Frederick Sleigh Roberts VC.

Frederick Sleigh Roberts(30/09/1832 – 14/11/1914) Was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions for actions on 2 January 1858 at Khudagan during the Indian Rebellion.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22212, Page: 5516, reads: 

“Bengal Artillery, Lieutenant Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Date of Act of Bravery, 2nd January, 1858.

Lieutenant Roberts’ gallantry has on every occasion been most marked.

On following up the retreating enemy on the 2nd January, 1858, at Khodagunge, he saw in the distance two Sepoys going away with a standard. Lieutenant Roberts put spurs to his horse, and overtook them just as they were about to enter a village. They immediately turned round, and presented their muskets at him, and one of the men pulled the trigger, but fortunately the caps snapped, and the standard-bearer was cut down by this gallant young officer, and the standard taken possession of by him. He also, on the same day, cut down another Sepoy who was standing at bay, with musket and bayonet, keeping off a Sowar. Lieutenant Roberts rode to the assistance of the horseman, and, rushing at the Sepoy, with one blow of his sword cut him across the face, killing him on the spot.”

Lord Roberts VC at Horse Guards, London.

Lord Roberts died of pneumonia at St Omer, France, on 14/11/1914 while visiting Indian troops fighting in the First World War. After lying in state in Westminster Hall,  he was given a state funeral and was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.  His son Frederick Hugh Sherston Roberts VC was killed in action on 17 December 1899 at the Battle of Colenso during the Boer War. Roberts and his son were one of only three pairs of fathers and sons to be awarded the VC.

His full titles are: Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, VC, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, KStJ, VD, PC.

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Charles Augustus Goodfellow VC

Charles Augustus Goodfellow (29/11/1836 – 01/09/1915) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny.

The Citation. recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22727, Page: 2071, reads:

“The late Bombay Engineers (now of the Royal Engineers),  Lieutenant Charles Augustus Goqdfellow

For gallant conduct at the attack on the Fort of Beyt, on the 6th of October, 1859. On that occasion, a soldier of the 28th Regiment was shot under the .walls of the Fort. Lieutenant Goodfellow rushed, under the walls, under a sharp fire of matchlocks, and bore off the body of the soldier, who was then dead, but whom he at first supposed to be wounded only.”

He is buried in Royal Leamington Spa, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/01/2016. Image courtesy of Mark Green 

John Divane VC

John Divane (11/1823 – 01/12/1888) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Delhi, India during the Indian Mutiny on 10 September 1857. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22347 Page: 178, reads:

“60th Rifles (1st Battalion) Private John Divane
Date of Act of Bravery, 10th September, 1857

For distinguished gallantry in heading a successful charge made by the Beeloochee and Seikh Troops on one of the Enemy’s trenches before Delhi, on the 10th of September, 1857. He leaped out of our trenches, closely followed by the Native Troops, and was shot down from the top of the Enemy’s breastworks. Elected by the Privates of the Regiment.”

He is buried in Penzance Cemetery, Cornwall.

DRW © 2016-2020. Created 13/01/2017. Image courtesy of Mark Green

John Buckley VC

John Buckley (24 May 1813 – 14 July 1876), along with Captain George Forrest, and Captain William Raynor,  was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny in May 1857.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22154, Page: 2959,  reads:

“Commissariat Department (Bengal Establishment). Deputy Assistant Commissary of Ordnance John Buckley Date of Act of Bravery, 11th May, 1857.

 For gallant conduct in the defence of the Magazine at Delhi, on the 11th May, 1857″

At the time Buckley was a Deputy Assistant Commissary of Ordnance in the Commissariat Department (Bengal Establishment) of the British East India Company during the Indian Mutiny. He was one of nine men who defended the ammunition storehouse for more than five hours against large numbers of mutineers. When it was evident that there was no hope of outside help coming and the wall was being scaled, they blew up the ammunition which killed many of the mutineers. Five of the defenders died in the explosion and one died shortly afterwards, 

He is buried in an unmarked grave in Tower Hamlets Cemetery in London. A headstone was erected on the grave in 2014. 

Tower Hamlets Cemetery

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William Fraser McDonell VC

William Fraser McDonell (17/12/1829 – 31/07/1894) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22357, Page: 557, reads:

“Mr. William Fraser M’Donell, of the Bengal Civil Service, Magistrate of Sarun
Date of Act of Bravery, 30th July, 1857
For great coolness and bravery on the 30th of July, 1857, during the retreat of the British Troops from Arrah, in having climbed, under an incessant fire, outside the Boat in which he and several Soldiers were, up to the rudder, and with considerable difficulty cut through the lashing which secured it to the side of the boat. On the lashing being cut, the boat obeyed the helm, and thus thirty-five European Soldiers escaped certain death”

He is buried in St Peter’s Churchyard, Leckhampton, Gloucestershire.

William_Fraser_McDonell VC. 17/12/1829 - 31/07/1894 St Peter's Churchyard. Leckhampton, Gloucs.

William Fraser McDonell VC.
17/12/1829 – 31/07/1894
St Peter’s Churchyard. Leckhampton, Gloucs.

William_Fraser_McDonell_02

DRW © 2016-2020. Created 21/04/2016. Images courtesy of Mark Green.

William James Thompson VC.

William James Thompson (1830 – 05/12/1891) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny on 9 July 1857.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22347, Page: 179,  reads:

“60th Rifles (1st Battalion), Private James Thompson, Date of Act of Bravery, 9th July, 1857

For gallant conduct in saving the life of his Captain (Captain Wilton), on the 9th of July, 1857, by dashing forward to his relief, when that Officer was surrounded by a party of Ghazees, who made a sudden rush on him, from a Serai – and killing two of them before further assistance could reach. Also recommended for conspicuous conduct throughout the Siege. Wounded. Elected by the Privates of the Regiment.”

He is buried in an unmarked grave in Queen Street Cemetery in Walsall, Staffordshire.  A commemorative plaque is affixed to the wall of the cemetery.

A Memorial may also be found inside the municipal offices in Walsall commemorating the three Victoria Cross recipients from the town.  

Plaque inside the Municipal Offices in Walsall, Staffordshire.

Queen Street Cemetery, Walsall.

DRW. © 2015 – 2020. Created 25/09/2015. Edited 03/052015

Robert Grant VC.

Robert Grant (1837 – 03/03/1867) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22396, Page: 2316 reads:

“1st Battalion, 5th Regiment. Serjeant Robert Grant. Date of Act of Bravery, 24th September, 1857.

For conspicuous devotion at Alumbagh, on the 24th September, 1857, in proceeding under a heavy and galling fire to save the life of Private E. Deveney, whose leg had been shot away, and eventually carrying him safe into camp, with the assistance of the late Lieutenant Brown, and some comrades.”

The original citation gave his name as “Robert Ewart”, this was subsequently correct in the London Gazette of Issue: 22434, Page: 3679.

“Erratum in the London Gazette of Tuesday,  June 19, 1860.

In the notification of Her Majesty’s intention to confer the Victoria Cross on three soldiers of Her Majesty’s Army,

For, 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment, Serjeant Robert Ewart,

Read, 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment, Serjeant Robert Grant.”

He later joined the Metropolitan Police, until his death in 1867 of Tuberculosis. He was buried in a paupers’ grave, number 15054, in Highgate (East) Cemetery

Robert Grant VC. Highgate Cemetery, London

Robert Grant VC. Highgate Cemetery, London

Highgate (East) Cemetery, London.

DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 18/09/2015, edited 08/05/2017