Robert Blair VC

Name: Robert Blair

Conflict: Indian Mutiny

Gazetted: June 18, 1858

Service: Army

Robert Blair VC

Medal group

Place/date of birth: Avontoun, Linlithgow, West Lothian/March 13, 1834

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

Date of bravery: September 28, 1857

London Gazette citation:

“A most gallant feat was here performed by Lieutenant Blair, who was ordered to take a party of one sergeant and twelve men and bring in a deserted ammunition waggon. As his party approached, a body of fifty or sixty of the enemy’s horse came down upon him, from a village, where they had remained unobserved: without a moment’s hesitation he formed up his men, and, regardless of the odds, gallantly led them on, dashing through the rebels. He made good his retreat without losing a man, leaving nine of them dead on the field. Of these he killed four himself; but, to my regret, after having run a native officer through the body with his sword, he was severely wounded, the joint of his shoulder being nearly severed.”

Despatch from Major-General James Hope Grant, K.C.B., dated 10th January, 1858.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death: Cawnpore, India/March 28, 1859

Grave/memorials: Old British Cemetery, Cawnpore, India/Plaque at Covenanters’ Prison Section, Greyfriars Cemetery, Edinburgh

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2017

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