Personal info

  • Name: William George Hawtry BANKES
  • D.O.B: 11th Sep, 1836
  • D.O.A: 19th Mar, 1858
  • D.O.D: 6th Apr, 1858
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Cornet, 7th (The Queen’s Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars), 2nd Cavalry Brigade
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
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The Musa Bagh, Lucknow, India 19 March 1858

19 March 1858

More details about:
The Indian Mutiny 1857-59 

By 14 March 1858 the Kaisarbagh Palace in Lucknow had been secured by the British and on 16 March Sir James Outram crossed the Gumti and recaptured the Residency. Most of the city was now in British hands, but a large body of rebels had retreated to the Musa Bagh, a palace on its north-western outskirts. The British launched a three-pronged attack on it. Colonel Campbell, in command of 1,500 cavalry including the 7th Hussars, was ordered to attack any rebels who sought to escape but, preoccupied with an enemy force in a nearby mud fort, failed to do so. Outram sent two squadrons of 9th Lancers to pursue the fleeing rebels but most escaped.


 Cornet William George Hawtrey Bankes, 7th Hussars, upon whom the Commander-in-Chief in India has reported that the Decoration of the Victoria Cross has been provisionally conferred, for conspicuous gallantry, in thrice charging a body of infuriated fanatics, who had rushed the guns employed in shelling a small mud fort in the vicinity of Moosa-Bagh, Lucknow, on the 19th March, 1858,–of the wounds received on which occasion he subsequently died,–would have been recommended to Her Majesty for confirmation in that distinction, had he survived. 

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

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