Indian Mutiny Medal 1857-1858, 1 clasp: Central India. Captain Honourable H.W. Fitzmaurice, 72nd. Highlanders. EF


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Henry Warrender Fitzmaurice was born on 7 July 1828, the second son of Thomas John Hamilton Fitzmaurice, 5th Earl of Orkney, and the Hon. Charlotte Isabella Irby. He joined the 72nd (Duke of Albany’s Own) Highlanders in 1847 (London Gazette 19 March 1847). In 1849 he was promoted Lieutenant by purchase before finally purchasing the rank of Captain on 4 August 1854. Unlike his brother he did not serve with his Regiment in the Crimea but on 26 August 1857 he embarked for India to aid in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny. The main area of operations for the 72nd Regiment was Central India. That this part of the country was one of the last holdouts is an indication of how complete the rebel takeover had been. Almost all of the Bengal Army had either rebelled or disbanded when the news of the revolts in Delhi and Meerut reached them. The mutineers were in much more dire straits by the time the 72nd arrived, defeats at Delhi and Lucknow had seen the bulk of their best trained and equipped troops lost. Now Central India was facing attacks from three columns, the Central India Field Force, Rajputana Field Force, and the Madras Column. Between January and June, a number of notable engagements took place including the capture of Jhansi and the following battle of Betwa in which General Rose’s army of 1,500 men defeated a force of 22,000 led by Tantia Topi. Many thought this engagement signalled the end of the Munity however there was one more action to be fought after the loyalist fortress of Gwalior was seized in a surprise attack. Fortunately for the British, Rose moved fast. He advanced on Gwalior defeating the rebels at Kotah-ke-Serai and retaking the fortress soon after. The end of the Mutiny also saw the end of Company rule in India and a major military and civil restructuring.
Henry did not stay in the army for long after the campaign, retiring by sale of commission in 1860. At the same time, he was commissioned into the Royal Buckinghamshire Militia (Kings Own) with the rank of a Captain (London Gazette 28 August 1860).He moved back to England, marrying Sarah Jane Roose in September 1861 and had four children of whom their second son Edmund became Earl of Orkney (London Gazette 16 May 1890 refers) after his brother died without issue. He was High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of Anglesey in 1866 and died in 1875 at the age of 47.
EF £1200.00