Personal info

  • Name: Edward SPENCE
  • D.O.B: 28th Dec, 1837
  • D.O.A: 15th Apr, 1858
  • D.O.D: 17th Apr, 1858
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 42nd (The Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Fort Ruiya, India 15 April 1858

15 April 1858

More details about:
The Indian Mutiny 1857-59 

After the capture of Lucknow, the Governor General Lord Canning ordered the pacification of the province of Rohilkhand, north-west of Oudh. Brigadier General Walpole set out with a Field Force to accomplish this. On 15 April 1858 he stopped to reduce a Fort at Ruiya, about fifty miles north-west of Lucknow. The frontal assault which he launched proved a disaster. It occasioned heavy casualties and failed to capture the fort, though the rebels abandoned it during the night. Amongst those killed were Brigadier Adrian Hope and Lieutenant Edward Willoughby, brother of Lieutenant G D Willoughby, one of the nine heroic defenders of the Delhi Magazine.

Citation

 Private Edward Spence, 42nd Regiment, would have been recommended to Her Majesty for the decoration of the Victoria Cross, had he survived. He and Lance-Corporal Thompson, of that Regiment, volunteered, at the attack of the Fort of Ruhya, on the 15th April, 1858, to assist Captain Groves, commanding the 4th Punjab Rifles, in bringing in the body of Lieutenant Willoughby from the top of the Glacis. Private Spence dauntlessly placed himself in an exposed position, so as to cover the party bearing away the body. He died on the 17th of the same month, from the effects of the wound which he received on the occasion. (The London Gazette of 27 May 1859, Numb. 22268, p. 2106) VICTORIA CROSS. Errata in the London Gazette of Friday, May 27, 1859. In the notifications of the Acts of Bravery performed by Lance Corporal Alexander Thompson and the late Private Edward Spence, of the 42nd Regiment, For Captain Groves, commanding the 4th Punjaub Rifles, Read, Captain Cafe, commanding the 4th Punjaub Rifles. (The London Gazette of 21 October 1859, Numb. 22318, p. 3793) War Office, January 15, 1907. The King has been graciously pleased to approve of the Decoration of the Victoria Cross being delivered to the representatives of the undermentioned Officers and men who fell in the performance of acts of valour, and with reference to whom it was notified in the London Gazette that they would have been recommended to Her late Majesty for the Victoria Cross had they survived:– London Gazette, 27th May, 1859. “Private Edward Spence, 42nd Regiment, would have been recommended to Her Majesty for the decoration of the Victoria Cross had he survived. He and Lance-Corporal Thompson, of that Regiment, volunteered, at the attack of the Fort of Ruhya, on the 15th April, 1858, to assist Captain Cafe, commanding the 4th Punjab Rifles, in bringing in the body of Lieutenant Willoughby from the top of the Glacis. Private Spence dauntlessly placed himself in an exposed position so as to cover the party bearing away the body. He died on the 17th of the same month from the effects of the wound which he received on the occasion.” 

The London Gazette of 15 January 1907, Numb. 27986, p. 325

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