b. 1826 Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland. d. 23/11/1874 Chesterton, Cambridgeshire.
Stephen Garvin (1826-1874) was born in 1826 in Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland. He enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the 60th Rifles in c. 1844, and served in the Punjab between 1848-49, earning the campaign medal with two clasps for Mooltan and Goojerat.
He was then engaged in service on the North West Frontier (awarded the Indian General Service Medal), and was promoted to Colour Sergeant. On the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny in Meerut in 1857, Garvin’s battalion was sent to fight in the Siege of Delhi. On the 23rd June 1857, a group of mutineers were using the Sammy House as a base to open fire on the advanced battery of heavy guns. Garvin volunteered to lead a small party of men to attack the Sammy House and clear out the enemy. After a short engagement, Garvin succeeded in clearing out the house. He was also recommended for the VC for other gallant actions throughout the Siege.
Garvin was recommended for, and was awarded the Victoria Cross on 20th January 1860. Garvin was presented with his medal by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on the 9th November 1860. Garvin returned to India for a time, before retiring and taking his pension. He returned to England and settled in Cambridgeshire. Garvin died aged 48 on 23rd November 1874 in Chesterton, Cambridgeshire and was laid to rest in St Andrew’s Churchyard.
Garvin’s medals were listed for sale for £1500 in 1969, and remained in private ownership until 2014. On 19th September 2014, at an auction sale at Dix Noonan Webb in London, Garvin’s medals were purchased by the Michael Ashcroft Trust for a hammer price of £190,000, and are now displayed in the Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: CHESTERTON PARISH CHURCHYARD, CHESTERTON, CAMBRIDGESHIRE.
Kevin Brazier – Image of Garvin’s Grave in Chesterton Churchyard.
Thomas Stewart – Images of Garvin’s medals at the Imperial War Museum, London and also when they were at the Royal Green Jackets Museum, Winchester.