Henry Lysons VC

b. 30/07/1858 Morden, Surrey. d. 24/07/1907 Marylebone, London.

Henry Lysons (1858-1907) was born on 13th July 1858, in Morden, Surrey, the son of Sir Daniel Lysons, a noted soldier from the Crimean War. Henry was educated at Wellington College, and in 1878, he enlisted with the 90th Light Infantry (Cameronians) and served as Aide-de-Camp through the Zulu Wars to Sir Evelyn Wood VC. He took part in the affairs of Zungen Nek and Inhlobane Mountain and the Battles of Kambula and Ulundi. He was twice mentioned in despatches, and received the Medal and clasp, and also the Victoria Cross (gazetted 7th April 1882).

Henry Lysons VC

On 28th March 1879, on Inhlobane Mountain, Sir Evelyn Wood VC ordered the dislodgement of certain Zulus (who were causing the troops many losses) from strong natural caves commanding the position in which some of the wounded were lying. Following a delay in the execution of the orders issued, Captain Ronald Campbell of the Coldstream Guards, followed by Lieutenant Lysons and Private Fowler, ran forward and advanced over a mass of fallen boulders and between walls of rock, which led to a cave where the enemy was hidden. The gap was so narrow, they had to move in single file, with Campbell leading. When they reached the mouth of the cave, Campbell was immediately killed. Lysons and Fowler charged into the cave and forced the occupants out of the cave. Lysons then remained at the mouth of the cave, during which Campbell’s body was carried down the slope. Evelyn Wood VC later described their actions as “the greatest deed I ever saw performed in my life.”

Following his gazetting for the VC, he was in India when it was time to present him with his medal. He received it in Cawnpore on 18th August 1882 from Colonel Craig. He then served in the Sudan Campaign of 1884-1885, with the Egyptian Army, being awarded the campaign medal with clasp and Bronze Star. He then married Vanda, daughter of C.E.Treffry. Lysons was later created Companion of Bath, and promoted to Colonel.

Lysons died suddenly on 24th July 1907, aged 49 in Mandeville Place, Marylebone, London. He was buried in St Peter’s Churchyard, Rodmarton, Gloucestershire. His medals are held by the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Regimental Museum, Hamilton, Scotland.





Thomas Stewart – Image of the Lysons VC Medal Group at the Cameronians Museum, Hamilton, Scotland.

Victoria Cross Trust – Image of the cleaned Lysons VC grave – February 2023