Personal info

  • Name: James McGUIRE
  • D.O.B: 29th Dec, 1826
  • D.O.A: 14th Sep, 1857
  • D.O.D: 22nd Dec, 1862
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, 1st Bengal (European) Fusiliers, Honourable East India Company Forces
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
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Sources & Acknowledgements

The Kabul Gate, Delhi, India

14-18 September 1857

More details about:
The Indian Mutiny 1857-59 

In the assault on Delhi on 14 September 1857, the 1st Bengal (European) Fusiliers formed part of the First Column under Brigadier-General Nicholson, the ‘Lion of the Punjab’. The First Column stormed the breach in the walls near the Kashmir Gate and then worked its way west taking the Mori Bastion and the Kabul Gate, which was at the north-western corner of the City. It was here that Sergeant J McGuire and Drummer M Ryan hurled some burning boxes of ammunition over the walls, saving the lives of many British and native soldiers. Meanwhile, Colour Sergeant G Waller, 1st Battalion, 60th Regiment, distinguished himself by capturing enemy guns near the Kabul Gate. As the British fought their way through the city over the next few days, Waller defended a British gun against rebel attack on the 18th near the Chandni Chauk.


 At the assault on Delhi on the 14th September, 1857, when the Brigade had reached the Cabul Gate, the 1st Fusiliers and 75th Regiment, and some Sikhs, were waiting for orders, and some of the Regiments were getting ammunition served out (three boxes of which exploded from some cause not clearly known, and two others were in a state of ignition), when Serjeant McGuire and Drummer Ryan rushed into the burning mass, and, seizing the boxes, threw them, one after the other, over the parapet into the water. The confusion consequent on the explosion was very great, and the crowd of soldiers and native followers, who did not know where the danger lay, were rushing into certain destruction, when Serjeant McGuire and Drummer Ryan, by their coolness and personal daring, saved the lives of many at the risk of their own. 

The London Gazette of 24 December 1858, Numb. 22212, p. 5519

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