Henry George Gore-Browne VC

b. 30/09/1830 Newtown, County Roscommon, Ireland. d. 15/12/1912 Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

Henry George Gore-Browne (1830-1912) was born into a noble family on 30th September 1830 in Newtown, Holywell, County Roscommon, Ireland. He was the son of Arthur Browne, Esq. (d.1870), and his wife Anna Elizabeth Clements, daughter of Captain Clements. He was a great-great grandson of the 1st Earl of Altamont MP, whose heir is the Marquess of Sligo. His great-grandfather was The Right Hon Arthur Browne MP, of Leixslip Castle. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, but did not enter the Army until the comparatively late age of 25. He was commissioned into the 32nd Regiment of Foot (later Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) on 31st August 1855 and was sent to join the Regiment in India. On 15th October 1856, he was promoted to Lieutenant and then Captain eight months later.

Henry G Gore-Browne VC

On 21st August 1857 during the Siege of Lucknow, a plan was made to blow up a mine and for the simultaneous sorties of 50 Europeans under Captain McCabe and Lieutenant Gore-Browne divided into two parties for the purpose of spiking the enemy’s guns which fired into the mess house and in order to hold Johannes’ house while the engineer officers blew it up. Precisely at 5pm the mine containing 400lbs of gunpowder was sprung and as soon as the dust had subsided, the party ran out. Browne was the first man to enter the enemy battery, which was protected by high palisades, the embrasures being closed with sliding shutters. Browne pulled aside the shutters and leapt into the battery and drove out the gun crews. The two guns were successfully spiked and the enemy position was demolished. For this act, Browne was recommended for the Victoria Cross.

Browne took part in several more sorties in the Siege of Lucknow over the next few months. He was wounded slightly in the leg on 8th November, and more severely on the 11th November. When he had recuperated from his wounds, he joined his comrades as part of Major General Edward Maxwell’s Moveable Column. This was one of the various formations that crossed India during August to October 1858 in an attempt to crush the rebels.

In 1859, Browne returned to the UK and transferred to the 100th Regiment of Foot (Prince of Wales’ Royal Canadian) raised and commanded by Alexander Roberts Dunn VC, which was stationed at Gibraltar. For some reason, Browne’s recommendation for the VC was not submitted until 1862 by which time the Commander in Chief, the Duke of Cambridge, had stated that a time limit be enforced on claims for the VC from the Indian Mutiny. Fortunately, he had second thoughts and Browne was invested with the VC in Gibraltar in July 1862.

In 1867, he was promoted to Major and went on half pay. He was made Lieutenant-Colonel on 27th February 1877 but was unattached in 1881, and would be discharged in 1888. He married Jane Anne Seely, daughter of Charles Seely MP on April 10, 1882. Jane Anne Seely was the sister of Sir Charles Seely, 1st Baronet and the Aunt of J. E. B. Seely, 1st Baron Mottistone. He chose to retire to the Isle of Wight, where he died on 15th November 1912 in Shanklin, aged 82. He was buried in St Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Brook, near Shanklin. His medals are held by the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry Museum, Bodmin, Cornwall.





Steve Davies – Medal Group Image at Duke of Cornwall Regiment Museum, Bodmin.