Hanson Chambers Taylor Jarrett VC

b. 22/03/1839 Vepery, Madras, India. d. 11/04/1891 Saugor, India.

Hanson Chambers Taylor Jarrett (1837-1891) was born in Vepery, near Madras, India on 22nd March 1837, the son of an employee of the Honourable East India Company. Due to his family connections to the HEIC, he was entered as soon as he came of age, into the HEIC College at Addiscombe Seminary in Surrey. He was commissioned as an ensign on 10th June 1854 with the 26th Bengal Native Infantry.

Hanson C T Jarrett VC

The 26th mutinied on 30th July and fled Lahore before surrendering near Amritsar in the belief that they would receive a fair trial. Instead, 282 sepoys were summarily executed. Hanson Jarrett was promoted to lieutenant and appointed to the Ferozepore Regiment, which later became the 2nd Punjab Infantry. In an action at Baroun near Farrukhabad, Jarrett performed his VC exploit.

On the 14th October 1858, 70 Sepoys were defending themselves in a brick building, and the only approach to it was via a very narrow street. Jarrett called for volunteers, and with four men behind him, he made a dash at the narrow entrance, where, though a shower of musket balls were fired at him, he pushed his way up to the wall of the house, and beating up the bayonets of the rebels with his sword, he forced his way in.

Due to the lack of support from the rest of his command, the attempt was unsuccessful and Jarrett and his small party were forced to retreat under heavy fire. Miraculously, he emerged unscathed, and sadly like many recipients of the VC, there is no record of an investiture, following the publication of his citation on 18th June 1859.

Jarrett’s post-war career rise was hardly meteoric, despite having the advantage of a VC. Like many officers and officials, he enjoyed the big game hunting that India provided. He sought and obtained civil employment as Deputy Conservator of Forests based at Saugor and was able to indulge in his favourite hobby. He retired as a Colonel in 1890, and died the following year aged 53. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Saugor New Cemetery. His medals are privately held.