Henry Edward Jerome VC

Jerome VC Jhansi
Storming the Fort at Jhansi

The Indian Mutiny

When Lieutenant Colonel Lowth's 86th (Royal County Down Regiment) led the main attack to force the breach in the wall at Jhansi, a second group led by Major Stuart was directed to attempt an escalade of the Rocket Tower. The Light Company led the way and the wall being assaulted was about 23 feet high. Stuart's group came under heavy fire and suffered many casualties. Having been beaten off the top of the wall, the enemy retreated into houses below, from where they brought down further heavy fire on the advancing 86th. While clearing those houses, the 86th had officers and men severely wounded by heavy fire coming from the fort. One of those officers was Ensign Sewell. Captain Henry Jerome and Private James Byrne carried him to safety at great risk from the heavy enemy fire. The War Office published Captain Jerome's citation in the London Gazette dated 11 November 1859:

For conspicuous gallantry at Jhansi, on the 3rd
of April, 1858, in having, with the assistance
of Private Byrne, removed, under a very
heavy fire, Lieutenant Sewell, of the 86th
Regiment, who was severely wounded, at a
very exposed point of the attack upon the
Fort; also, for gallant conduct at the capture
of the Fort of Chandairee, the storming of
Jhansi, and in action with a superior Rebel
Force on the Jumna, on the 28th of May,
1858 when he was severely wounded.

86th DressHenry Jerome was born in Antigua, the British West Indies, on 28 February 1830 and retired as a Major General. He died aged 70 on 25 February 1901 in the city of Bath and was buried nearby in Lansdown Cemetery, Somerset. His Victoria Cross is in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery collection at the Imperial War Museum.

Left: 86th Regiment's dress during the period of the Indian Mutiny.