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Lieutenant John Watson, 1st Punjab Cavalry winning the VC at Lucknow, Indian Mutiny, 14 November 1857

Oil on canvas by Louis William Desanges, 1860 (c).

General Sir John Watson (1829-1919) was a lieutenant in the 1st Punjab Cavalry when he was awarded the Victoria Cross on 14 November 1857 at Lucknow:

'Lieutenant Watson, with his own squadron and that under another lieutenant, came upon a body of rebel cavalry. The ressaidar in command of them, with about half-a-dozen, rode out and confronted Lieutenant Watson and in the fierce fighting which ensued the lieutenant received several disabling blows and cuts from tulwars. He continued to defend himself, however, until his own men joined in the melee and utterly routed the enemy'.

This painting is one of a series of 55 depicting Victoria Cross subjects executed between 1859 and 1862 by the British artist Louis Desanges, and displayed at the Crystal Palace during the 1860s and 1870s.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1958-12-39-1


National Army Museum, Out of Copyright


National Army Museum, Global Role gallery

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