Hugh Shaw VC CB

b. 04/02/1839 Madras, India. d. 25/08/1904 Southsea, Hampshire.

Hugh Shaw (1839-1904) was born on 4th February 1839 in Madras, India, the son of James Shaw, Inspector General of Hospitals, and Ann (nee Hay). He was educated at Sandhurst, and joined the 18th Regiment of Foot (later Royal Irish Regiment) as an Ensign on 10th May 1855. He served in the Crimea following the fall of Sebastopol from December 1855 onwards, until the conclusion of the war.

Hugh Shaw VC CB

He then went on to serve as a Lieutenant in the Indian Mutiny, and in 1859, he became the Adjutant of his regiment, a position he held until 1864, when he obtained his own company. In 1864, he was posted to the War in New Zealand, where he would be mentioned in despatches, receive the campaign medal and be awarded the VC for his action at Nukuman.

On 24th January 1865, Captain Shaw went out, with four privates of his regiment who had volunteered to join him, under heavy fire. They moved forward to within thirty yards of the enemy positions in the bush, in order to retrieve a wounded man. They succeeded in taking the man to safety. Shaw was gazetted for the VC on 28th November 1865, and he was presented with his medal in New Zealand sometime in 1866.

Hugh married Emily Grace Sheffield (youngest daughter of William Sheffield, HEICS and Madras Civil Service) at Holy Trinity Church, Bedford on 21st June 1870. They had three daughters – Nina Jane b.1871, Dolores Evangeline and Mabel Annie b.1877. He was Adjutant of North Tipperary Militia from Jun 1873 to Feb 1878 during which time he was promoted to Major (1st October 1877). On 22nd May 1878 he is recorded as having joined the Royal Irish Regiment and then went on to the Afghanistan Campaign with the Kyber Line Field Force. In September 1881 he attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and subsequently served in the Sudan Expedition to the Nile, Sarras and Korti. He was made Colonel in September 1885 and was in command of a battalion by May 1887.

He retired from the active list as a Major-General later that year, and moved to the south coast. He lived in retirement at “St Lanner”, 5 Victoria Grove, Southsea. He died on 25th August 1904 aged 65, and was buried in Highland Road Cemetery, Portsmouth. His medals are held by the National Army Museum, Chelsea.






Thomas Stewart – Image of the Shaw VC Grave in Highland Road Cemetery, Portsmouth.

Kevin Brazier – Cemetery Map.

Thomas Stewart – medal group at the National Army Museum.