George Lambert VC

b. 16/12/1819 Markethill, County Armagh, Ireland. d. 10/02/1860 Sheffield, Yorkshire.

George Lambert (1819-1860) was born on 16th December 1819 in Markethill, County Armagh, Ireland (now Northern Ireland). Little is known about his early life, prior to his enlistment with the 84th Regiment of Foot (later York and Lancaster Regiment) which occurred sometime in the early 1840s.

Victoria Cross

George served throughout the whole of the Indian Mutiny with Havelock’s Column, seeing action at Oonao, Buseerutgunge, Boorbeake-Chowkee, Bithoor, Nungana, the second Relief of Lucknow (where he was severely wounded), and the storming of Hiran Khana (his Victoria Cross action took place here), and with Sir James Outram’s force at Alumbagh, and the assault and capture of Lucknow, and the relief of Azimghur. For his services in the Mutiny, he was awarded the campaign medal with clasp, and was promoted to Ensign on 12th December 1857, and was awarded the Victoria Cross for three separate incidents (gazetted 18th June 1858).

His citation is very sketchy in the details of the three incidents he was cited for gallantry for. On 29th July 1857 at Oonao, he acted with distinguished bravery. At Bithoor on the 16th August 1857, he helped drive the rebels from a strong position with a bayonet charge, and finally on 25th September 1857 at Lucknow, he was prominent in the charge to the Residency.

Lambert was promoted to Lieutenant on 17th December 1858. It is unknown when or where his Victoria Cross was presented to him. On 2nd September 1859, the 84th Regiment of Foot returned to the England and were stationed at Hillsborough Barracks in Sheffield. Sadly, George was only to live for less than six months. On 10th February 1860, whilst on the parade ground at Hillsborough Barracks, he collapsed and died from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. His funeral took place eight days later at Wardsend Cemetery in Sheffield. The funeral was described as “the ceremony was conducted with military honours, the band of the regiment marching at the head of the procession and playing the Dead March … his charger was led after the body bearing his masters boots reversed. The usual volleys were fired over the grave at the conclusion of the service and the procession then returned to the barracks”.

His medals are held by the York and Lancaster Regiment Museum, Rotherham, Yorkshire.