VC group awarded to Field Marshal Lord Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar, Pretoria and Waterford
Roberts won the Victoria Cross (VC) during the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859). He was serving as a lieutenant in the Bengal Horse Artillery when:
'On 2 January 1858 at Khudaganj, whilst the fugitives were being rounded up following a successful attack, Lieutenant Roberts saw a sowar of the Punjab Cavalry in danger of being bayoneted by a rebel sepoy. Wheeling his horse quickly, he thrust himself between the two and with his sword swept the sepoy across the face and killed him on the spot. A few minutes later Lieutenant Roberts caught sight of two rebels making off with a standard. Determined that this should be captured, Lieutenant Roberts galloped after them, the one who carried the standard, he cut down, wrenching the standard from his hands. The second sepoy however placed a musket close to Lieutenant Roberts' body and pulled the trigger. Fortunately the percussion cap was defective and the musket misfired, whereupon the sepoy fled and Roberts returned triumphant with the standard'.
Roberts was decorated with his VC by HRH Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace on 8 June 1859. During his long service he was also awarded the Volunteer Officers' Decoration 1907; Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Medal 1897; Edward VII Coronation Medal 1902; George V Coronation Medal 1911; Indian Mutiny Medal 1857-58, with clasps: Lucknow, Relief of Lucknow, Delhi; Indian General Service Medal 1854-95, with clasps: Looshai, Umbeyla, Burma 1885-7; Abyssinia Medal 1867-68; 2nd Afghan War Medal 1878-80, with clasps: Peiwar Kotal, Charasia, Kabul, Kandahar; Kabul to Kandahar Star 1880; Queen's South Africa Medal 1899-1902, with clasps: Cape Colony, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast.
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National Army Museum, Study Collection
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