooper Wise was the first man hit, and seems to have received his wound from behind, just as he was mounting his horse, as the bullet struck him high in the back, and, travelling up the shoulder blade, came out near the collar bone. At this instant Wise?s horse stumbled, and then, recovering itself, broke away from its rider, galloping straight back to town, and leaving the wounded man on the ground. A brave fellow named Baxter at once dismounted and put Wise on his own horse, thus saving the latter?s life, but as it proved, thereby sacrificing his own. Captain Grey and Lieutenant Hook at once went to Baxter?s assistance, and they got him along as fast as they could,, but the Kaffirs had now closed on them, and were firing out of the bush at very close quarters. Lieutenant Hook was shot from behind, the bullet entering the right buttock and coming out near the groin. But most luckily, though severing the sciatic nerve just misses both the thighbone and the femoral artery. Nearly at the same time, too, a bullet just grazed Captain Grey?s forehead, half stunning him for an instant. ?Texas? Long, a well known member of the Scouts, then went to Baxter?s assistance, and was helping him along, when a bullet struck the dismounted man in the side, and he at once let go of Long?s stirrup leather and fell to the ground. No further assistance was then possible and poor Baxterwas killed by the Kaffirs immediately afterwards. Whilst these brave deeds were being performed, Lieutenant Fred Crewe, with some others of the Scout, amongst whom I may mention Button and Radermeyer, were keeping the Kaffirs in check and covering the retreat of the wounded men. Just as Lieutenant Hook got near to Crewe, his horse was shot through the fetlock and buttock at the same time, and rolling over, threw Hook to the ground, causing him at the same time to drop his rifle. Hook got on his legs and was hobbling forward when Crewe said to him, ?Why don?t you pick up your rifle?? ?I can?t, was the answer; Im too badly wounded. Are you wounded old chap said Crewe; then take my horse, and I?ll try and get out of it on foot. Crewe then assisted Hook to mount his horse, and fought his way back on foot, only escaping with his life by a miracle, keeping several Kaffis who were very near him, but who had no guns, at bay with his revolver, whilst he retreated backwards. So near were these men to him, that one of them, as he turned, threw a heavy knob-kerry at him, which struck him a severe blow in the back. Nothing could have saved him had not the Kaffirs been constantly kept I check by the steady fire of Radermayer, Button Jack Stuart, and others of the Scouts, and also by a cross fire from some of the Colonial Boys, direscted by Captain Fynn and Lieutenant Mullins.
?The splendid gallantry and devotion to one another shown by Captain Grey and his officers and men on this day will ever be remembered in Rhodesia as amongst the bravest of the brave on this day will ever be remembered in Rhodesia as amongst the bravest of the brave deeds performed by the colonists in the suppression of the present Rebellion. Such acts, too, speak for themselves, and bear eloquent, if silent, testimony against the cruel and malicious calumnies on the character of the white settlers in Matabeleland which have so frequently disgraced the pages of a widely-read, if generally despised, weekly journal.
?As soon as Grey?s Scouts and the Colonial Boys had reached the guns, these latter were limbered up, and the whole patrol retired slowly on Buluwayo, the Matabele making no attempt to follow. Indeed, their loss must have been severe and had Grey?s Scouts and the Colonial Boys only been supported instead of being recalled, the Matabele would never have rallied, but would have been kept on the run and killed in large numbers by the mounted men. At least this is my view, and it has been thoroughly borne out by the experience gained in subsequent fights during this campaign.
?Our loss on this day was, Baxter killed, and Wise and Hook wounded amongst Grey?s Scouts, while five or six of the Colonial Boys were wounded, but none dangerously. Wise has long ago recovered from his wound and Lieutenant Hook is in a fair way to do so. I have forgotten to mention that my horse must have been capturdd by the Matabele as he did not return to Buluwayo and has not since heard of. The lucky savage whose hands he fell, became possessed at the same time of a very good saddle and a brand new Government coat.?
RANDOLPH COSBY NESBITT
Mashonaland Mounted Police, Now in British South Africa Police
During the native insurrection in Mashonaland in 1896, many of the homesteads were sacked, and the settlers with their families murdered, before help could be sent to them living as they did, in many cases, in isolated districts, miles from their nearest neighbours. In June 1896, Mr Judson, director of telegraphs at Salisbury, had ridden with a patrol to effect the relief of the miners at the Alice Mine in the Mazoe Valley, but on reaching them found himself powerless to bring them away through the hordes of savages, and was compelled to remain in laager with them. On the 19th Captain Nesbitt, when out with a Patrol of thirteen men, came across a runner from Mr. Judson, bearing a note to Judge Vincent to the effect that to relieve them, one hundred men and a Maxim gun were required. Reading it to his thirteen men, Captain Nesbitt asked them if they would accompany him to endeavour to rescue the beleagured party, a question answered readily enough, and at once the gallant little band set off. They fought their way through the enemy and eventually reached the laager, and putting the three women, who were with the miners into an armoured wagon, commenced the return journey, again fighting heavily. Through the masses of savages who barred their way the little band of brave men steadily penertrated, the enemy often creeping through the long grass and when quite close firing at the wagon. By the bravery of these colonists and the skilful and courageous leading of Captain Nesbitt, at length they were all brought safely into Salisbury with the loss of only thre men killed and five wounded, eight horses killed and seven wounded. The action of Captain Nesbitt and his thirteen men stands prominently out among the many brave deeds performed by our colonists during those troublous times.
Born at Queenstown in Cape Colony, on September 20th 1867, Captain Nesbitt is the son of Major C. A. Nesbitt. Educated at St. Paul?s School, in London, he joined the Cape Mounted Rifles, August 10th 1885, and served through the Mashona Expedition of 1890, being promoted Lieutenant (Police) in September 1891. Held the appointment of Chief Constable at Fort Peddie, in the Cape in March 1892 till April 1893. Returned to Mashonaland at the end of that year and became Inspector of the Mounted Police in that region and appointed J. P. in 1895. Served in Gazaland 1894, on special service. Attained his present rank on June 1st 1895. During the Boer War 1899-1902, was in command of a squadron of B.S.A.P. under Generals Pulmer and Baden Powell, in the Transvaal.
EDMOND WILLIAM COSTELLO
(Lieutenant, now Captain)
Indian Staff Corps
On the night of July 26th 1897, during the fighting at the Malakand, Lieutenant Costello, with the assistance of two Sepoys, saved the life of a wounded Lance-Havildar, who was lying sixty yards away on the football field. At the time of this gallant act, the field was swarming with the enemy?s swordsmen and a heavy rifle-fire directed upon it.
Edmond Costello, son Surgeon-Colonel Costello, I.M.S., was born on August 7th 1873. Educate at Beaumont and Stonyhurst College, he joined the 14th West Yorkshire in August 1892, and was attached to the 22nd Punjab Infantry in 1894. During Malakand Campaign was twice wounded.
ROBERT BELLEW ADAMS
(Major and Brevet-Lieut. ?Colonel, now Lieut. ?Colonel, C.B.)
Indian Staff Corps
At Nawa Kili, in Upper Swat, NorthWest Frontier of India, on august 17th 1897, Lieut. ?Colonel Adams and some of the guides started in pursuit of the tribesmen after the action of Landakai, and it is believed that the horse of Lieutenant R. T. Greaves bolted with his rider. When nearing the enemy, Greaves was shot through the body and fell to the ground, being quickly surrounded by the tribesmen. Major Adams, Lieutenants McLean and Fincastle, seeing Greaves predicament, rode to his rescue and succeeded in recovering his body. They drove off the enemy, but Greaves was killed by another shot just as they commenced to carry him away. Major Admas most bravely stood between the enemy and McLean and Fincastle while these two officers were attempting to put their wounded friend on to one of their horses. Lieutenant McLean was mortally wounded while engaged in this humane act.
Robert Bellew Adams was born in 1856, and entered the Army in 1876, becoming Captain 1887; Major 1896. Served in the Afghan War 1879, and Chitral Relief Force 1895. Is A.D.C. to His Majesty the King. Was presented with the Victoria Cross by the late Queen Victoria at Windsor, on July 9th 1898. At present serving at Mardan in India.
ALEXANDER EDWARD MURRAY,
(Lieutenant, now Captain)
Associated with Colonel R. B. Adams (V.C.), in the gallant attempt to save the live of Lieutenant Greaves, of the Guides, at Nawa Kili, Upper Swat, India on August 17th 1897.
Born on April 22nd 1871 son of the Earl of Dunmore, Viscount Fincastle joined the 16th Lancers in 1891. Was A.D.C. to the Voceroy of India 1894. Served in Dongola Expedition 1896, and Boer War 1899-1902, commanding Fincastle?s horse during that time.
HECTOR LACHLAN STEWART MacLEAN
Indian Staff Corps
This officer, had he survived, would have been awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallant conduct on August 17th 1897, in Upper Swat, India, when as recorded in the account of Colonel Adams (V.C.), he attempted to save the life of Lieutenant Greaves. Lieutenant MacLean had served in the Hazara Expedition.
THOMAS COLCLOUGH WATSON
(Lieutenant, now Captain)
On September 16th 1897, Lieutenant Watson, while at the attack on the village of Bilot in the Mamund Valley, collected a few men of the Buffs and Bengal Sappers and led them into the burning village, in order to dislodge some of the enemy who were inflicting loss on our troops. With conspicuous courage he made two gallant attempts, but was, on both occasions, repulsed and severely wounded.
Captain Watson, born April 1st 1867, entered the Army in 1888, and was promoted to his present rank on November 19th 1898.
JAMES MORRIS COLQUHOUN COLVIN
(Lieutenant, now Brevet-Major)
On September 16th 1897, at the village of Bilot, in the Mamund Valley, Indian Frontier, Lieutenant Colvin, after Lieutenant Watson (V.C.) had been incapacitated from his wounds, continued in the attempt to drive out the enemy from the burning village. His conduct was most brave, and his devotion to his men most noticeable, as, during the whole affair, a very heavy fire was kept up against them by the enemy.
Born at Bijnor, India, on August 26th 1870, Major Colvin is the son of Mr. J. C. Colvin, late Bengal Civil Service. Educated at Charterhouse and royal Military Academy, he joined the Royal Engineers in 1889, becoming Lieutenant in 1892; Captain April 1st 1900; and Brevet-Major, August 1902, for his services in South Africa as an officer on special service. Took part in the Chitral Releif Force, 1895; Malakand Field Force 1897 (mentioned in despatches); Buner Field Force 1898; and Siuth Africa 1901-02.
The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
On the night of September 16th 1897, Lieutenant Watson (V.C.) called for volunteers to enter the burning village of Bilot (NorthWest Frontier of India), and drive the enemy out with the bayonet. Corporal Smith followed his officer, and was particularly noticeable for his gallant conduct on that occasion. Later, although wounded, he continued firing coolly and steadily, and assisted in removing the wounded to a place prepared for their reception. The officer afterwards left to obtain assistance for the wounded, leaving Corporal Smith in charge of the men; and during his absence Smith directed the fire of his party, exposing himself freely in order to watch the enemy, who were unable to take the position, which was held most gallantly.
HENRY SINGLETON PENNELL
(Lieutenant, now Captain)
Sherwood Foresters (Devonshire Regiment)
On October 20th 1897, during the attack on the Dargai Heights, Captain W. E. G. Smith, of the Devonshire Regiment, was shot, and Lieutenant Pennell, under a terrific hail of bullets, ran to him, and twice attempted, in a most brave manner, to carry him into shelter. It was only when he found that the officer was dead that he desisted from any further attempts.
Son of Mr. Edwin Pennell of Dawlish, in Devonshire, Captain Pennell was born on June 18th 1874. Educated at Eastbourne College, he joined the Berbyshire Regiment in 1893; promoted to 1st Lieutenant 1896; Captain 1900. Served in Tirah Campaign 1897-8, being mentioned in despatches as well as gaining the Victoria Cross, which was presented to him by Lieut. ?Colonel Dowes at Bareilly, Northwest India, on September 2nd 1898. Took part in the Boer War 1899-1902, being twice mentioned in despatches. Was severely wounded during the Relief of Ladysmith.
The historic and superb storming of the Dargai Heights took place on October 20th 1897. Piper Findlater was shot through both feet, but sat up, under a terrific fire, and continued playing the regomental march in order to encourage his comrades in the charge. Decorated at Netley Hospital by Her Majesty Wueen Victoria.
Decorated for his conspicuous bravery at the assault of the Dargai Heights on October 20th 1897. Under a terrific fire from the enemy he carried Lieutenant Dingwall, who was severely wounded, from an open spot to a safer position. Afterwards he acted in a similarly brave manner towards Private McMillan, and during his heroic action was wounded in two places.
(Private, now Corporal)
Decorated for his courageous conduct on October 20th 1897, at the storming of the Dargai Heights, when he ran down the slope, under a very severe fire, to help of a wounded soldier whom he subsequently carried back to shelter. Later on, when with Brigadier-General Kempster?s column in the Waran Valley, he became separated from his company and was attacked by three of the enemy, all of whom he killed.
THE KHARTOUM EXPEDITION
PAUL ALOYSIUS KENNA
(Captain, now Major)
On September 2nd 1898, at the battle of Khartoum, Major Crole Wyndham?s horse was killed in the charge of the 21st Lancers, and he was in a most dangerous position, until Captain Kenna rode to him, and, taking him up behind, rode into safety. When the charge was over, he returned and assisted Lieutenant De Montmorency (V.C.), in his heroic endeavour to rescue the body of Lieutenant Grenfell.
Major Kenna, born on August 16th 1862, is the son of Mr. James Kenna. Was educated at St. Augustine?s College, Stoneyhurst, and Sandhurst, passing from the latter into the 2nd West Indian Regiment in 1886. After two years service in the West Indies and West Africa, joined the 21st Lancers. Served as Assistant Provost Marshal in South Africa 1899-1902. Served in Somaliland Campaign 1904. Received the Royal Humane Society?s Medal in 1895 for jumping off Carlisle Bridge into the Liffey to rescue a drowning man.
THE HONOURABLE RAYMOND HARVEY LODGE JOSEPH DE
(Lieutenant, afterwards Captain)
On September 2nd 1898, during the battle of Khartoum, Lieutenant de Montmorency, when the charge of the 21st Lancers had taken place, returned to the help of Lieutenant R. G. Grenfell, who had fallen wounded and was lying surrounded by a number of Dervishes. Finding on reaching him, that the officer was dead, he endeavoured to put the body on a horse, but the animal broke away, and he would himself have been killed but for the help of Corporal Swarbrick and Captain Kenna (V.C.).
He was son of the late General Viscount Frankfort de Montmorency, and was born on February 5th 1867. Enetred the 21st Lancers September 1887 became Lieutenant 1889, Adjutant 1893, and Captain 1899. While serving in the Boer War 1899-1902, he was killed on February 23rd 1900, when in command of the corps of scouts, which bore his name.
On September 2nd 1898, at the battle of Khartoum, during the celebrated charge of the 21st Lancers, Lieutenant the Honourable R. F. Molyneux had been wounded, dismounted and disarmed, though himself severely wounded, went to the officer?s rescue, attacked those surrounding him, receiving another severe injury, and by his brave exertions enabled the officer to escape.
NEVILL MASKELYNE SMYTH
(Captain, now Major)
2nd Dragoon Guards
On September 2nd 1898, at the battle of Khartoum, an Arab ?ran amok? among the camp followers. Captain Smyth, seeing that some of them must be killed if he were not promptly stopped, rode up, met the Arab?s charge and killed him, receiving a spear wound in the arm. This gallant action saved at least one of the camp followers from death.
Son of the late Sir Warrington Smyth, F.R.S., of Marazion, in Cornwall, Major Smyth was born in London on August 14th 1868. Educated privately and at R.M.C., he joined the 2nd Dragoon Guards in 1888 at Sialkot, and served on the Afghan Frontier (Zhob Valley Expedition) in 1890; through the Dongola Expedition 1896; (battle of Firket, and Hafir; occupation of Dongola); Soudan Campaign, 1897 (bombardment of Metemmeh); battles of Atbara and of Khartoum; Soudan Campaign 1899 (battle of Gedid); Boer War 1899-1902, serving in Major Lawley?s column. Promoted Captain in December 1897, Major in October 1903.
THE KHARTOUM EXPEDITION
THE HONOURABLE ALEXANDER GORE ARKWRIGHT HORERUTHVEN
(Captain, 3rd Battalion Highland Light Infantry)
Lieutenant, 79th Cameron Highlanders
On September 22nd 1898, at the battle of Gedarif an Egyptian officer had fallen wounded within fifty yards of the Dervishes, who were advancing, firing and charging. Captain Hore-Ruthven picked him up and carried him towards the 16th Egyptian Battalion, several times laying down his burden to fire at the enemy, in order to keep them in check, and succeeded in getting him into safety.
Born at Windsor July 6th 1872, Captain the Hon. Hore-Ruthven is the son of the 8th Baron Ruthven. Educated at Eton, he joined the 3rd Battalion H.L.I. in 1891, was attached to the Egyptian Army in the Soudan in 1898, and during the battle of Gedarif and other engagements commanded the camel corps. Was three times mentioned in despatches. Gazetted to 79th Cameron Highlanders in 1899.
WILLIAM JOB MAILLARD, M.D.
On September 6th 1898, H.M.S. Hazard landed some men at Candia during the troubles in that place, whereupon a terrific hail of bullets greeted them, and Arthur Stroud, A.B., fell back into the boat seriously wounded, as the rest sprang ashore. Surgeon Maillard, in spite of the rain of lead directed on him, returned and endeavoured to carry the man, who was then dying, into shelter, but the boat got adrift, and from so unstable a platform he found it impossible. When he returned to his post, his clothes were riddled with bullets, but he was fortunately unhurt.
William Job Maillard, educated at Kingswood School, Bath; Dunheved College, Launceston; Guy?s Hospital London, entered the Naby, August 22nd 1889, and for his gallant services was promoted Staff Surgeon on June 2nd 1899. Was presented with the Victoria Cross by the late Queen at Windsor on December 15th 1898.
He retired in 1902, and died at Bournemouth on September 10th 1903 aged 40.
THE BOER WAR
Captain, Royal Fusiliers
(Now Major, Irish Guards)
The Victoria Cross was awarded to this officer for three distinct acts of bravery during the siege of Mafeking. On October 14th 1899, Captain FitzClarence, with hs squadron of the Protectorate Regiment, which consisted of only partially trained men who had not before been under fire, went out to render assistance to an armoured train, sent out from the town. The Boers were numerically far superior, and the position began to look very serious for the squadron, who at one time wer completely surrounded. Captain FitzClarence, however, handled his men in so splendid a manner, and inspired them with such confidence by his calm bearing and personal courage, that they succeeded in relieving the armoured train, and inflicted, besides, a severe loss on the enemy, accounting for fifty killed and a great number wounded, the moral effect of which had a most important bearing in later actions with the enemy. Again, on October 27th 1899, he led a night sortie and attacked the enemy?s trenches. A hand-to-hand combat ensued with the bayonet, and the enemy were driven out with a great loss. He was the first in the trench, and killed four Boers himself with his sword. Major-General R.S.S. Baden-Powell, in command at Mafeking, reported that but for the personal bravery and dash of this officer, the attacks would have been failures, with heavy loss of life and prestige on our part as a result. On December 26th 1899, Captain FitzClarence was conspicuous for the spirit, leading and bravery during the action at Game Tree, near Mafeking, in ehich engagement he was severely wounded through both legs.
Born on May 8th 1865, Major FitzClarence is the son of Captain the Hon. George FitzClarence, R.N., third son of the first Earl of Munster. Educated at Eton and Wellington College, he entered the Royal Fusiliers November 10th 1886, serving for some years with the Egyptian Army, but the investment of Mafeking in which he so greatly distinguished himself, was his first active service. In October 1900 he was transferred to the Irish Guards, being in the following month, promoted Major by brevet, is a Staff College officer, and at present Major of Brigade at Aldershot.
MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY MEIKLEJOHN
2ndBattalion Gordon Highlanders
On October 21st 1899, at the battle of Elandslaagte, almost at the beginning of the Great War (and just before Sir George White, V.C., was forced into Ladysmith to stand a siege of 118 days), the Boer position had been captured, but a heavy cross-fire ws poured upon our men from a kopje in advance of us, which was about to be taken by assault. The fire was so terrific that the Highlanders, whose leaders had been shot down, commenced to waver. Captain Meiklejohn, seeing at once the critical position, sprang forward calling on his men to follow him. Although falling desperately wounded almost at once, his conspicuous bravery and fearless example had the effect of steadying the men, who advanced to the assault and captured the kopje.
Captain Meiklejohn, son of the late J.M.D. Meiklejohn, and professor of Education at St. Andrew?s University, was born on November 20th 1870, and entered the Gordon Highlanders (92nd) on June 17th 1891, which gallant body of men he fought in the Chitral Releif Force1895, on the Punjab Frontier, and through the Tirah Expedition 1897-98, being wounded during the latter campaign. Promoted Captain 1899. For his services in India he wears the (new) Indian Medal and three clasps. The wound he received at Elandslaagte caused him to lose his right arm almost at the shoulder. In 1901 was Garrison Adjutant at St. Helena, whence he returned to enter the Staff College.
(Sergeant Major, now Quartermaster and Hon. Lieutenant)
2nd Gordon Highlanders
At the battle of Elanslaagte October 21st 1899, during the final and decisive advance on the Boer position, Sergeant-Major Robertson led each successive rush of his battalion, exposing himself fearlessly to the enemy?s artillery and rifle-fire in order to encourage the men. When the main position had been captured, he led a small party to seize the Boer camp, which operation was successfully carried out ad though a deadly cross-fire was poured upon him and his men, he continued to hold on to the position, encouraging them until he was dangerously wounded in the body and sustained a compound fracture of the left arm.
William Robertson, son of Mr. John Robertson, of Dumfries, was born at Greyfriars, on February 27th 1865. Enlisted in the 2nd Gordons at Devonport, December 1st 1884, rising to warrant rank in 1895, and Quartermaster 3rd Gordons May 12th 1900.
After some years of service in India, landed in South Africa on October 8th 1899, two days before the boer Ultimatum to Great Britain, proceeding immediately to Ladysmith, in the defence of which he took part after recovery from his wounds received at Elandslaagte, and for which he possesses a clasp to his medal as well as those for Elandslaagte and Cape Colony.
On Christmas Day 1900, after his return home, was presented in recognition of his bravery and distinguished services with the freedom og his native town, having four months previously, received the Victoria Cross from the hands of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle.
Imperial Light Horse
The act for which this gallant officer was awarded theVictoria Cross-is described in the record of Captain Mullins (V.C.) Both officers were saving at the time with the Imperial Light Horse, whose deeds place them second to none of the Irregular Troops raised during the Boer War. They were recruited mostly, if not entirely, of men from the gold mines of the Rand, and were commanded by Colonel Chisholm, and Majors Karri-Davis and Sampson, the two latter well-known in connection with their part during the Jameson Raid, and their subsequent incarceration in Pretoria Gaol by Kruger.
C. H. MULLINS
(Captain, now Major, C.M.G.)
Imperial Light Horse
At the battle of Elandslaagte, October 21st 1899, where the ?Charge? of that name was so gallantly carried out, a terrific fire at almost point vblanc range met a forward movement, and for a moment the advance was in danger of being checked. Captains Mullins and R. Johnstone most bravely rushed forward, rallying the men, the former officer being wounded during this devoted action. By their heroic act, at a most critical moment, the intended flanking movement was unimpeded, allowing this operation, which decided the issue of the battle, to be successfully carried out. Reference to Captain Johnstone is made above.
(Second Lieutenant, noe Lieutenant)
5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales) Dragoon Guards
On October 30th 1899, a small patrol under Lieutenant Norwood was sent out from Ladysmith, and, coming under a heavy fire from a large body of the enemy posted on a ridge, were retiring at ful speed, when a trooper fell from his saddle, wounded. In spite of the rain of bullets directed at him, Lieutenant Norwood rode back for three hundred yards to the fallen man, dismounted, and carried him on his back until he placed him out of range, when he mounted his horse, which he had, during his gallant act, led with his free hand, and rejoined his troop.
Lieutenant John Norwood, son of J. Norwood, Esq., of Pembury odge, near Beckenham, was educated at Abbey School, Rugby and Oxford, and entered the 5th Dragoon Guards February 8th 1899.
ERNEST BEACHCROFT BECKWITH TOWSE
1st Gordon Highlanders
The first act of this brave officer for which he was mentioned in connexion with the award of the Victoria Cross, was at Magersfontein December 11th 1899, when he heroically endeavoured, during the retirement to carry out of action Colonel Downman, who had been mortally wounded. Being unable, however, to accomplish this, he supported him until Colour-Sergeant Nelson and Lance-Corporal Hodgson came to his assistance. The second act was on April 30th 1900, on Mount Theba, where with twelve men, he took his stand on a plateau, which fully one hundred and fifty of the enemy were endeavouring to reach. Neither side seemed to have noticed the proximity of the other, until about one hundred yards apart. The Boers then dashed forward to within forty yards, calling on Captain Towse and his little party to surrender, to which the Highland officer replied by an order to his men to open fire, charging forward at the oncoming enemy, who were driven off, in spite of their very superior strngth n numbers. Just at the last, this gallant officer was shot through both eyes, which entirely destroyed his sight.
Captain towse was born on April 23rd 1864, and educated at Wellington College. Entered the Wilts Regiment December 16th 1885, and was posted to the Gordons January 2nd 1886, with which splendid corps he served in the Reliief of Chitral 1895 and, two years later, on the Punjab Fronter. Promoted Captain 1896. He received the Victoria Cross from the hands of the late Queen Victoria, who, in 1900, appointed him Sergeant-at-Arms. In 1902 he was re-appointed Sergeant-at-arms to H.M. the King and in 1903 became one of the Hon. Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms.
HENRY EDWARD MANNING DOUGLAS, D.S.O.
(Lieutenant, now Captain)
Royal Army Medical Corps
At the battle of Magersfontein, December 11th 1899, when the Highland Brigade was so terribly cut up, Lieutenant Douglas was conspicuous for his devoted attendance to the wounded. Under a pitiless sleet of bullets, he advanced on to the open plain and attended to the wounded of Captain W. E. Gordon, Major Robinson, and many other stricken men. His bravery was not confined only to this occasion, for during the day he behaved as beravely in other actions in which he was engaged.
This young army doctor, son of Mr. George A. Douglas, of Kingston, Jamaica, entered the medical branch of the Service July 28th 1899, and was promoted Captain July 27th 1902. On his return to this country he did duty for some time at St. George?s barracks, London proceeding in October 1903, on active service to Africa with General Egerton?s command in Somaliland.
JOHN DAVID FRANCIS SHAUL
(Corporal, now Band Sergeant)
Highland Light Infantry
At the battle of Magersfontein, December 11th 1899, when the Highlanders were mown down by the terrific rifle-fire of the Boers, Corporal Shaul?s bravery and humane conduct were so conspicuous that, not only was his own officer notice him, but even those of other regiments remarked upon it. At one critical time he was especially prominent in encouraging his men to advance across the bullet swept open ground, setting them a splendid example by his own behaviour. He was in charge of the stretcher-bearers-a very important duty-and was most conspicuous in dressing the wounds of the injured. In one case he went to a wounded man, and with the utmost coolness and deliberation, sat down by him and attended to him, in spite of the hail of bullets, which kept him raining around him. He continually went from one man to another, whenever he could mitigate suffering.
Sergeant Shaul is the son of Sergeant John Shaul, 2nd battalion Royal Scots, who served his country in the Crimea and in China 1860. He was born at King?s Lynn, Norfolk Septemebr 11th 1873, educated at the Duke of York?s School, Chelsea and at the age of fifteen joined the Frist H.L.I., with which he served in Crete during the fighting in 1898. He fought in South Africa from the commencement to the end of the Boer War, receiving both medals and five clasps. His commanding officers at Magersfontein were Lieutenant-Colonel H. R. Kelham, C.B., and Major T. Richardson, D.S.O., and H.R.H. presented the Duke of York at Pietermaritzburg, the Victoria Cross to him August 14th 1901.
WALTER NORRIS CONGREVE
(Captain, now Lieut. ?Colonel, M.V.O.)
2nd Rifle Brigade
On December 15th 1899, at the battle of Colenso Bridge, during the early part of Buller?s advance to the relief of Ladysmith, the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries R.F.A. had dashed forward, far in advance of their flank supports, and opened fire on the Boer position. Without shelter of any descrition, and in full view of the enemy strongly entrenched, they became the object of as gearful and pitless a storm of bullets and shell as any battery has had to face in modern war.
The horses were torn to pieces, the gunners littered the ground around the guns, but with that dogged and stolid endurance, and that incapability of the British soldier to know when he is beaten, officers and men, with a heroism unsurpassed before or snce, worked their guns in a desperate and hopeless endeavour to turn tide. At last hardly enough remained to serve the guns, and any attempt to bring relief from the donga, five hundred yards to the rear, seemed only to increase the blizzard of shot and shell which swept, without intermission, the space between the donga and the guns. Soon the batteries had no one to serve them, and they wre deserted, but there were some heroic spirits who echoed Colonel Long?s words, uttered as they removed him from the storm stricken gun by which he had fallen, ?Abandon be damed! We don?t abandon guns!? General Buller, on hearing of the diaster, called for volunteers to attempt to bring them in. His call was readily answered by, among others, Captain Schofield, Captain Congreve, Captain Reed and Lieutenant Roberts, son of the Commander-in-Chief. Captain Schofield got together his team, and was able to bring in one of the only two guns, which were saved. Captain Congreve and Lieutenant Roberts started out on their almost hopeless task, getting as far as hooking a second gun to a limber, and though it was brought back, it cost the life of Lieutenant Roberts, who fell mortally wounded. Captain Congreve, badly wounded, made for the donga, but he saw his brother officer fall, and bravely returned through the hell of fire and brought him into shelter. Captain Reed brought up three teams to see what could be done at this point, and heroically dashed for the guns, but the horses could not be induced to face the storm, and as men were falling fast at every attempt, no further endeavour was made and the remaining guns had to be abandoned. Corporal Nurse, for his gallant services during the awful ordeal, was, with the four officers, awarded the Victoria Cross. Further details of Captains Scholfield and Reed, Lieutenant Robert and Corporal Nurse are given under their respective headings.
Captain Congreve, son of the late William Congreve, J.P., of Congreve Staffrodshire, was born on November 20th 1862. Educated at Harrow he entered the Rifle Brigade February 7th 1885, becoming Captain in December 1893, Major in the regiment and Army Lieut. ?Colonel December 21st 1901. Served on the Staff in south Africa as A.M.S. and private sevretary to Lord Kitvhener, after which in November 1902, he became Assistant Military Sevretary and A.D.C. to H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught in Ireland, being made a member of the Royal Victorian Order by His Majesty the King when on a visit to that country in 1903.
HAMILTON LYSTER REED
7th Battery, Royal Field Artillery
The Victoria Cross was awarded to Captain Reed for his conspicuous bravery during heroic attempt to save the guns at Colenso, December 15th 1899, and a detailed account of the affair will be found in the record of Captain Congreve (V.C.).
Captain Reed, son of Sir Andrew Reed, K.C.B., C.V.O., late inspector-General Royal Irish Constabularly, was borne on May 23rd 1869, and after graduating at Woolwich, entered the Royal artillery February 17th 1888, becoming Captain in 1898. During the Boer War was, at first, Adjutant of Brigade division R.F.A. and later D.A.A.G. on the Staff of the G.O.C. Orange River Colony. Took part in the operations in Natal, including action at Colenso, where he gained the Victoria Cross, the relief of Ladysmith, actions of Spion Kop, Vaalkranz, Tugela Heights, Pieter?s Hill, Laing?s Nek, Belfast and Lydenburg. Was presented with the Victoria Cross at Ladysmith on March 4th 1900, by Sir Redvers Buller, V.C.
THE HONOURABLE F.H.S. ROBERTS
King?s Royal Rifle Corps
Son of Field Marshal the Earl Roberts, V.C., K.G., Commander-in-Chief. Born at Umballa, India January 8th 1872, he entered the King?s Royal Rifle corps June 10th 1891, and during the four following years, was on active service on the NorthWest frontier of India-including Chitral, receiving medals and clasps and being mentioned in despatches. His heroic bravery at Colenso, December 15th 1899, for which had he survived, he would (according to the Gazette) have received the Victoria Cross now possessed by his family-is detailed in the account given under the heading of Captain Congrece (V.C.)
The gun, in the saving of which Lieutenant Roberts lost his life, has been presented o his gallant father as a family heirloom by the War Office authorities.
HARRY NORTON SCHOFIELD
(Captain, now Major)
Royal Field Artillery
The act for which Captain Schofield was awarded the Victoria Cross is given in greater detail in the record of Captain Congreve, together with whom and Lieutenant Roberts, Cosporal Nurse and Captain Reed he made a heroic attempt to save the guns at Colenso, December 15th 1899.
Born on January 29th 1865, Major Scholfield entered the Royal Artillery Febraury 15th 1884, becoming Captain February 1893, and Major February 1900. He was in the first instance, gazetted to the Order for distinguished service, but, in the Gazette of August 30th 1901-nearly two years after his brave conduct at Colenso-the bronze Victoria Cross ws substituted for that of the Gold Cross of the D.S.O.
WILLIAM BABTIE, C.M.G.
(Major, now Lieut. ?Colonel)
Royal Army Medical Corps
On December 15th 1899, at the battle of Colenso, the wounded of the 14th and 66th Batteries R.F.A. were without medical assistance. They had been carried to a donga in rear of the guns, which, as detailed in the account of Captain Congreve had suffered so fearfully from the enemy?s shell and rifle fire. On assistance being sent for, Major Babtie, Staff Officer to P.M.O. Natal Army, rode across the open ground his pony being hit three times, and attended to the sufferers under fire which was directed onany one exposing himself. This he was obliged to do in passing from on wounded man to another. Later on he went out and assisted Captain Congreve when that officer heroically brought it in the late Hon. F.H.S. Roberts (V.C.)
Born on May 7th 1859, Lieutenant-Colonial Babtie is the son of Mr. John Babtie, J.P., of Dunbarton. Educated at Glasgow University, he entered the Army Medical Service on july 30th 1881, and was promoted Major from July 30th 1893. Served in Crete 1897-98, as Senior Medical Officer, and for his services during the International Occupation was created C.M.G. In South Africa he took part in all the actions for the relief of Ladysmith, and subsequent operations in Natal and the Eastern Transvaal. Promoted Lieut. ?Colonel November 29th 1900. Queen?s medal eith five clasps. Has served as Assistant Director-General A.M.S. on the Headquarters Staff of the Army since June 1st 1901. Is a knight of Grace of the Order of St.John of Jerusalem in England. Presented with the Victoria Cross by Earl Roberts at Pretoria in October 1900.
GEORGE EDWARD NURSE
(Corporal, now Sergeant)
66th Battery, Royal Field Artillery
The heroic action in which Corporal Nurse gained the Victoria Cross is described in the account given of Captain Congreve, with whom he was associated in attempting the rescue of the guns at Colenso. In addition to the first battle on the Tugela, he has fought almost through the whole four Colonies, from Durban on the east to Majeking (Releif) on the northwest.
Born at Enniskillen, Ireland April 14th 1873, and son of Charles Nurse, of Cobo Hotel, Guernsey. After undergoing a course of higher-class education at the Chamberlain Academy, Guernsey joined the Royal Artillery, enlisting at St. George?s Barracks, London, January 6th 1892; served in Ireland till May 1879, proceeding to South Africa with his unit, which was commanded on ?Black Friday,? December 15th 1899, by Major W. foster, under Colonel Long, with General Hildyard in brigade command. His Cross-was presented to him at Ladysmith by General Sir Redevers Buller, V.C., under whose supreme command it was so nobly gained.
2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers
On the disastrous December 15th 1899, at Colensom, when the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries R.F.A. had to be abandoned, owing to the awful fire concentrated upon them by the Boers, Ravenhill was one of the heroic band of men who made the brave attempt to save them, and one of the few who escaped the hail of lead and lived to tell the tale. He was also with the party who eventually succeeded in saving one. A more detailed account of the affair is given in the record of Captain Congreve.
George Ravenhill id a Warwickshire man, although cutrrently reported as hailing from Ayr, having been born at Birmingham on February 21st 1872, his father being Mr. T. Ravenhill, Warren Road, Washwood.
At Birr, Ireland in May 1889, he joined the 1st battalion of his regiment, with which he served afterwards in India for close on six years, and with the sister battalion for two years on the veldt. Possesses the Queen?s and the King?s medals, with clasps, for relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal ad Cape Colony.
At Colenso he gained the Cross under command of Colonel E.E. Carr, C.B., and in General Geoffrey Barton?s brigade, the decoration being presented to him by H.R.H. the Duke of York on June 4th 1901, at Pietermaritzburg.
He was once wounded at Colenso, shor through the forearm.
Was also awarded the medal for distinguished conduct, which was, however cancelled on being gazetted to the Victoria Cross, even though the medal was for a different action-the battle of Fredericksbad.
HORACE ROBERT MARTINEAU
The gallant defence of Mafeking, during a long and weary siege of seven months, will ever stand out as one of the bright episodes of the Great Boer War. Many a sortie was made during the early days of the siege, and many a stuvvorn fight strained the resources of the hard-pressed little garrison far away on the limitless African veldt.
In the action at Game Tree, on December 26th 1899, the ?retire? had been sounded, but Sergeant Martineau remained behind, and took up corporal Le Camp, whom he saw had been shot, close in front of the Boer trenches. While trying to get him under shelter, half dragging half carrying him, Martineau received a wound in the side, but such was his devotion to his fellow-soldier that he paid no attention to his own condition and suffering, but proceeded to attend to his friend?s wounds, after which he helped him, little by little, towards cover, until he himself was again wounded. Thoroughly exhausted by the strain of carrying his friend, the second wound prevented any further action on his part, and he sank down, powerless t proceeds further. He was, altogether, wounded three times,once so seriously that it eeuslted in his left arm having to be amputated.
Horace Robert Martineau, son of Mr William Martineau, of Hornsey, was born on October 31st 1874, in Bayswater, London. Educated chiefly at University College School, after which he went to South Africa. On the outbreak of the Matabele rebbelion, accompanied Major-General Baden-Powell in his successful campaign to subdue them. In 1889, when the war clouds began to gather and Kruger grew more abstinate, Martineau volunteered into the Protectorate regiment from Cape Town, his services prior to that time having been with the Cape Police. He has now given up soldiering, and holds a very good position in the African Boating company, a large and influential concern at Durban.
H. E. RAMSDEN
On December 26th 1899, during the heavy fighting at Game Tree, near Mafeking, as described in the account of Sergeant Martineau, after the order to retire had been given, Trooper H.E. Ramsden took up his brother (Trooper A.E. Ramsden), who had been shot through both legs and was lying some tens yards only from the main Boer trench, and carried him for eight hundred yards under a heavy fire, putting him down from time to time to rest, till they met some men who helped to convey him to a place of safety.
This is the second Victoria Cross awarded to a soldier for saving his own brother?s life, the first having been awarded to Sir C.J.S. Gough.
SIR JOHN PENISTON MILBANKE, BART
(Lieutenant, now Captain)
10th (The Prince of Wale?s Own royal) Hussars
While on a reconnaissance near colesberg, on January 5th 1900, a small patrol of the 10th Hussars were retiring, and the horse of one of the men was unable to keep up with the rest. Sir John Milbanke, although severely wounded, rode back to him, took him upon his own horse, and brought him back to the camp. The man he rescued was, at the time, close to a party of Boers who had galloped near, and dismounted, were firing heavily on any one within range.
Sir John Millbanke, son of Sir Peniston Millbanke, 9th Baronet, was born on October 9th 1872. After serving in the 3rd Royal Sussex Regiment for some years, entered the 10th Hussars, November 23rd 1892, ruising to Captain April 17th 1900, while serving on the staff of Sir John French.
ROBERT JAMES THOMAS DIGBY JONES
Lieutuenant Robert James Thomas Digby Jones was killed in action during the great assault on Ladysmith, on January 6th 1900, after successfully defending Waggon hill West with a few men for twelve hours under desperate conditions, displaying conspicuous bravery and gallant conduct throughout.
Sir George White, in his despatch stated he ?would have had great pleasure in recommending Lieutenant Digby Jones and Trooper Albrecht for the distinction of the Victoria Cross had they survived.?
In the London Gazette of August 8th 1902,it was announced that the King was graciously pleased to direct that the Victoria Cross earned by Lieutenant Digby Jones, Trooper Albrecht, and four others should be sent to their representatives.
Lieutenant Digby Jones accompanied the 23rd Field company R..E. to natal in June 1899, proceeding straight to Ladysmith, where he was employed in the Construction of a Hospital in the camp (afterwards abandoned when the siege commenced) and afterwards on the defences of the town).
He was mentioned in Sir George White?s despatch (December 11th 1899) for having successfully destroyed the 4.7 Boer gun on Surprise Hill, during the sortie from Ladysmith on December 10th 1899, under the command of Colonel Metcalfe, with some 500 men of the rifle brigade. Newspapers correspondents afterwards mentioned that the first fure inserted was defedtive and that ?Lieutenant Digby Jone went at the risk of death or mutiliation and inserted another,? which successfully destroyed the gun, which had been causing much annoyance to the garrison.
He was again mentioned in despatches in connexion with the ?Assault on Adysmith, January 6th 1900.?
On the evening of the 5th January, Lieutenant Digby Jones had beens ent to Waggon Hill West command of a working party, consisting of thirty Sappers, some bluejackets, Gordon Highlanders and Imperial Light Horse, to make an emplacement for a 4.7 gun. At about 2.45 a.m. on the 6th they were surprised by the Boers, and, after ordering the men to stand to arms, Digby Jones, at once himself extinguished the lanterns which were giving a line for the enemt fire. There they made a most gallant stand till about 5.30 a.m., when reinforcements arrived.
Later on, when all the officers of the Gordons and Imperial Light Horse had either been killed or wounded, he took command, and rallying the hard pressed men again and again, kept the crest of the hill.
Space does not allow of mention of all that is recorded but a brief summary of an incident mentioned by Major Rice may be given.
The sudden appearance of a party of Boers on that part of the hill had caused its worn-out defenders to retire in disorder, when Digby Jones got his first intimation of the presence of the enemy, under De Villiers, on the crest, in the shape of a shot over the parapet at a distance of only a few feet, which killed 2nd Corporal Hunts R.E. In a moment Digby Jones picked up a rifle, and, dashing round the end of the emplacement, shot De Villiers, Lance-Corporal Hockaday at the same time shouting De Jaegers. Digby Jone was then heard to say, ?What?s up? The infantry have gone.? A man replied, ?There is an order to retire, sir.? Digby Jones said, ?I have no order to retire,? and at once ordered bayonets to be fixed and calling his men to follow him, led them (with 2nd Lieutenant Denniss, R.E.) to the charge, reoccupying the firing line in front of the emplacement.
Later on while leading his men forward, he was struck in the throat by a bullet and was instantly killed.
A study of the position shows of what vital importance the tenure of Waggon Hill West was to the safety of Ladysmith; so much so that the South African Review, in a paragraph on Lieutenant Digby Jones, says, ?So far as can be humanly judged it was this officer who saved Ladysmiths and the British arms from the mortification of a defeat and its incalculable consequences.? And the army and navy gazette, from which portions of the preceding account are borrowed says, ?General Ian Hamilton, who had witnessed his intrepid and resourceful conduct through the day, had decided to recommend him for the Victoria Cross, which was fully approved by Sir George White, and subsequently brought forward in his despatch.? This fine young soldier was only twenty-theee years of age.
His brother officer, 2nd Lieutenant G. B. Denniss, hearing Digby Jones was down, went out on the ridge, which was swept by the enemy?s fire, to search for him, and was, unfortunately, shot while performing this deed of mercy.
Quoting from a correspondent the Army and Navy Gazette says, ?Lieutenant Digby Jones? name will stand out in history of the siege of Ladysmith as one who set a brilliant example to all about him, and brought no little credit on the corps of Royal Engineers. He did his duty nobly to the end!?
Lieutenant Digby Jones was the second son of Charles Digby Jones, of Chester Street, Edinburgh. He was born September 27th 1876, educated first at Alnmouth, Northumberland, and afterwards at Sedbergh School, Yorkshire where he won the Sedgwick Mathematical prize in 1893, and was in the 1st XV. For football, and the 2nd XI. at cricket.
He passed into Woolwich in 1894, thirty-fourth in order of merit, when bifurcating for Royal Engineers was fifth, and passed out sixth in the Royal Engineer Division, obtaining his commission on August 5th 1896. After completing his course of intruction at the S.M.E., Chatham, he was posted to the 23rd Field Company R.E.
He was good all round athlete, being especially prominent in his golf and skating. At the former he won the Boys Scratch Medal at north Berwick two years in succession, and while at Chatham was sevretary of the R.E. Golf Club, forming one of the team in the annual inter-regimental matches with the Royal Artillery in the years 97, 98, and 99 doing the best round for the Sappers in the latter year. He was also secretary of the R.E. Rugby Football Club while at Chatham, and was one of its foremost players.
He is buried in Ladysmith Cemetery, and a cairn was erected by the 23rd Field Company R.E. on the spot where he fell, as a memorial to him and to those Sappers who fell near him on Waggon Hill. In addition to a brass tablet put up in St. Mary?s Cathedral, Edinburgh ny his parents and brothers, his old Scottish schoolfellows erected one in the Parish Church at Alnmouth.
In the History of the Royal Military Academy (written by Captain Guggisberg, R.E.) it states: -?In the Spring term, 1901 the octagon of the west library was turned into a kind of Sapper Valhalla. The walls were covered with handsome oak panels, on which were inscribed, in gold letters, the names of dead and gone engineers who had distinguished themselves in the service of their country, ranging from Waldivus, Ingeniator (1086) to a young subaltern, Digby jones, V.C. There are only 120 names on these panels.
By a strange coincidence his younger brother, Lieutenant Owen G. Digby Jones, was commissioned to the Royal Engineers on the very day his brother was killed (January 6th 1900).
He had many relatives who served in the Army with distinction, amongst whom may be mentioned-
I) His Grande Uncle-Major-General John Christie, C.B., A.D.C. to Queen Victoria, who rasied the 1st Bengal Cavalry, better known as ?Christie?s Horse,? in 1838, which he commanded to the end of the Afghan War. Seven medals.
II) His Cousin-Major-General John Moore Graham, who served through the Indian Mutiny and received through the Secretary of State for India, the ?most gracious approbation of Her Majesty? for services performed during that period.(III) His Cousin-Lieut. ?Colonel Robert Hope Moncreiff Aitken, V.C. who earned the Victoria Cross on six different occasions during the siege of Lucknow, and was ten times mentioned in despatches.
JAMES EDWARD IGNATIUS MASTERSON
(Lieutenant, now Captain and Brevet-Major)
1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment
On anuary 6th 1900, after seven weeks of continual bombardment and all the privations of a close siege, the Boers Sir George White?s gallant garrison as stubborn as ever, and with Buller?s battalions steadily, though slowly creeping to its relief, they began to entertain doubts whether Ladysmith would fall as easily as they had once expected. They therefore determined on a general assault on the town, hoping that disease and starvation and sapped the strength of the defending garrison. Though the British ranks had been sadly thinned since the commencement of the siege, the indomitable pluck of the British had in no way diminished and seemed to none, the Devonshire regiment acquitted itself on that day, in a manner worthy of its best traditions. At Waggon Hill, three of its companies, one of which was led by Lieutenant Masterson made a dah for a ridge, strongly held by the enemy, and captured it, but became at once exposed to a terrible fire from the right and left front. The position becoming almost untenable, Lieutenant Masterson undertook to convey a message to the Imperial Light horse, a hundred yards distant, to direct their attention to the left front, and endeavout to check the enemy?s fire from that point. The ground, which he had to traverse, was absolutely without cover, and swept by a galling fire, and before he had crossed it he was shot in both thighs. With undaunted courage, struggling up, he contrived to crawl along and deliver his message before falling exhausted in the trench held by our men. By his heroic devotion, Masterson was the means of saving many lives.
Major Masterson, born on June 25th 1862, enlisted at anearly age in the 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers, with which famous regiment he fought at Tel-el-Kebir, gaining medal with clasp, and Khedive?s Star. Commissioned into the Devonshire Regiment in 1891, he served in the operations in Burma (medal and clasp); and in 1897-8 took part in the fighting on thenorthWest Frontier of India (medal and two clasp). This officer?s career is one of the many instances from Luke O?Connor onwards-in which men, who in their early days served as private soldiers, have gained the Victoria Cross and eventually risen to high rank.
1st Battalion Machester Regiment
The Victoria Cross was awarded to Private Pitts for his indomitable courage and endurance on January 6th 1900, when with Private Robert Scott (V.C.), he held a Sanger on Caesar?s Camp during the attack on the garrison of Ladysmith. Further details of the affairs are given in the record of Robert Scott.
1st Battalion Manchester Regiment
The dogged endurance of our soldiers under adverse circumstances has been often remarked upon, and the conduct of Private Scott furnishes an example of it, which has seldom, if ever, been excelled. During the great attack on Ladysmith, January 6th 1900, when the fortunes of the hardpressed and starving garrison so often hung in the balance, Caesar?s Camp came in for its share of the work and danger. In one of the Sangers Privates Scott and Pitts resolutely maintained their position, and for fifteen hours, without food or water, kept up a hot fire on the Boers who having shot all the fourteen men in the Sangars on the immediate left, occupied their positions and poured a continous and heavy fire on these two brave soldiers.
Robert Scott is a ?Lancashire lad,? having been born at Haslingden on June 4th 1874. On February 2nd 895, he entered the Machester Regiment, with which he was serving in natal on the outbreak of hostilities, October 1899; served throughout the sige of Ladysmith, and during that long time of privation and danger was never once absent from duty. Possesses the Queen and King?s medal with many clasps including almost the first and the last Elandslaagte and Belfast.
The officer under whom he served during the great attack on the town was Lieutenant R. Hunt-Grubbe, and the Victoria Cross was pinned on his breats by Lord Kitchener on June 8th 1902, at Pretoria.
FRANCIS NEWTON PARSONS
44th (Essex) Regiment
On March 3rd 1900, Lieut. ?General Sir Thomas Kelly-Kenny recommended this officer for the Victoria Cross on account of his humane and devoted actions during the battle of Paardeberg, febraury 18th 1900, when he went to the assistance of Private Ferguson, 1st Battalion Essex Regiment, who had been wounded and fallen in an exposed place. After dressing his wounds, he twice, under a terrific fire, went to the riverbank to fetch water for him, subsequently carrying him to a place of safety. It is sad to have to relate that this gallant officer was killed at Dreifontein on March 10th 1900, being again on that occasion noticed for his conspicious bravery.
Lieutenant Parsons was the son of Dr. C. Parsons, of Dover. He was born on March 23rd 1875, entered the 1st Essex Regiment (44th) on February 29th 1896, and attained the rank he held at his death on March 1st 1898. His name is recorded, together with those of seven officers, one warrant officer, and 198 non-commissioned officers and men, on a tablet in the garrison church at Warley Barracks, placed there in memory of those of the Essex Regiment who gave their lives in their country?s cause in the Boer War. Sir Evelyn Wood, V.C., unveiled the tablet in 1903.
Imperial Light Horse
On January 6th 1900 at Waggon Hill during the great assault upon Ladysmith by the Boers, Albrecht behaved with the greatest bravery in leading a party of men who were dashing for the top of the hill to seize the position before the enemy could do so.
Lieutenant Digby-Jones (V.C.), referred to elsewhere, shot the leading Boer, the two next being disposed of by Albrecht, who during the stubborn fight whoch took place, unfortunately met his death.
The Gazette states that, but for this, the Victoria Cross would have been conferred upon him. Further details of the manner in which he was killed are given in the record of Lieutenant Digby Jones V.C.
1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment
During the battle of Paardeberg, on February 18th 1900, Sergeant Atkinson exposed himself to the heavy fire of the enemy to procure and carry water to the wounded. Seven times he repeated this devoted act, and at the last attempt he was shot through the head, dying a few days after.
In a letter from the Adjutant of his battalion he is reported as having been a most exemplary soldier and excellent non-commissioned officer.
Born at Armley, Leeds. He rejoined the Colours from the Reserve at the call of duty in October 1899, and was entitled to the Queen?s medal with clasps for Kimberley (Relief) and Paardeberg, where he fell.
He was the son of the Farrier-Major James Atkinson, ?H? Battery, 4th Brigade Royal Artilery (who is stated to have beenone of the party who captured the original cannon from which the Victoria Cross is now cast), and in accordance with the regulation of August 8th 1902, his Cross-is now possession of his father.
A. E. CURTIS
(Private, now Corporal)
2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment
At Onderbank Spruit, on February 23rd 1900, Colonel R. H. W. H. Harris, C.B., was severely wounded, and lay during the whole day in an exposed position, and under a heavy fire from the Boer posted behind a breastwork at short range. They fired at any one who gave any signal of life, and Colonel Harris was hit eight ot nine times. Curtis made several ineffectual attempts to reach the wounded officer, and at last succeeded in doing so. Notwithstanding the fire directed upon him, Curtis attended to the Colonel?s wounds, gave him a drink from his flask and endeavoured to carry him to shelter. Finding he was not equal to the task, he called for help, upon which Private Morton immediately dashed out, and in spite of the Colonel?s entreaties to them to leave him and not risk their lives, the two men succeeded in carrying him to cover.
H.R.H. presented the Duke of York the Victoria Cross to him at Pietermaritzburg on August 14th 1901.
EDGAR THOMAS INKSON
(Lieutenant, now Captain)
Royal Army Medical Corps
The Victoria Cross was awarded to this officer for a humane and devoted act at Hart?s Hill, Colenso, February 24th 1900. Lieutenant J. G. Devenish (1st Royal Innskilling Fusiliers), having been severely wounded and unable to move, was lying exposed to a very heavy fire. Lieutenant Inkson, seeing his danger, carried him for 400 yards through the hail of lead poured upon them, and in spite of the absence of cover for the entire distance, succeeded in conveying him to a place of safety.
Captain Edgar Thomas Inkson, son of Surgeon-Major-General Inkson, R.A., was born at Nyne Tal, India on April 5th 1872. After passing through University College Hospital, London, was gazetted Surgeon July 28th 1899, just ten weeks before the war, and was almost at once sent out to South Africa. He took part in every action for the relief of Ladysmith-from Colenso to the finish, at the end of February, with Fitzroy Hart?s or the Irish Brigade, being twiced named in despatches. For his services he has been awarded-in addition to the Victoria Cross-both medals andmany clasps. Although daily uunder fire for weeks together was never once wounded, even though in medical charge with the batteries at Colenso. On return from active service, eighteen months after being gazetted, was presented with the Victoria Cross, at St. James Palace, by H.M. The King May 13th 1902.
!st Battalion Duke of Wellington?s West Riding Regiment
At Plewman?s Farm, near Arundel, Cape Colony, February 24th 1900, Sergeant Firth gained the Victoria Cross for two acts of bravery and devotion.
Lance-Corporal Blackman had been wounded and was lying in the open not more than five hundred yards from the enemy, who were keeping up a severe fire on all around. Firth, scorning the bullets aimed at him and his burden, carried the wounded man to cover.
Shortly afterwards 2nd Lieutenant J. H. B. Wilson fell dangerously wounded, and, in spite of the proximity of the Boers, who had advanced quite close to our firing line, Firth carried the officer over the crest of the ridge to shelter, receiving a bullet through the eye and nose while engaged in his humane task.
J. J. CLEMENTS
Near Strijdenburg, on February 24th 1900, Corporal Clements by an act of splendid pluck and dash, turned the tables very completely on a party of five Boers. He lay wounded, shot through the lungs, when the Boers came towards him and called on him to surrender. Instead of submitting, he dashed at the party, shot three of them with his revolver, and forced the entire five to surrender to him and two other men of the Guides. The Victoria Cross was presented to him in London on July 1st 1902, at the same time as Lieutenant F. W. Bell (V.C.).
West Yorkshire Regiment
On February 27th 1900, at the attack on Terrace Hill, north of the Tugela, Natal a terrific shell and rifle fire was directed on the companies of the West Yorkshire Regiment, which for the moment checked their advance. Captain Mansel-Jones, by his courageous initiative, gave confidence to his men, and although he fell severely wounded, the companies took the ridge without any further check. It was ?this officer?s self-sacrificing devotion to duty at a critical moment? which prevented the whole attack being possibly checked.
Born in 1871, Captain Masel-Jones entered the Army in 1890, becoming Captain in 1899. Served in the Ashanti Campaign of 1895-6.
10th (The Prince of Wale?s Own Royal) Hussars
In the dawn of March 13th 1900, the party that had successfully destroyed the railway north of Bloemfontein had to charge through a Boer piquet, besides getting over four deep spruits, in order to creep back through the boer lines. At the last of these Sapper Webb?s horse fell, and consequently he was left in a precarious position.
In the face of a deadly shell and rifle fire, notwithstanding the great risk of being cut off and captured, Sergeant Engleheart returned to Sapper Webb?s assistance.
Some time was lost getting the man and horse out of the spruit, and the position became momentarily worse owing to the rapid advance of the Boers.
At last, however, he was successful and retiring slowly to cover Webb?s retreat, he was able to get him safely back to the party. Shortly before this had taken place Sergeant Engleheart had shown great gallantry in dashing into the first spruit, approachable only in single file, which was still held by a party of Boers who were hesitating whether to fire or fly. Had they been given time to rally they would certainly have destroyed our small lot of men, outnumbered as they were by four to one.
H. Engleheart, son of the late Mr. Francis Engleheart formerly a member of the Stock Exchange, and grandson of N. B. Engleheart, Esq., Blackheath, the last of the Queen?s Proctors, was born on November 14th 1864. The late Queen Victoria presented him with the Victoria Cross on December 15th 1900, being centre man of the last five of her soldiers on whose breast the aged Sovereign pinned her Cross.
EDMUND JOHN PHIPPS-HORNBY
(Major, now Lieut. ?Colonel)
?Q? Battery Royal Horse Artillery
On March 31st 1900, a force under General Broadwood was falling back upon Bloemfontein from Thabanchu. It crossed the Modder River and Bivouacked at 4.30 a.m. When the Boers attacked at 5.45 a.m., the convoy of about 100 wagons was hurried away towards Bloemfontein along the road which traversed a large open plain about one-and-a-half miles in diameter, across which, at right angles, ran a donga, and through this the wagons began to pass. The guns of ?Q? and ?U? Batteries followed in line. From the statement of some Boer prisoners, who said that they had been present on the occasion, it would appear that a large party of them had been making their way to Thabanchu and marched across the spruit straight into our camp. They promptly beat the hasty retreat and got into the drift just before daylight, and as the convoy came up, disarmed the drivers, took them prisoners, and packed each wagon on. Various statements have been made as to what actually happened at this moment. One version is that Major Hornby, being told that the enemy were in the drift, promptly galloped his battery away to bring it into action, and that the noise caused thereby told the Boers that they were detected, and they at once opened a terrific fire on all who had not passed the drift. However, it is certain that no sooner had the battery commenced to dash away than the enemy concentrated a furious fire upon the frantic horses and their gallant drivers and gunners. One gun and one wagon, their horses mown down, were left behind. Reaching a spot about 800 yards distant, the remaining guns were unlimbered and came into action, firing steadily. The horses were taken behind some unfinished railway sheds some distance away. So terrible was the fire, that every man round one of the guns was hit, and, at two of them, only one man was left to serve each, and one to bring up ammunition for both. Soon, of all the officers who had come into action, Major Phipps-Hornby was the only one left.
The ground was littered with dead and dying men, the bullets were rattling on the guns like hail, and every time that limbers with ammunition were brought up, the horses were all killed. Word was presently sent to retire and save the guns I possible, and, as the fire was too hot for the horses to face, it was resolved to try to drag them back by hand. Four guns were hauled to shelter in this way, and it was then necessary to bring the limbers. The work was so terribly hard, and the distance so considerable, that volunteers were called for to take out horses for the purpose. This means and two more partly by horses and partly by hand brought in two limbers. One gun and one limber still remained in the open, and, though four heroic attempts were made, the horses were killed each time, and, finally they had to be abandoned. The rescued guns had one by one been sent to a place of safety, where the battery was reformed. Upnder a deluge of shot and shell, such as perhaps has only been equalled by that forced by the 14th and 66th Batteries at Colenso the heroism displayed by all ranks was so magnificent that it was impossible to select any individual for special reward, and the Commandr-in-Chief decided to act in accordance with Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, which resulted in the decoration being awarded to Major Phipps-Hornby, Sergeant Parker, Gunner Lodge and Driver Glasock. That so many guns were saved under such terrible circumstances, and such a frightful fire from the enemy, and that the little force was extricated from the dangerous position in which it was placed, was very greatly due to the heroism and individual example of Major Phipps-Hornby, who was in command, and who most fearlessly exposed himself during the terrible ordeal.
Colonel Phipps-Hornby, son of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Geoffrey Phipps-Hornby, G.C.B., was born December 31st 1857, at Lordington, Sussex. Entered the Royal Artillery in 1877, his first service being in the Bechuanaland Expedition 1884-5. Became Major, December 11th 1895; Brevet-Lieut. ?Colonel-for distinguished service-Novemebr 29th 1900; and was, from April 12th following, until attaining the rank of Lieut. ?Colonel in the Regiment, A.D.C. to the Commander-in-Chief, Earl Roberts, V.C.
?Q? Battery Royal Horse Artillery
The heroic act in which Sergeant Parker took part will be found described in detail in the record of Major Phipps-Hornby. The bravery exhibited by all concerned in the affair at Korn Spruit on March 31st 1900, wasd so marked as to render to impossible to single out any individual for special merit. Therefore the Commander-in-Chief decided to treat the case as coming under Rule 13 of the Victoria CrossWarrant, and Sergeant Parker was elected by the non-commissioned officers of the Battery as the representative they considered most worthy of the decoration.
(Gunner, now Bombardier)
?Q? Barttery Royal horse Artillery
The Victoria Cross was awarded to this gunner for his heroic bravery in saving the guns at Korn Spruit, a description of which is given in the sketch of Major Philips-Hornby (V.C.).
Isaac Lodge was born at Great Canfield on May 6th 1866, enlisted in the R.G.A. on December 29th 1888, and transferred to the Royal Horse Artillery in February 1889; posted to ?B? Battery and transferred five years later to the now historic ?Q? Battery. During the early days of the war, he saw very active service in Cape Colony, Transvaal, and Orange Free State, including the relief of Kimberley, and the bombardment of the victors of Magersontein at Paardeberg, for which he was awarded the Queen?s medal and four clasps.
H. H. GLASOCK
?Q? Battery Royal Horse Artillery
The episode of saving the guns at Krn Spruit on March 31st 1900 will rank in the annals of the British Army with the heroic act at ?Maiwand,? in the Afghan War, when James Collis and Patrick Mullane earned their Crosses so worthily. A full description of the Korn Spruit affair and the heroism displayed by Glasock, Parker. Lodge, and Major Phipps-Hornby, will be found in record of the last named. The conduct of all concerned was so splendid that it was impossible to choose any individual as more worthy of the distinguished decoration than any of the others engaged, therefore the Commander-in-Chief decided to treat the case of the Battery as one of collective gallantry under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, and Driver Glasock was selected by the drivers of the Battery as the man they considered most deserving of the award.
FRANCIS AYLMER MAXWELL, D.S.O.
Lieutenant, Indian Staff Corps,
(Attached to Roberts Light Horse)
(Now Brevet-Major 18 Bengal Lancers)
The heroic episode of saving the guns at Korn Spruit, on March 31st 1900, has already been described in the record of Major Phipps-Hornby, but with the names of those mentioned therein the list of heroes on that occasion does not end. Lieutenant Maxwell, though not belonging to the famous ?Q? Battery, was present also at the affair, and was specially mentioned by Lord Roberts, for ?the greatest gallantry and disregard of danger.? On five different occasions he went out to face the blizzard of lead ?and assisted in briging in two guns and three limbers, one of which he, Captain Humphreys, and some gunners, dragged in by hand.? And in their company he again went out to endeavour to bring in the last gun, remaining there exposed to shot and shell, till the attempt had to be abandoned. The notification in the Gazette recording the act for which Lieutenant Maxwell was awarded the Cross, maked reference to the gallantry displayed by him during the Chitral Campaign 1895, when he removed the body of Lieut. ?Colonel F. D. Battye of the Guides under a very heavy fire ffrom the enemy, ?for which, though recommended, he received no reward.? This official statement of an act of gallantry in a previous campaign, included in the notification of that for which the Cross-is awarded in a later one, has not occurred before in the Victoria Cross records.
Born on September 7th 1871, Lieutenant Maxwell in 1891 became 2nd Lieutenant 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment ?107th), from which, as Lieutenant, he entered the Indian Staff Corps, December 1903; was promoted, for his distinguished services, Brevet-Major in 1902, and appointed A.D.C. to Lord Kitchener. For services on the Indian Frontier, he was decorated with the D.S.O. and holds the Frontier medal and clasps; to wich hr has now added both the South African medals with many clasps. Was decorated with the Victoria Cross by H.R.H. the Duke of York, at Pietermaritzburg, August 14th 1901.
WILLIAM HENRY SNYDER
(Lieutenant, now Captain)
Royal Army Medical Corps (Attached to Mounted Infantry)
At Wakkerstroom, on April 20th 1900, as the infantry were advancing to the support of the mounted troops, Captain Nickerson carried out his duties in a conspicuously courageous manner, in one instance especially, remaining by a wounded man after attending to his injuries, in spite of the dreadful rifle fire, until he was able to remove him to a place of safety.
Captain Nickerson, son of the Rev. D. Nickerson, Chaplain H.M. Forces ws born on March 27th 1875. Educated at Portsmouth Grammer School, he took his degree of M.B. Ch.B. at Owen?s College, Manchester, in 1896, and entered the R.A.M.C., July 27th 1898. For his distinguished services was promoted Captain on November 29th 1900.
HARRY CHURCHILL BEET
(Corporal, now Sergeant)
1st Battalion Nottingham and Derbyshire Regiment (Mounted Infantry)
Near Wakkerstroom, on April 22nd 1900, No. 2 Mounted Infanmtry Co. (1st Derbyshire) and two squadrons Imperial Yeomanry were obliged to retire from their position, being under a ridge strongly held by the enemy. An Imperial Yeoman, Corporal Burnett, being shot, was left on the gound, on seeing which Beet went back, dragged him to cover, and attended to his wounds, keeping up whenever able such a hot fire on the enemy that they were prevented from approaching the post till after darkness had set in, when Dr. Wilson, Imperial Yeomanry, took charge of the wounded man. Not only during the retirment, but also throughout the whole afternoon, Beet was exposed to a heavy fire.
Son of Mr. J. A. Beet, sculptor of Brackendale Farm, near Bingham, Notts, where he was born on April 1st 1873. Joined the Sherwood Foresters, February 18th 1892, embarking for India January 1894, serving throughout the fighting on the Punjab Frontier 1897-8 (medal and two clasps). During active service in South Africa was once wounded, December 9th 1901; was promoted Sergeant by Lord Kitchener for service in the field April 4th 1900, gaining his Victoria Cross as above described while under immediate command of Captain P. Leverson-Gower, and Column-Commander Lieut. ?Colonel Sitwell, D.S.O. H.R.H. presented the Duke of York the decorations to him at the capital of Natal, August 14th 1901.
JOHN FREDERICK MACKAY
Gordon Highlanders (Now Lieutenant King?s Own Scottish Borderers)
On May 29th 1900, during the action at Crow?s Nest Hill, near Johannesburg. Lieutenant MacKay was conspicuous for his humanity and brave conduct, attending to the wounded, and giving them every help in his power, in spite of being far from any cover, and within a short range of the Boers. He also carried one man from the open ground to shelter, under a heavy fire.
Lieutenant MacKay, formerly a student at Trinity College, Dublin entered the Army as a private soldier, enlisting into the 1st Gordons, serving with that distinguished corps against the Chitralese in 1895, and on the Punjab Frontier 1897-8, including the storming of Dargai, obtaining the special Frontier medal and clasps. His commission in the K.O.S.B. was signed just fourteen months after he won the Victoria Cross (July 27th 1901).
FRANK HOWARD KIRBY
(Corporal, now Sergeant Major)
On June 2nd 1900; Kirby was one of a party who had beens sent out to cut the Delagoa Bay Railway. While retiring, they were hard pressed by a large number of Boers, both mounted and on foot, and several small rearguard actions were fought. During one of these, one of the men had his horse shot under him, and he commenced to try and ctch up his troop, running after them on foot, under a full fire of the enemy. Kirby turned and rode back to him, and succeeded in getting him on to his horse, all the time under a heavy fire, at quite close range, after which he rode back with him, over the rising ground, to where the rearguard had taken up a fresh position.
Frank Howard Kirby, born at Thane, Oxfordshire, November 12th 1871, son of Mr W. H. Kirby of that town, was educated at Alleyn?s School, dulwich, and entered the Royal Engineers at St. George?s Barracks, London, on August 8th 1892.
He embarked for South Africa, upon his first active service, on October 29th 1899, gaining, almost at once, theMedal for distinguished Conduct-blowing up the railway near Bloemfontein, March 1900. During the campaign he gained, under the immediate command of Colonel A. Hunter-Weston, D.S.O., the King?s and Queen?s Medal and six clasps. The Gazette states that the occasion described above was third upon which Kirby displayed great gallantry in the face of the enemy. He was frequently named in despatches, was promoted Sergeant-Major in the field by Lord Roberts (July 1900), being presented with the Victoria Cross by H.R.H. the Duke of Cornwall and york at Cape town, on August 19th 1901.
2nd Battalion Yorkshire Light Infantry
At Lindley, on june 26th 1900, where so many of our brave men fell, about 500 of the enemy succeeded in getting to close quarters with a picket, which was attacked from three sides. Both the officers were wounded, and every man, with the exception of six, was placed hors-de-combat. A reinforcement to save the post was absolutely necessary, but the message to that effect would have to be taken to the signalling station. Ward volunteered to do this, but , as it meant almost certain death to any attempting it, his gallant offer was at first refused. He, however, insisted on being allowed to go, and with 150 yards of open ground to cross, swept by the heavy rifle-fire of the Boers, succeeded in reaching the signallers. His message delivered, he resolved to return again, risking his life with the object of encouraging his few remaining comrades to maintain their defence, by assuring them that the much needed help was asked for and would soon be at hand. He contrived to reach the hard-pressed post again, but not before being severely wounded.
Charles Ward, son of Mr. George Ward, was born at Leeds, July 10th 1877, being educated at Primrose Hill School in that city. On April 29th 1879, he enlisted into the 1st Battalion Torkshire Light Infantry-the old 51st of Peninsula and Waterloo fame-with, which, under Colonel G.P.F. Byng, he served for two years, joining the 2nd Battalion at Wynberg, Cape Colony. Owing to his severe wound he has only two clasps to his medal, Cape Colony and Free State. When he gained the Victoria Cross his Company and Commanding Officers were Captain Wittycombe and Lieut. ?Colonel Barter, C.B., with Major-General A.H. Paget, C.V.O., as Chief. So highly was Ward?s conduct appreciated that the citizens of Leeds, on his discharge from the service, presented him with a testimonial and ?600, together with a commemorative medal in gold by Mr. William Owen.
ARTHUR HERBERT LINDSEY RICHARDSON
Lord Strathcona?s Corps
On July 5th 1900, at the action of Wolve Spruit, about fifteen miles north of Standerton, a small party of Lord Strathcona?s Corps, about thirty-eight in number, came to close quarters with about eighty of the enemy. The Colonials came under a very fierce fire, and on the order to retire being given, Richardson rode back and took up a man who had been hit in two places, and who was dismounted, his horse having been shot, and carried him out of range of the Boers. A heavy fire was brought to bear on him at the time, the enemy being only 300 yards distant, and the horse he rode was wounded and could only proceed slowly.
WILLIAM EAGLESON GORDON
On July 11th 1900, at Leehoehoeck a spirited action was fought against the Boers, whose fire at only 850 yards was so terribly severe that the Artillery horses was unable to stand against it. Captain Gordon, however, determined to attempt to drag one of the guns into shelter by hand. To accomplish this, a drag-rope had first to be fastened to it, which task fearful risk, by reason of the hail of lead raining on any one exposing himself, he elected to carry out himself. Calling for volunteers, and instructing them to dash out on the instant he should sign to them that all was ready, he made for the gun, fastened the rope to it, signalled to his men, who promptly doubled out, and all commenced hauling. Of the gallant band, three men were severely, and Captain Younger mortally, wounded; whereupon, seeing that further attempts would only mean increased casualties, Captain Gordon ordered the remainder under cover of a kopje, saw personally to the wounded, and then he retired. During the entire affair his conduct is described as having been most admirable, the handling of his men as masterly, and his devotion, on every occasion under fire, most remarkable.
Captain W. E. Gordon is the son of the late W. E. Gordon, M.D., of Bridge-of-Allan, Stirlingshire, where he was born on May 4th 1866. Educated at Edinburgh University; entered the 1st Gordon Highlanders, then in Ceylon, on June 6th 1888. His first active service was with the Chitral Relief Expedition in 1895, for which he was awarded the (new) Frontier Medal and two clasps (Malakand Pass). Two years later he served through the Tirah Campaign, being present at the storming of the Dargai Heights (clasp to medal). Was Adjutant of his battalion during the Boer War, being dangerously wounded at Magersfontein, December 11th 1899; twice mentioned in despatches; received Queen?s and King?s medal with seven clasps and the Victoria Cross, which later decoration was placed on his breast by Lord Kitchener at Pretoria on Peace Thanksgiving Day June 1902.
DAVID REGINALD YOUNGER
On July 11th 1900, during the action near Leehoehoek, Captain Younger, finding that the Artilery horses were unable to stand the accurate and terribly severe fire of the enemy, went out with a few men and succeeded in dragging an Artillery wagon into shelter by hand. Later on, he was one of those who, at the call of Captain Gordon (V.C.), volunteered to endeavour to drag in one of the guns by hand, during which attempt he was mortally wounded.
Born on March 17th 1871, Captain Younger, after serving as an officer od the Duke of Edinburgh?s Edinburgh Artillery, commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant into the Gordon Highlanders on December 23rd 1893, fighting at Chitral and on the Punjab Frontier 1895, 1897-8, inmcluding the gallant and historic assault and capture of the Dargai Heights, in October 1897. The medal and three clasps were obtained by him for these trying services, and, but for his sad heroic death, the Victoria Cross, as stated in the Gazette, would have been his to wear. It has now been delivered to his relatives in accordance with the Regulation approved by H.M. The King in 1902.
New South Wales Medical Staff Corps
On July 24th 1900, at the action of Vredefort, Captain Howse went forward to a man lying severely wounded, and taking him up, carried him some considerable distance to shelter, during which humane act he came under a very severe cross-fire from the Boers. Sir Frederick Darling, Governor of New South Wales, presented the decoration to Captain Howse on February 8th 1902 at Sydney.
2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment
On August 2nd 1900, it was revolved to make an attack upon the Boer position at Mosilikatse Nek, and, for the purpose of ascertaining a better idea of the enemy?s force; a sergeant was sent forward to reconnoitre. Before he could, however, rejoin his comradesm he was seen by the enemy, who, opening fire, wounded him most severely. He lay on the open ground, in full view of the Boer marksmen, who kept up a hail of bullets on and around him. House, though cautioned that almost certain death lay before him, sprang out from the cover, behind which he and the rest of the troops were concealed, and attempted to carry inhis wunded comrade. While making this heroic attempt he himself was badly shot, and, though lying fully exposed, in his turn, to the Boer riflefire, called to his comrades not to come to his assistance until the advance was made. This act, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross, was performed under the immediate command of Captain Sir Edward Pasley, Bart. Sir Ian Hamilton being Chief.
William House, son of Mr. Thomas House, of Park Lane, Thatcham, Berkshire, was born at that place on October 7th 1879, enlisted into the Royal Berkshire Regiment on November 3rd 1896, and was duly gazetted to the roll of the Victoria Crosson his twenty-third birthday, October 7th 1902. Besides this coveted decoration, he possesses both medals for the South African War and many clasps. Received the Victoria Cross at the hands of H.M. the King on October 24th 1902, in London.
On august 7th 1900, Sergeant Lawrence was on patrol duty with Private Hayman, when they were attacked by about fourteen of the enemy. Private Hayman?s horse was hit, and in falling threw its rider, dislocating his shoulder. Lawrence went at once to his comrade?s help, dragged him from under the wounded anmal, set him on his own horse, telling him to ride towards the picket. He then took Hayman?s carbine, and with his own as well kept the enemy at a distance until the wounded man was safely out of range, when he commenced to retire on foot, followed by the Boers for two miles and keeping them off until he received assistance.
H.M., so nobly earned presented the King in London the Victoria Cross, to Sergeant Lawrence on august 12th 1902.
(Sergeant, now Sergeant-instructor in Musketry)
1st Battalion Liverpool Regiment
On August 21st 1900, Sergeant Hampton was in command of a party of mounted infantry at Van Wyk?s Vlei, and had been holding an important position for a considerable time against very heavy odds. They were at length compelled to retire, but he saw all his men safely into cover before he would leave, and then, although himself severely wounded in the head, went to the assistance of Lance-Corporal Walsh, who was too badly injured to keep up with the rest, and supported him until the man was killed by another shot, he himself receiving a second wound shortly after.
Sergeant Hampton, son of Mr. Samuel Hampton, of Crown Terrace, Richmond, Surrey, was born at that place December 14th 1870. Entered the 1st Battalion king?s Liverpool Regiment at Aldershot, March 10th 1889, rising to the rank of Corporal in exactly two years. Saw service in the West Indies and Nova Scotia from 1891 to 1897, and in South Africa from the latter year till almost te close of the war. His Commanding Officers on the day he won the Victoria Cross were Brevet-Major C. J. Steavenson and Major H. K. Stewart, K.C.B., and H.M. the King at St. James Palace presented the decoration to him in December 1901.
H. J. KNIGHT
1st Battalion The King?s Liverpool Regiment; No. I Company 4th Division Mounted Infantry
On august 21st 1900, during operations near Van Wyk?s Vlei, Corporal Knight and four men were occupying a position behind some rocks, to cover the rear f a detachment of their company, which, under Captain Ewart, D.S.O., was holding the right of the line. Being attacked on the right by about fifty Boers, Knight?s little band of four men was almost surrounded at very close quarters by the enemy. Ordering them to retire one by one to a more sheltered position, he stayed at his post for nearly an hour, covering Captain Ewart?s force, during which two of his men were shot. Placing one of them in a secure place he left him there, carrying the other for two miles on his back, the whole time being under a very hot fire from the enemy.
(Private, now Sergeant)
1st Battalion The King?s Liverpool Regiment
At Geluk, on August 23rd 1900, Private Heaton?s company, while advancing in front of the general line held by our troops, was surrounded, and, coming under a raking fire, was suffering most severely. The position becoming serious the Commanding Officer requested Heaton to convey a message back, explaining the precarious situation in which the company stood, and asking for relief. At the greatest possible risk, Heaton successfully accomplished his mission,,and there is no doubt that but for his great courage in undertaking so hazardous a duty, his company would have had a very heavy death-roll and been forced to surrender.
GUY G. E. WYLLY
Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen
On September 1st 1900, when a foraging party was near Warm Bad, Lieutenant Wylly was one of the advanced scouts. While passing through a narrow and thickly wooded defile, they were suddenly fired upon, at a very short range, by the Boers.
Being well hidden by the trees, it was impossible for the enemy to be exactly located, or for our men to fire with any effect; and, being much exposed, six, including Lieutenant Wylly, were hit out of the little party of eight. Corporal Brown was badly hurt in the leg, and his horse shot, seeing which, though wounded himself, Wylly went to the man?s assistance, helped him up on to his own horse, and took shelter behind some boulders, from which he opened a sharp fire on the enemy to cover the retreat of the rest of his party.
Colonel Hickman, D.S.O. (Worcestershire Regiment), reports that Wylly?s brave action saved Brown from being killed or taken prisoner, and, in firing to cover the retreat of the rest, at the grave risk of being himself cut off, he was the means of saving others of his party from a similar fate.
Born in 1883, Lieutenant Wylly is the son of Major E. Wylly, late Leinster Regiment and Indian Staff Corps, and grandson of the late Mr. Robert Clerk, of Westholme, Somerset, and Sergeant-at-Arms to the House of Assembly, Hobart, Tasmania. Has been gazetted to the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
J. H. BISDEE
Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen
On September 1st 1900, Bisdee was one of the advanced scouts near Warm Bad (at the same time as Lieutenant Wylly, who so gallantly distinguished himself on that occasion). As related in the account of that officer, the party were passing through a narrow gorge and were suddenly fired at by some Boers in ambush, six of the eight men being wounded, including Wylly and another officer. The horse of the latter was hit, and bolted, upon which Bisdee gave his stirrup-leather to his officer with the object of helping out the action, but the latter?s wounds being too severe to allow of his getting on in this fashion, Bisdee dismounted, placed him on the horse, mounted behind him, and helped him out of range of the Boers, who kept up a hot fire on the two men, both of whom were, during Bisdee?s gallant act, in a very exposed place.
Private Bisdee is the son of the late Mr. J. Bisdee, of Hutton, Westonsuper-Mare.
C. 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade
When one considers the terrible surroundings of a battlefield, the awful spectacle of dead and dying men, the strain on the nerves, the excitement and noise of firing, it is not strange to hear of any soldier succumbing to the mental strain involved. At Spion Kop, while men were being literally torn to pieces by shellfire, it has been placed on record that some of our men were seen wandering about calmly as if among the peaceful fields of England, and it is not difficult to realize that men, in the midst of such awful carnage, became battle-dazed and temporarily deranged. Sucj a case occurred at Bergendal, on august 27th 1900, when a soldier, Acting-Corporal Wellar, having been wounded, became dazed, and getting up from the firing line, commenced to run towards the enemy. Private Durrant, seeing the man?s condition, started after him, caught and pulled him down, endeavouring to quieton him, but finding this too severe a task to accomplish alone, he carried the man for two hundred yards under a tremendous fire, and placed him in a safe position, afterwards returning to his place in the fighting line.
EDWARD DOUGLAS BROWN
(Now Lieut. ?Colonel Edward Douglas Brown-Synge-Hutchinson)
On October 13th 1900, at Geluk, where Private Heaton gained the Victoria Cross so gallantly in the previous August, the Enemy got within 400 yards of our men, opening a heavy fire onthem. Sergeant Hersey?s horse had been shot, leaving him in imminent danger of sharing the same fate, which he would almost certainly have done but for Major Brown, who, waiting till the last squadron had retired, rode back, and assisting him to mount behind, brought him safely out of range of the Boers. Shortly afterwards this brave officer also saved the life of Lieutenant J. G. Browne, by holding his horse when it had become almost unmanageable owing to the heavy fireconcentarted on it and its rider, and, but for Major Brown?s assistance, it could not have been monted. Subsequently, Lance-Corporal Trumpeter Leigh owed his life to the conspicuous daring of this officer, who carried him out of action, thus making the third he had save that day.
Major Brown, son of the late Major David Philip Brown, 7th Hussars, was born on March 6th 1861. Was educated at Edinburgh Academy, Windermere College, United Service College, and Westward Ho! He received his first commission as Lieutenant in the 18th Husars, November 1883, in which he became Captain in less than five years August 8th 1888 and in his present regiment March 1889. From January 1st 1890, to December 31st 1894, was Commandant of the Aldershot School of Instruction for Yeomanry, attaining the rank of Major and Brevet-Lieut. ?Colonel on January 28th 1899. Mentioned three times in despatches during the Boer War, and has seven clasps to his medal for South Africa.
ALEXIS C. DOXAT
3rd Battalion Imperial Yeomanry
On October 20th 1900, near Zeerust, when with a party reconnoitring a position held by avbout one hundred Boers on the ridge of some kopjes, Lieutenant Doxat?s men came under a very severe fire at about three hundred yards range. They then retired, but one of them, having lost his horse, was in a most precarious position, the Boers keeping up a hot fire on him. Lieutenant Doxat promptly galloped back top him, took him on his own horse and rode with him out of range.
Mr Alexis Doxat son of Mr Edmund Doxat, of Wood Green Park, Hertfordshire, was born at Surbiton, Surrey on April 9th 1867. Educated at Norwich Grammer School and Philberd?s Maidenhead. Was a Captain in the Dalston Militia under Colonel somerset, C.B., and Lieut. ?Colonel Bowles, M.P., passing successfully the Auxiliary School of Instruction and the Hythe Musketry School. On the outbreak of the Boer War, Lieutenant Doxat left the Stock Exchange, of which he was member, and proceeded to South Africa woth Lord Scarborough?s detachment. Took part in Lord Methuen?s advance from Boshof in May 1900, and in September joined General Douglas column as personal A.D.C., acting chiefly as reconnaissance officer. H. M. presented the King the Victoria Cross to him at Marlborough House on December 17th 1901.
HAMPDEN ZANE CHURCHIL COCKBURN
(Liieutenant, now Major)
Royal Canadian Dragoons
On November 7th 1900, at Komati River, the guns were in great danger of being captured by the Boers, but Lieutenant Cockburn behaved with conspicuous coolness and bravery, and with only a few men, held off the enemy long enough to enable the guns to be got successfully away to safety, not, however without severe loss among his gallant followers, all whom were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners, he himself being wounded.
Major Cockburn is the son of Mr George Ralph Richardson Cockburn, now a director of the Ontario Bank in Toronto, and for many years M.P. for that city, as well as Principal of Upper Canada College. Born on November 19th 1867, he was educated at Upper Canada College, and Rugby School, Engalnd. On November 20th 1891, entered Governor-General?s Body Guard as 2nd Lieutenant, and early in 1900 volunteered for service in South Africa, where in addition to the Victoria Cross, he gained the Queen?s Medal with clasps for Cape Colony, Diamond Hill, Johannesburg, and Orange Free State, in all of which actions, and during the entire service (when the regiment marched 1,700 miles and took part in forty-five engagements), he commanded a troop. The officers undr whose command the Victoria Cross was gained by him were Colonel Lessard, in command of unit, and Major-General Smith-Dorrien, G.O.C., and it was presented to him by H.R.H. the Duke of Cornwall and York at Toronto on October 11th 1901, as was also on the same occasion, a sword of honour voted to him by the counciil of that city. Major Cockburn possesses also the Royal Cabadian Humane Society?s medal for having, at great personal risk, saved the lives from drowning of two brothers, Robert and James Harris, in Lake Rosseau, on September 20th 1897.
RICHARD ERNEST WILLIAM TURNER D.S.O.
(Lieutenant, now Lieut-Colonel, queen?s Own Canadian Hussars)
Royal Canadian Dragoons
At Komati River, Novemebr 7th 1900, when the Canadians did such splendid work-as, indeed, they did throughout the whole of they South African service-Lieutenant Turner?s conduct was particularly noticeable, especially when the boers made a most determined attack upon the guns, very nearly succeeding in capturing them. Although he had been twice wounded earlier in the day, Lieutenant Turner dismounted, deployed his men at close quarters, repelled and finally repulsed the Boers, and it was to the courageous initiative and splendid handling of the gallant men by himself and Lieutenant Cockburn, and the brave conduct of Sergeant Holland, that the saving of the guns was chiefly due.
Son of Richard Turner, Esq., of Quebec, where he was born on July 25th 1871, Colonel turner entered the Queen?s Own Canadian Hussars on April 22nd 1892. The senior officers under whom the Cross-was gained were Major-General Smith-Dorrien and Colonel Lissard, C.B. Possesses the Coronation Medal in addition to that for South Africa with six clasps. The Cross-was presented to him by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales at Quebec during His Royal Highness?s visit to the Dominion in 1902. Three times ?named? in despatches, and severely wounded.
Royal Canadian Dragoons
On November 7th 1900, during the operations at Komati River, Sergeant Holland was associated with Lieutenants Cockburn and Turner in the splendid work done by those officers and their men on that day. When the Boers attacked, and nearly captured, the two 12-pounders guns, it was greatly owing to the fine work done by Holland with a Colt-gun that the enemy were kept in check; and later, finding them so close upon him that therer waas no chance of his escaping with the gun and carriage, owing to his horse being too exhausted, with the utmost coolness and selfpossession, he lifted the gun off the carriage mounted the horse, and rode away with it under his arm.
CHARLES THOMAS KENNEDY
1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry
On November 22nd 1900, during the engagement at Dewetsdorp, one of Kennedy?s comrades was so severely shot that, without the best medical assistance, it was certain he must bleed to death. Notwithstanding that from Gibraltar Hill, where he posted, the distance to the hospital was nearly a mile, the entire ground being swept by the Boer rifle-fire, Kennedy carried him all this way on his back and succeeded uin placing him in safety, where requisite attention was promptly obtained.
Next day, an urgent and important message was required to be conveyed to the officer commanding, but to reach him, an open space would have had to be crossed, swept by rifle-fire and almost certain death to any one attempting it. Kennedy volunteered the well nigh impossible task, and, though he heroically started onhis mission, he was unsuccessful, being shot through the body and wounded before he had covered twenty yards. Under the skilful treatment he received at the hands of Dr. Possnet, and the careful nursing of Sister Dempster, he recovered to wear the Victoria Cross he so well earned.
Charles Kennedy, son of Mr. C. Kennedy, of Foss, Perthshire was born at Edinburgh, January 6th 1876. Joined the 1st Battalion Highland Klight Infantry on September 17th 1891, and proceeded to India in February 1894. With the 2nd battalion he fought on the Punjab Frontier 1897-8, obtaining medal with clasp. In the South African War he was mentioned in Lord Roberts despatches and took part in six battles and several minor actions, from Modder River to Dewetsdorp, where he won his Victoria Cross, which was presented to him on December 16th 1901, at St. James Palace by H.M. the King.
1st Battalion The Queen?s Own Cameron Highlanders
When on Decemebr 13th 1900, General clements camp at Nooitgedacht was attacked by a large force of Boers, Lieutenant Sandilands, of the Camerons, took fifteen men went to the assistance of a picket which was hard pressed, having lost in killed or wounded the greater number of its men. The enemy posted behind trees, opened fire on the little party at about twenty yards range, killing two men and wounding five, including Lieutenant Sandilands. Farmer at once wento to the officer?s assistance, and under a very heavy fire, carried him to shelter after which he returned to the fighting line, being with the rest of his party, after a desperate reisstance taken prisoner.
The Victoria Cross awarded him for this himane act was presented to him by H.R.H. the Duke of york at Pietermaritzburg August 14th 1901.
1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment
On January 7th 1901, during the attack on Monument Hill, Private Barry was near the Maxim gun when his party was surrounded and threatened by the Boers. To save is from falling into the enemy?s hands and being used against our own men, he heroically smashed the breach of it, rendering it quite useless, and while engaged in this devoted action, was killed. The Victoria Cross as stated in the Gazette, would have been awarded to him had he survived, but it was handed to his relatives by the authorities in accordance with the new regulation framed by the Secretary of State for War in 1902.
W. J. HARDHAM
(Farrier-Major, now Lieutenant)
4th New Zealand Contingent
The case 0of this non-commissioned officer is typical of the devotion
shown by Englishmen to one another in times of peril, and is one of the many
instances that occurred during the Boer War.
On January 28th 1901, Hardham was in command of a section
which became engaged with one of the roving bands of the enmy who kept up for so
many months a kind of
?guerrilla? warfare, and gave us so much trouble to stamp out. Our men were forced to retire, and, just before the movement commenced, Trooper McCrae was wounded, and his horse killed. Seeing the man?s plight, Hardham rode to him under a most galling fire, dismounted, and, helping him on to its own horse, ran by his comrade?s side until he had seen him out of danger. Received the Victoria Cross at the hands of H.M. the King, on July 1st 1902 in London.
WILLIAM BERNARD TRAYNOR
2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment
On the night of February 6th 1901, a large force of Boers attacked Bothwell Camp. Under a very heavy fire, Traynor dashed out of his trench and went to the help of a man who had been shot, but on the way to reach him, was severely wounded and prevented from carrying his comrade to a place of safety. Finding himself powerless to attempt alone what je had intended, he called for assistance, whereupon Corporal Lintott ran to him and together they contrived to carry the injured man to cover. Notwithstanding his serious wound, Traynor remained in command of his section, cheering jis men and encouraging all by his devoted example, until finally the attack failed and the enemy drew off.
Traynor, though born in Hull December 31st 1870, is of Irish extraction, being son of Mr. Francis Traynor, of Monaghan. When in his eighteenth year, November 14th 1888, he enlisted into the West York Regiment, serving for some years in India and from 1899 to 1901 in South Africa, receiving the Queen?s medal and clasps for the relief of Lafysmith, tugela Heights, Spion Kop, Laing?s Nek, Transvaal and Orange Colony.
His Company and Commanding Officers when he gained the Cross was Lieutenant G. L. Crossman, D.S.O., and Lieut. ?Colonel W. Fry, C.B., and the well earned decoration was presented to him by Colonel Edward Stevenson Browne-himself a Victoria Cross winner in the Zulu War of 1879-on july 2nd 1902 at York.
Owing to the seriousness of his wound Traynor ws invalided inn 1902, and now holds a post at Dover Castle.
Corporal Lintott, who so nobly answered his comrade?s call for assistance, was aarded the medal for Distinguished Conduct, and promoted Sergeant by Lord Kitchener.
FREDERICK BROOKS DUGDALE
5th (Royal Irish) Lancers
On March 3rd 1901, when in command of an outpost near Derby, Lieutenant Dugdale received orders to retire his men. His party came under a very heavy fire from the Boers at a range of about 250 yards, and three men and a horse were wounded. Riding up to one of the injured men, Lieutenant Dugdale dismounted and put him on to his own horse, ran and caught a riderless horse near by, mounted it, and rode to another helpless man, took this one up behind him and rode with both men out of action.
Lieutenant Dugdale was the son of Colonel J. Dugdale, of Sezincot, Gloucestershire, and was born at Burnley on October 21st 1877. Educated at Marlborough and Christ Church, Oxford, he entered the Army in October 1899, as 2nd Lieutenant in the 5th Lancers, and at once left England to join his regiment, which on his arrival in South Africa was taking part in the defence of Ladysmith. He was employed with the relieving force under Sir Redvers Buller, and was promoted Lieutenant in May 1900. Served under Sir John French in Cape Colony. Received the King?s and Queen?s medal, and clasps for Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Laing?s Nek, and Belfast. The Cross-was presented to this young and promising officer by H.M. the King on October 24th 1902, but on the 13th of the following month, he was killed in the hunting field while riding with the North Costwold Hounds.
A. W. BELL
West Australian Mounted Infantry
Like our other colonies, Australia sent her contingents of gallant sons to sanwer the call of the mother country in time of need, a silent and grim reminder to those who talk of England?s isolation. Among the Australian contingent was Lieutenant Bell, and at Brakpan, on May 16th 1901, he was with his company holding the right flank during a sharp encounter withour mobile enemy. When obliged to retire, Bell saw a trooper, dismounted and in imminent dangerm owing to the heavy fire poured on all within range. Turning back, he took the man up on his horse, but the double weight was more than the poor jaded animal could bear, and, before it had carried them many yards, it fell and thus left both men in jeopardy. Without a thought for his own safety, Bell ordered the trooper to escape as best he could, he meanwhile, keeping up a sharp fire on the enemy, held them in check and covered the man?s retreat. H.R.H. presented the Prince of Wales the Victoria Cross to him in London on July 1st 1902.
GUSTAVUS HAMILTON BLENKINSOPP COULSON, D.S.O.
(Lieutenant and Adjutant)
King?s Own Scottish Borderers (7th Mounted Infantry)
On May 18th 1901, while engaged with his corps in fighting a rear guard action, Lieutenant Coulson, who had rallied his men and saved a Maxim gun from falling into the enemy?s hands, saw that the horse of Corporal Cranmer had been shot, leaving his rider powerless to hkeep up with the rest of his troop, and in imminent danger of being killed by the Boers, wgho were rapidly approaching. Despite the heavy fire brought to bear upon him, this young officer rode to his corporal, took him upon his own horse qand rode back towards his men. Hardly had they succeeded in getting any distance before the horse was hsot, and falling threw both men to the ground, whereupon Lieutenant Coulson ordered Cranmer to mount and ride for safety, adding that he would look after himself and do the best he could. Cranmer succeeded in mounting the horse, which had not been severely wounded as at first appeared, and reached the column in safety. Lieutenant Coulson?s position, however, was momentarily becoming more serious; seeing which, Corporal E. Shaw, of the Lincolns (7th Mounted Infantry), rode back to him and took him upon his horse, being himself almost at once shot through the body, Lieutenant Coulson also being badly hit at the samr time. Their wounds caused both men to fall from the horse, that of Lieutenant and Adjutant coulson proving fatal. Though this gallant young soldier never lived to wear the Victoria Cross he had so nobly won, the decoration was handed to his relatives after his death.
Lieutenant Coulson was the only son of H. J. W. Coulson of Newbrough Hall, Northumberland, and great grandson of Colonel Blenkinsopp Coulson, of Blenkinsopp Castle, Northumberland-one of a family of distinguished soldiers. He was born at Wimbeldon, surrey on April 1st 1879, educated at Winchetser, and joined the 4th Battalion (Princess of Wales) Yorkshire Regiment, but left it when twenty years of age to enter the Scottish Borderers (July 1899). In the following January he proceeded on active service to South Africa, gaining the medal and five clasps and the D.S.O. On many occasions (the Gazette states) he behaved with great coolness and gallantry under fire, being mentioned in despatches by both Lords Roberts and Kithener. The act for which the Victoria Cross was awarded him was performed under the immediate command of Major F. C. Lloyd (of the Lincolns) and Colonel T. D. Pilcher, C.B., A.D.C. (now 2nd Bedfordshire).
South African Constabulary
O June 15th 1901, Colonel Sitwell?s Column was operating near Thaba Nchu, and, during a skirmish, about sixty Boers suddenly attacked a small party of our rear-guard, consisting of Lieutenant F. Dickinson and seven of the South African Constabulary, among the latter being Sergeant Rogers. The officer?s horse was shot, causing him to follow his men on foot, but Rogers, seeing this, returned to him, pulled him up on to his horse with him for over half a mile till cover was reached, firing continuously at the enemy. He then returned to within 400 yards of the enemy, and brought away, one after the other, two of his comrades whose horses were shot; and, not content with saving these three lives, occupied himself with riding after two horses which had broken away riderless, brought them back, and helped two more of his comrades to mount them, thus being the means of saving five men by his own individual exertions. The fire of the enemy was very hot during all this time, and the Boers were so close that many called on him to surrender, to which he paid no heed but continued firing whenever possible.
W. J. ENGLISH
2nd Scottish Horse
This young officer belonged to one of the corps raised during the Boer War-a corps as its name implies, of men from that part of Great Britain celebrated for their hardiness and fight ing powers. This grand body of men has however been disbanded since peace was restored in South Africa, butits achievements will not be easily forgotten. At Valkfontein the Boers made a most deteremined attack upon our position, the extreme right of which was held by Lieutenant English and five men. Though of his small party two were killed and two wounded, the position was most gallantly held ?owing to this officer?s personal.? As time went on, ammunition ran short, and he went for a fresh supply to the next party, having to cross over fifteen yards of open ground, within thirty yards of the enemy, under a very heavy fire.
Received the Victoria Cross at the hands of H.M. the King on July 1st 1902, in London.
A. G. CRANDON
18th (Princess of Wales) Hussars
At Sringbok Laagte, on July 4th 1901, Privates Crandon and Berry were scouting, when suddenly a party of the enemy opened fire upon them from a range of only 100 yards. Berry was shot in the right hand and left shoulder, his horse at the same time falling. Crandon rode to his friend, gave him his own horse, and for more than 1,000 yards ran by his side till he had succeeded in getting him to safety, all the time under a heavy fire from the enemy.
The action of Ruiter?s Kraal was fought on August 13th 1901, and small parties of Boers held several surrounding Kopjes. Sergeant-Major Young and a small handful of men rushed one of these kopjes, which were held by Commandant Erasmus and about twenty Boers. On Young?s party gaining the top, the enemy were seen galloping away to join their friends on another hill, and to prevent their doing so, Young dashed in pursuit, followed by his little band, whom he outstripped, coming yp with the enemy fully fufty yards in advance of any of his men. He dashed among the Boers, shot one of them, and captured their Commandant, being fired at by the latter three times before he was able to take him prisoner.
LLEWELLYN ALBERIC EMILIUS PRICE-DAVIES, D.S.O.
(Lieutenant, now Captain)
King?s Royal Rifle Corps
At Blood River Poort, on September 17th 1901, the Boers had overwhelmed the right of the British column, and some 400 of them galloped round the flank and rear of the guns, charged the drivers (who went trying to get the guns away), calling upon them to surrender. Lieutenant Price-0Davies, hearing the order given to open fire upon the Boers, at once drew his revolver and dashed in among them, firing in a most gallant and desperate manner to save the guns. He was immediately shot and knocked off his horse, but happily was not mortally wounded, although he had ridden without hesitation to what seemed almost certain death.
Lieutenant Price-Davies, son of Lewis Richard Price-Davies, of Marrington Hall, Cherbury, Salop, was born on June 30th 1878; educated at Marlborough, and entered the Royal Rifles, February 23rd 1898. Served in South Africa, as Adjutant to Smyth?s Mounted Infantry 1889-1902, receiving both medals, mention in despatches anf four clasps. For his distinguished service in the earlier place of war, during which he was three times wounded, he was created a member of the D.S.O. Lord Kitchener presented him with Voctoria Cross at Pretoria, on June 8th 1902.
F. G. BRADLEY
69th Battery Royal Field Artillery
The oprations during the latter part of the Boer War were estended even into Zululand (where so many Crosses were won in 1879), and a sharp action was fought at Itala, on September 26th 1901. Ammunition was running short among those posted at the top of a steep hill, and, to get the necessary supply to them involving great risk of life, Major Chapman called for volunteers for the work. Driver ancashire and Gunner Bull instantly answered to the call and started across the open space of about one hundred and fifty yards, swept by a pitiless fire. Half-way across, Lancashire wes shot, and fell, whereupon Bradley and Gunner Raab rushed out from their cover, and carried him under shelter.
Bradley then started in his turn and endeavoured to carry up the ammunition, succeeding with the help of Gunner Boddy in accomplishing the task.
Lancashire, Bull, Rabb and Boddy, for their brave services were awarded the medal for distinguished Conduct in the Field.
1st Battalion Derbyshire Regiment
Bees were attached to one of the Maxim guns, which suffered severely during the action at Moedwil, on September 30th 1901. Of the nine men serving the gun, six were hit and lay badly wounded. Unable to bear their cries for water any longer, Bees determined to try to procure some from a spruit about five hundred yards away in front of the gun, and held by the Boers. Under a raking fire he doggedly went forward and succeeded in filling a camp kettle, having during this devoted mission to pass-in going and returning-within one huindred yards from the Boersposted behind rocks, and, though the vessel he carried was hit by severeal bullets, he contrived to reach his comrades and give them the relief they so sorely needed.
LESLIE CECIL MAYGAR
5th Victorian Mounted Rifles
At the action of Geelhoutboom, November 23rd 1901, one of our detached posts was in danger of being outflanked, upon which Lieutenant Maygar rode forward with orders to its officer to retire. While this was being done, when about two hundred yards from the enemy, one of the men had his horse shot, on seeing which Lieutenant Maygar lifted him upon to his own horse. The animal, however, bolted and got into swampy ground, and they were obliged to dismount. Seeing that it was unable to bear the weight of both, Lieutenant Maygar put the trooper on the horse, ordered him to ride for cover, and, under a heavy fire, made his way to the shelter on foot.
Lieutenant Leslie Cecil Maygar, son of Mr. Edwin Willis Maygar, formerly of Bristol, was born on May 26th 1871, at ?The Dean? Station, Victoria, and New South Wales. Educated privately. Entered the Victorian Mounted Rifles, March 1st 1891, and served in South Africa from February 1st 1901, to July 31st 1902, gaining, besides the Victoria Cross, the King?s, and the South African medal with clasps for Transvaal, Orange River Colony and Cape Colony, Seved under Major Daly, O.C., 5th V.M.R., and Colonel Pulteney. The Cross-was presented to him at Pretoria on June 8th 1902, by Lord Kitchener.
THOMAS JOSEPH CREAN
1st Imperial Light Horse
On December 18th 1901, during the action with De Wet at Tygerskloof, Surgeon Crean dislayed at greatest devotion to the wounded, when only 150 yards distant from the Boers. In spite of the heavy fire concentrated on his position, he, inistered to the sufferers in the fighting line, although badly wounded himself, and only gave up when hit for the second time, receiving a severe wound from which, though considered mortal at thye time, he fortunately recovered.
Surgeon-Captain Crean, son of Thomas Crean, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, of North Brook Road, Dublin, was born on April 19th 1873. Educated at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, he joined the Imperial Light Horse as a trooper on the outbreak of hostilities. Was commissioned in March 1900, and appointed Captain in 1900. Gave up squadron command in June 1901, and became Surgeon-Captain. Gazetted Captain R.A.M.C. on September 3rd 1902. Took part in the battle of Elandslaagte, where he was wounded. Served through the siege of Ladysmith, taking part in all engagements during the defence. Later, was employed during operations in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony, and in the relief of Mafeking. Possesses Queen and King?s medals with five clasps, and a testimonial of the royal Humane Society. H.M. the King at St. James Palace presented the Victoria Cross to him on March 13th 1902.
He also possesses the Arnott medal.
ALFRED ERNEST IND
Royal Horse Artillery, X.I. section Pompoms)
On December 20th 1901, a sharp action was fought in the Orange River Colony, at aplace called Tafelkop. So fierce and accurate was the fire of the enemy that the whole of those serving the Pompom had, with the exception of Ind, been shot down. Disregarding his coimrades fate, Ind stuck to his post, firing into the advancing Boers until the last possible moment. So heroic was his behaviour on this occasion, that Captain Jeffcoat, mortally wounded at he was, signified his wish that Ind?s conduct be brought to the notice of the superior officer, and, eventually, to the authorities, for not only had he, on this special occasion, behaved with conspicuous bravery, but on every one in which he had been engaged since his section had been in action.
Alfred Ernest Ind is the son of Mr. George Ind, of Tetbury, Gloucestershire, where he was born on September 16th 1872. Entered the Royal Horse Artillery on February 19th 1901, being promoted Corporal subsequent to the action above described. For his services during the war has been awarded the Queen and King?s medal with clasps to each, and is now a member of that celebrated battery known as the ?Chestnut Troops.? He was once wounded, and four times mentioned in despatches, including that in which he was named for the Victoria Cross, which was pinned to his breast at Buckingham Palace, Novemeber 26th 1902, by H.M. the King.
South African Constabulary
At the action of Vlakfontein, February 8th 1902, this medical officer behaved with very great bravery, and devotion to the wounded, on many occasions. He went forward into the fighting line-to the assistance of one of them, attending to him under a very heavy fire from about forty Boers, at a range of only 100 yards. Having done all he could for this man, he turned to an officer who had been severely wounded, and, in devoting his attention to him, ws shot three times, and only ceased when, through sheer exhaustion, he was compelled to do so. Of the eight men at this point, every one was wounded, and when offered water to relieve his own sufferings, the doctor refused it until satisfied that all the others had beeen first served.
(Sergeant, 2nd Battalion 78th Highlanders; Employed with the
West African Frontier Force)
(Now Captain, Royal Scots (or Lothian) Regiment)
On June 6th 1900, at Dompoassi, in Ashantee, Sergeant MacKenzie displayed great courage under a severe fire. He worked two Maxim guns with exemplary coolness and steadiness, and received a severe wound while so doing, but afterwards volunteered to clear the stockades, putting himself at the head od the men, and, by a splendid charge, driving the enemy headlong into the bush.
Captain MacKenzie, at the age of eighteen (in August 1887), enlisted into the Seaforth Highlanders, the depot of which he joined at Fort George, Inverness, and was on December 8th posted to the 1st Battalion (72nd), then stationed at Edinburgh Castle. In May 1891, he obtained his first stripe, which on becoming a 78th man, in India, early in 1892, he relinquished, and remained for close upon a year a ?full private.? Became Corporal in May 1897, in which year (November) he was posted to the Lagos Regiment, on the West Coast of Africa, being promoted Sergeant in his own regiment in March 1899. As a lance corporal, took part in the relief of Chitral, with the 78th in the spring of 1895 (first medal and clasp).
During his services in West Africa he has taken part in three distinct campaigns, being on each occasion named in despatches, and (1897) awarded the medal for distinguished Conduct in the Field. Was badly wounded at the relief of Kumasi, the campaign in which he pre-eminently distinguished himself. On November 29th 1900, was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant into the Black Watch, in which he became Lieutenant inOctoiber 1903, and was on January 22nd 1904, promoted Captain into the 1st Royal Scots, or Lothian Regiment, thus rising from the rank of Sergeant (on the Supernumerary list too) to that of Company commander in little more than three years.
CHARLES JOHN MELLISS
Indian Staff Corps
When employed with the West African Frontier Force, Captain Melliss behaved with great gallantry at Obassa, on Septmeber 30th 1900. Seeing that the enemy were in great numbers, and about to offer a stubborn resistance, he collected as many men as could find at the moment, and led them through the bush in a charge against the natives, at a point where he saw they were most strongly united. His courageous conduct, and that of his men, drove the enemy off for a moment, but a hand ?to-hand fight soon took place. He ran his sword through a native who had fired at him, being shot himself in the foot, which paralysed the limb, but his wild rush had had the desired effect, and the enemy broke into a panic and fled, pursued by the Sikhs, who slew a great number. On three previous occasions Major Melliss was noticed for his courageous conduct.
Son of Lieut. ?General G. J. Melliss, I.S.C., Major Melliss was born in 1862. Entered t