Personal info

  • Name: Ferdinand Simeon Le Quesne
  • D.O.B: December 25th, 1863
  • D.O.A: May 4th, 1889
  • D.O.D: April 14th, 1950
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Medical Staff

Tartan Village, Burma

4 May 1889

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INDIA and BURMA 

The tribes in the Chin Hills along the border with Assam had a long history of raiding into Burma proper. The activities of a pretender to the Burmese throne and a dispute over the Sawbwaship of Kale made the area even more unstable. In November 1888 Sir George White VC assembled a Chin Field Force to restore order. Fighting broke out on 7 December and many Chin villages were destroyed including Tartan. However by April 1889 it had been rebuilt, its fortifications including two stockades and trenches covered by logs. On 4 May 1889 a 200-strong column of the Chin Field Force attacked it. During the assault on the upper stockade Lieutenant Michel was mortally wounded. Surgeon F S Le Quesne, at great risk to himself, dressed his wounds assisted by Private Crampion of the 2nd Norfolks, Hospital Assistant Mahomed Mushuf Ali and two unnamed sepoys. Le Quesne was himself severely wounded in the arm while attending to Captain Mayne of the Norfolks, who was lying about 30 yards from Michel. It was decided not to press on with the attack on the second stockade and the column withdrew, burning the village as it did so. Le Quesne was awarded the VC for his role in the action and Crampion the DCM. On 10 May Brigadier General Symons marched back to Tartan with 150 men. The position was found to be deserted and both stockades were destroyed. This was the last operation of the Chin Field Force and in 1891 a final expedition to Wuntho, a small state between the Chindwin and Irrawaddy rivers, concluded the Third Burmese War.

Citation

 Displayed conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the attack on the village of Tartan, by a Column of the Chin Field Force, on the 4th May last, in having remained for the space of about ten minutes, in a very exposed position (within five yards of the loop-holed stockade from which the enemy were firing), dressing with perfect coolness and self-possession the wounds from which Second-Lieutenant Michel, Norfolk Regiment, shortly afterwards died. Surgeon Le Quesne was himself severely wounded later on whilst attending to the wounds of another Officer. 

The London Gazette of 29 October 1889, Numb. 25988, p. 5721

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