James Blair VC

Name: James Blair

Conflict: Indian Mutiny

Gazetted: February 25, 1862

Service: Indian Army

James Blair VC

Medal group

Place/date of birth: Neemuch, Gwalior State, India/January 27, 1828

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Captain (General)

Date of bravery: August 12 and October 23, 1857

London Gazette citation:

Captain James Blair, 2nd Bombay Light Cavalry

For having on two occasions distinguished himself by his gallant and daring conduct.

  1. On the night of the 12th of August, 1857, at Neemuch, in volunteering to apprehend 7 or 8 armed mutineers who had shut themselves up for defence in a house, the door of which he burst open. He then rushed in among them, and forced them to escape through the roof; in this encounter, he was severely wounded. In spite of his wounds he pursued the fugitives, but was unable to come up with them, in consequence of the darkness of the night.
  2. On the 23rd of October, 1857, at Jeerum, in fighting his way most gallantly through a body of rebels who had literally surrounded him. After breaking the end of his sword on one of their heads, and receiving a severe sword cut on his right arm, he rejoined his troop. In this wounded condition, and with no other weapon than the hilt of his broken sword, he put himself at the head of his men, charged the rebels most effectually, and dispersed them.

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Other decorations: CB

Place/date of death: Melrose, Scotland/January 18, 1905

Grave/memorials: Headstone, Trinity Church, Melrose, Scotland

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2023

Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum