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Victoria Cross awarded to Captain John Grant Malcolmson, 3rd Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry, 1857

John Grant Malcolmson (1835-1902) earned the Victoria Cross (VC) in 1857 for his actions at the Battle of Koosh-ab during the Persian War of 1856-57. During the battle, the 3rd Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry, in which Malcolmson was serving as a lieutenant, charged and broke a square of well-trained Persian infantry. 'The London Gazette' of 3 August 1860 described the action:

'Arthur Thomas Moore, Lieut. And Adjutant, and John Grant Malcolmson, Lieut., 3rd Bombay Native Cavalry. Date of Acts of Bravery: 8 Feb 1857. On the occasion of an attack on the enemy on the 8th Feb. 1857, led by Lt Col Forbes, Lt Moore, the Adjutant of the regiment, was perhaps the first of all by a horse's length. His horse leaped into the square and instantly fell dead, crushing down his rider and breaking his sword as he fell amid the broken ranks of the enemy.

Lt Moore speedily extricated himself, and attempted with his broken sword to force his way through the press; but would assuredly have lost his life had not the gallant young Lt Malcolmson, observing his peril, fought his way to his dismounted comrade through a crowd of enemies, to his rescue, and giving him his stirrup, safely carried him through everything out of the throng. The thoughtfulness for others, cool determination and ready activity shown in extreme danger by this young officer, Lt Malcolmson, appear to have been most admirable, and to be worthy of the highest honour.'

His Victoria Cross is one of only three awarded during the Persian War of 1856-57.

From a medal group awarded to Captain John Grant Malcolmson, VC, 3rd Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 2016-12-14-1


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National Army Museum, Global Role gallery

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