Personal info

  • Name: William DOWLING
  • D.O.B: 1st Jan, 1824
  • D.O.A: 27th Sep, 1857
  • D.O.D: 17th Feb, 1887
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 32nd (the Cornwall) Regiment of Foot
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Lucknow, India 4 and 9 July, and 27 September 1857

4 and 9 July, and 27 September 1857

More details about:
The Indian Mutiny 1857-59 

The Siege of the Residency Compound, Lucknow, had begun on 30 June 1857. The defenders were harassed by the mutineers on a daily basis. On 2 July 1857 the Chief Commissioner Sir Henry Lawrence was wounded by a shell and died two days later. On 3 July the rebels managed to set fire to part of the Compound and there was a danger that it would ignite the powder magazine. Lieutenant R H M Aitken VC was prominent amongst those who contained the fire and this action was mentioned in his VC Citation. The defenders attempted some sorties against the mutineers. Private W Dowling distinguished himself in two of these on 4 and 9 July. The number of defenders was significantly increased by the arrival of the First Relief column on 25 September 1857. On the 27th a sortie was mounted against the Garden Battery opposite the British Cawnpore Battery at the south-east corner of the Residency Compound. Although this failed to destroy most of the battery, some guns were spiked, including an 18-pounder, again by Private Dowling.


 For distinguished gallantry on the 4th of July, 1857, in going out with two other men, since dead, and spiking two of the Enemy’s guns. He killed a Soubadar of the Enemy by one of the guns. Also, for distinguished gallantry on the 9th of the same month, in going out again with three men, since dead, to spike one of the Enemy’s guns. He had to retire, the spike being too small, but was exposed to the same danger. Also, for distinguished bravery, on the 27th of September, 1857, in spiking an 18-pounder gun during a Sortie, he being at the same time under a most heavy fire from the Enemy. 

The London Gazette of 22 November 1859, Numb. 22328, p. 4193

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