Personal info

  • Name: John PATON
  • D.O.B: 23rd Dec, 1833
  • D.O.A: 16th Nov, 1857
  • D.O.D: 1st Apr, 1914
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Shah Najaf Mosque, Lucknow, India 16 November 1857

16 November 1857

More details about:
The Indian Mutiny 1857-59 

While the battle for the Secunderabagh was still going on, Captain Peel’s naval brigade advanced towards the Shah Najaf Mosque, which the mutineers had fortified, and bombarded it with six 24-pounders, under Lieutenant T Young, as well as mortars and rockets. They made little initial impression on its stout walls. An attack by the 93rd (Highland) Regiment was equally unavailing. The British guns were brought right up to the Mosque and Peel called for volunteers to climb a nearby tree to dislodge snipers on its walls, who were causing havoc amongst the gun crews. Lieutenant Nowell Salmon, Leading Seaman John Harrison and Able Seaman Richard Southwell responded, though Southwell was killed almost immediately. The British were, in fact, on the point of retiring when Sergeant J Paton, 93rd Highlanders, discovered a small gap in one of the walls. He led in a party of Highlanders, who opened the main gates of the Mosque as its last defenders withdrew. Five VCs were awarded for gallantry in this action.


 For distinguished personal gallantry at Lucknow, on the 16th of November, 1857, in proceeding alone round the Shah Nujjiff under an extremely heavy fire, discovering a breach on the opposite side, to which he afterwards conducted the Regiment, by which means that important position was taken. Elected by the non-commissioned officers of the Regiment. 

The London Gazette of 24 December 1858, Numb. 22212, p. 5514

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