Clement Walker Heneage VC

b. 06/03/1831 Compton Bassett, Wiltshire. d. 09/12/1901 Compton Bassett, Wiltshire.

Clement Walker Heneage (1831-1901) was born on 6th March 1831 in Compton Bassett, Wiltshire. He was the son of George Heneage, MP for Devizes, and Harriet, daughter of William Webber, from Haldon, near Exeter. He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford and commissioned into the 8th Hussars as cornet. He was promoted to lieutenant and sent to the Crimea as part of the Light Brigade. He rode in the famous but disastrous Charge at Balaklava. He also saw action in the Battles of Alma, Inkerman and Tchermaya. He was also at the Siege of Sebastopol and went on the Kentah Expedition of 1855.

Clement W Heneage VC

The regiment returned to Britain but when the Mutiny broke, it embarked for India and joined the Field Force in Rajputana. He would be selected by his regiment for the VC for his actions at Gwalior on 17th June 1858. He was part of a squadron of the regiment who were supported by a division of Bombay Horse Artillery and H.M 95th Regiment. They managed to rout the enemy who were advancing against Brigadier Smith’s position, then charged through a rebel camp into two batteries, capturing and bringing into their camp two of the enemy’s guns, under a heavy and converging fire from the fort and town.

Heneage was promoted to brevet major the following month and full major by purchase in 1860. He, along with Joseph Ward and John Pearson, received the VC at an investiture by the GOC Bombay, Lieutenant General Henry Somerset, on 18th June 1859. On the 7th December 1865, he married in St Paul’s Church, Sketty, South Wales, to Henrietta Letitia Victoria Vivian, daughter of J.H. Vivian, MP for Swansea. They went on to have five children, including Godfrey Clement, who went on to be a Major in the Grenadier Guards and earned the DSO in the Great War, and Algernon, who was a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy.

He retired on 20th July 1869 by sale of his commission. He succeeded to his father’s estates and devoted himself to the life of a country gentleman and was appointed High Sheriff of Wiltshire in 1887. He died at his home on 9th December 1901, and was buried in the family vault of St Swithun’s Church, Compton Bassett, Wiltshire. His medals were acquired privately in 2022 by Michael Ashcroft and are now displayed in the Imperial War Museum in London. 





Thomas Stewart – Image of the Heneage Medal group at the Imperial War Museum.