16 March 2008

Victoria Cross: R. W. and E. H. Sartorius


Major, 6th Bengal Cavalry, Indian Army

Born: 8 May 1841, Portugal
Died: 7 August 1907, Cowes, Isle of Wight

Citation: For having during the attack on Abogoo [in Ashanti, West Africa], on the 17th January last [1874], removed from under a heavy fire Serjeant-Major Braimah Doctor, a Houssa Non-Commissioned Officer, who was mortally wounded, and placed him under cover.

(London Gazette issue 24145 dated 27 Oct 1874, published 27 Oct 1874.)


Captain, 59th Foot

Born: 6 June 1844, Cintra, Portugal
Died: 19 February 1925, Chelsea, London

Citation: For conspicuous bravery during the action at Shah-jui, on the 24th October, 1879, in leading a party of five or six men of the 59th Regiment against a body of the enemy, of unknown strength, occupying an almost inaccessible position on the top of a precipitous hill.
The nature of the ground made any sort of regular formation impossible, and Captain Sartorius had to bear the first brunt of the attack from the whole body of the enemy, who fell upon him and his men as they gained the top of the precipitous pathway; but the gallant and determined bearing of this Officer, emulated as it was by his men, led to the most perfect success, and the surviving occupants of the hill top, seven in number, were all killed.
In this encounter Captain Sartorius was wounded by sword cuts in both hands, and one of his men was killed.

(London Gazette issue 24973 dated 17 May 1881, published 17 May 1871.)

Note: A pair of brothers who were awarded the Victoria Cross.
Major Sartorius (later Major General R W Sartorius VC CMG) received his medal for gallantry during the First Ashanti Expedition. Abogu is now in south-central Ghana.
Captain Sartorius (later Major General E H Sartorius VC CB) received his medal for gallantry during the Second Afghan War. Shahjui is now in southern Afghanistan.

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