Hastings Edward Harington VC

b. 09/11/1832 Hinton Parva, Wiltshire. d. 20/07/1861 Agra, India.

Hastings E Harington VC

Hastings Edward Harington (1832-1861) was born on 9th November 1832 in Hinton Parva, Wiltshire, the son of the local rector, the Reverend John Harington. He was educated at Reading School before entering the Addiscombe Seminary College when he turned 17. In the autumn of 1852 he proceeded to India as Second Lieutenant in the Bengal Artillery, while two of his siblings joined the Indian Civil Service.

In 1857, his regiment was in the Punjab when the Meerut mutiny occurred. He had recently been wounded severely in the right foot but had managed to recover in time to join John Nicholson’s column in its march to Delhi and the subsequent assault.

Harington was part of the battles at Bulandshahr and Agra as part of Greathed’s Flying Column before joining Sir Colin Campbell’s relief force. He was present throughout the relief of Lucknow from 14th to 22nd November 1857, and showed immense gallantry in helping to protect the force left at the Secundra Bagh to keep open the crossing of the River Gomti. Harington was elected by his fellow officers as worthy of the Victoria Cross.

When he took part in Brigadier Walpole’s disastrous assault on Fort Reyah on 15th April 1858 he received a severe wound to the left thigh, which removed him from any further action. He then travelled back to Britain, where his citation was published on 24th December 1858. He attended his investiture at Buckingham Palace on 8th June 1859 and received his medal from Queen Victoria. Following a period of recuperation, he decided to rejoin his regiment in India as an adjutant in June 1861. Sadly, just a month later, he contracted cholera, and died aged just 29 on 29th July 1861. He was buried in Agra Cemetery, India. His medals were held by a direct descendant of Harington. They were sold for £140,000 at Spink’s in London on 18th April 2024. 





Simon Ralph – Images of the Harington VC medal group and reverse of the VC.