William Fraser McDonell VC

Name: William Fraser McDonell

Conflict: Indian Mutiny

Gazetted: February 17, 1860

Service: Civilian – Bengal Civil Service

portrait_mcdonnell_william fraser
William Fraser McDonell VC
William Fraser McDonell Medals
Medal group

Place/date of birth:  Cheltenham, Gloucestershire/December 17, 1829

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): N/A

Date of bravery: July 30, 1857

London Gazette citation:

Mr. William Fraser McDonell, of the Bengal Civil Service, Magistrate of Sarun. Date of Act of Bravery, 30th July, 1857.

For great coolness and bravery on the 30th of July, 1857, during the retreat of the British Troops from Arrah, in having climbed, under an incessant fire, outside the Boat in which he and several Soldiers were, up to the rudder, and with considerable difficulty cut through the lashing which secured it to the side of the boat. On the lashing being cut, the boat obeyed the helm, and thus thirty-five European Soldiers escaped certain death.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death:  Cheltenham, Gloucestershire/July 31, 1894

Grave/memorials: St Peter’s Churchyard, Leckhampton, Gloucestershire

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased from the Spink List, 2000

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