27 January 2008

Victoria Cross: F. S. Roberts


Lieutenant, Bengal Artillery

Born: 30 September 1832, Cawnpore, India
Died: 14 November 1914, St Omer, France

Citation: Lieutenant Roberts' gallantry has on every occasion been most marked.
On following up the retreating enemy on the 2nd January, 1858, at Khodagunge [India], he saw in the distance two Sepoys going away with a standard. Lieutenant Roberts put spur to his horse, and overtook them just as they were about to enter a village. They immediately turned round, and presented their muskets at him, and one of the men pulled the trigger, but fortunately the caps snapped, and the standard-bearer was cut down by this gallant young officer, and the standard taken possession of by him. He also, on the same day, cut down another Sepoy who was standing at bay, with musket and bayonet, keeping off a Sowar. Lieutenant Roberts rode to the assistance of the horseman, and, rushing at the Sepoy, with one blow of his sword cut him across the face, killing him on the spot.

(London Gazette Issue 22212 dated 24 Dec 1858, published 24 Dec 1858.)

Note: A sowar was a mounted soldier, equivalent to a private, in the Indian Army.
Roberts's son, Lt the Hon Frederick H S Roberts, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Colenso, on 15 Dec 1899.

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