Personal info

  • Name: Ferdinand Simeon LE QUESNE
  • D.O.B: 25th Dec, 1863
  • D.O.A: 4th May, 1889
  • D.O.D: 14th Apr, 1950
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Surgeon, Army Medical Staff Corps, Chin Field Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Tartan Village, Burma

4 May 1889

More details about:
INDIA and BURMA 1889-97 

The tribes in the Chin Hills along the border with Assam had a long history of raiding intoBurma proper. The activities of a pretender to the Burmese throne and a dispute over theSawbwaship of Kale made the area even more unstable. In November 1888 Sir George WhiteVC assembled a Chin Field Force to restore order. Fighting broke out on 7 December andmany Chin villages were destroyed including Tartan. However by April 1889 it had beenrebuilt, its fortifications including two stockades and trenches covered by logs. On 4 May1889 a 200-strong column of the Chin Field Force attacked it. During the assault on the upperstockade Lieutenant Michel was mortally wounded. Surgeon F S Le Quesne, at great risk tohimself, dressed his wounds assisted by Private Crampion of the 2nd Norfolks, HospitalAssistant Mahomed Mushuf Ali and two unnamed sepoys. Le Quesne was himself severelywounded in the arm while attending to Captain Mayne of the Norfolks, who was lying about30 yards from Michel. It was decided not to press on with the attack on the second stockadeand the column withdrew, burning the village as it did so. Le Quesne was awarded the VC forhis role in the action and Crampion the DCM. On 10 May Brigadier General Symons marchedback to Tartan with 150 men. The position was found to be deserted and both stockades weredestroyed. This was the last operation of the Chin Field Force and in 1891 a final expeditionto Wuntho, a small state between the Chindwin and Irrawaddy rivers, concluded the ThirdBurmese War.

Citation

 Displayed conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the attack on the village of Tartan, by a Column of the Chin Field Force, on the 4th May last, in having remained for the space of about ten minutes, in a very exposed position (within five yards of the loop-holed stockade from which the enemy were firing), dressing with perfect coolness and self-possession the wounds from which Second-Lieutenant Michel, Norfolk Regiment, shortly afterwards died. Surgeon Le Quesne was himself severely wounded later on whilst attending to the wounds of another Officer. 

The London Gazette of 29 October 1889, Numb. 25988, p. 5721

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