William Alexander Kerr VC

Name: William Alexander Kerr

Conflict: Indian Mutiny

Gazetted: April 24, 1858

Service: Indian Army

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William Alexander Kerr VC
William Alexander Kerr Medals
Medal group

Place/date of birth:  Melrose, Roxburghshire/July 18, 1831

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

Date of bravery: July 10, 1857

London Gazette citation:

24th Bombay Native Infantry. Lieutenant William Alexander Kerr. Date of Act of Bravery, 10th July, 1857.

On the breaking out of a mutiny in the 27th Bombay Native Infantry in July, 1857, a party of the mutineers took up a position in the stronghold, or paga, near the town of Kolapore, and defended themselves to extremity. “Lieutenant Kerr, of the Southern Mahratta Irregular Horse, took a prominent share of the attack on the position, and at the moment when its capture was of great public importance, he made a dash at one of the gateways, with some dismounted horse – men, and forced an entrance by breaking down the gate. The attack was completely successful, and the defenders were either killed, wounded, or captured, a result that may with perfect justice be attributed to Lieutenant Kerr’s dashing and devoted bravery.” (Letter from the Political Superintendent at Kolapore, to the Adjutant-General of the Army, dated 10th September, 1857.)

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death:  Folkestone, Kent/May 21, 1919

Grave/memorials: Cheriton Road Cemetery, Folkestone, Kent

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased at auction, Sotheby’s, London, 2000

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