b. 1837 Harrogate, Yorkshire. d. 07/03/1867 Islington, London.
Robert Grant was a Yorkshireman, being born in Harrogate in 1837. He joined the 5th Fusiliers (later Royal Northumberland Fusiliers) in 1854 at the age of 17. By the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny in 1857, he had risen to the rank of Corporal, and was able to perform the act of gallantry within the walled enclosure of the Alambagh.
His citation was published in the London Gazette on 12th October 1860 and outlined the action that he performed on 24th September 1857. On that day, he saw Private E Deveney have his leg shot away from under him and was lying wounded on the ground, under heavy fire. Without hesitation, Grant ran out under the heavy fire, and pulled Deveney onto his back, and carried him to safety in the camp. He was supported in this task by the late Lieutenant Brown and some comrades.
He was then promoted to Sergeant and received his VC from Lady Hersey at Fort William, Calcutta on 12th December 1860. When Grant left the Army, he returned to the UK and joined the Metropolitan Police as a constable and served in the Y Division, Holloway area, until his death from tuberculosis on 7th March 1867, aged just 30. He was then quickly buried in an unmarked grave in Highgate Cemetery. In 2008, research carried out by local historian, Phil Seaton, uncovered the location of Grant’s grave and this prompted a campaign to persuade Scotland Yard to honour a former member of the Metropolitan Police. As a result, on 24th June 2008, Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police unveiled a new headstone on Grant’s grave. His medals are held by the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers Museum, Alnwick Castle.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS MUSEUM, ALNWICK CASTLE.
BURIAL PLACE: HIGHGATE CEMETERY, LONDON.
PLOT 89, GRAVE 15054
Kevin Brazier – Images of the Grant VC grave and the cemetery plan of Highgate Cemetery.
Thomas Stewart – Image of the Grant VC on display at the Northumberland Fusiliers Museum, Alnwick Castle.