Exhibitor : Middleton family
This portrait shows the hand to hand fighting for the Relief of the British Residency in the Lucknow Garrison by the 78th Highlander Regiment in the India Mutiny (Rebellion) on the 27th September 1857.
Our Great Great Grandfather Henry Warner VC took part in this battle and every soldier in the 78th Highlander Regiment won a Victoria Cross for bravery. It was unanimously decided by all the men that the person who would wear the medal would be Assistant Surgeon Valentine Munbee McMaster and the citation is shown at the bottom of the portrait. The highest wartime award for bravery in the UK is the Victoria Cross medal and it was first brought in by Queen Victoria in early 1856.
Henry Warner was an Englishman born 1822 in Great Dunmow, Essex and joined the 55th Westmoreland Regiment of Foot in Ingatestone, Essex in 1841. In 1842, he volunteered to join the 78th Highlanders and served as a Private for 17 years in Persia and India (1842 – 1859). He died in Gravesend, Kent in 1891.
The actual Victoria Cross presented by Queen Victoria to the Regiment can be seen on display in the National War Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle.
We went to see it in February 2020 before the first Lockdown.
The Victoria Cross was a popular patriotic theme in the early 1900s on a matchbox label.
These six Victoria Cross Medal labels, were all issued prior to World War One and were imported into the UK from Belgium and Russia.
The Highlander Regiment were also celebrated on matchbox labels, some of which are illustrated here.
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