General Sir Samuel James Browne VC, GCB, KCSI, 1901 (c)
Oil on canvas by Charles Kay Robertson, 1904.
Sir Sam Browne (1824-1901) remains one of the most prominent figures in the history of the Indian Army, who is chiefly remembered for having introduced a new design of leather belt, the 'Sam Browne'. He began his career with the Bengal Army in 1840 and took part in numerous campaigns, including Chillianwalla and Gujerat, before being awarded the Victoria Cross during the Indian Mutiny for gallantry at Seeporah in 1858. Together with one sowar orderly, he engaged in hand-to-hand combat to secure a strategically placed 9-pounder cannon, during which his left arm was severed at the shoulder by a sword cut.
Sam Browne is commonly believed to have developed the belt which bears his name, to make it easier to carry and use a sword and pistol after his injury.
A a lieutenant-general he commanded the Peshawar Field Force during the 2nd Afghan War (1878-1880). For 19 years Browne commanded the Punjab Cavalry and the Corps of Guides. After his death, a monument was erected to him in St Paul's Cathedral, London.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study Collection