Joseph Jee VC

b. 09/02/1819 Hartshill, Warwickshire. d. 17/03/1899 Queniborough, Leicestershire.

Joseph Jee (1819-1899) was born on 9th February 1819, the son of Christopher Preston Jee, of Hartshill, near Atherstone, Warwickshire. Joseph was educated at the Universities of London and Edinburgh and at the Ecole de Medecine in Paris, becoming a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1841. He entered the Army as Assistant Surgeon in the 15th Hussars in 1842, and was promoted to Surgeon into the 78th Regiment of Foot (later Seaforth Highlanders) in 1854. He served with that Regiment in the Persian Campaign of 1857, being present at the Battle of Koosh-ab and at the bombardment of Mohammen.

Joseph Jee VC

He was then part of the Regiment’s efforts during the Indian Mutiny, and on 25th September 1857, he was part of Major-General Havelock’s relieving force into Lucknow. During the action, the 78th Highlanders had taken possession of the Char Bagh Bridge, and captured two 9-pounders through a bayonet charge. Surgeon Jee attended to the large number of wounded, whom he succeeded in getting removed on cots and on the backs of comrades until he had collected the Dooly bearers who had fled. Subsequently, on the same day, they endeavoured to reach the Residency with the wounded men, when Jee found himself besieged by a large enemy force in the Mote-Mehal, where he remained for the whole night and following morning repeatedly exposing himself to heavy fire in proceeding to dress the wounded men who fell while serving the 24-pounder gun. He managed to get many of the wounded through a cross fire safely into the Residency, by the river bank, although repeatedly warned it was too perilous a task.

His Victoria Cross was gazetted on 9th November 1860, the very day that he received his medal from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle. He returned to the Royal Dragoons in 1864 and became Deputy Inspector of Army Hospitals in 1868. He retired the same year as Deputy Surgeon General. He married Norah Carola Riley, the daughter of a barrister in law, in 1880 and they inherited Queensborough Hall in Leicestershire. Jee died at Queensborough on 17th March 1899, aged 80. He was buried in Ratcliffe College, Ratcliffe, Leicestershire. His medals are held by the Museum of Military Medicine, Keogh Barracks, Mytchett, Surrey.





Thomas Stewart – Images of the Jee VC Medal Group at the RAMC Museum, Keogh Barracks, and of a replica group at the Queen’s Own Highlanders Museum, Fort George, Scotland.

Keith Lumley of the VC Trust – Image of the cleaned Jee VC grave in February 2024.