Patrick Roddy VC

b. 17/03/1827 Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland. d. 21/11/1895 Jersey, Channel Islands.

Patrick Roddy (1827-1895) was born on 17th March 1827 at Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland and was forced by the failure of the Irish potato crop to seek help in Liverpool. Here he enlisted with the Royal Artillery but soon transferred to the Bengal Artillery, where he could earn twice as much money and the prospects of promotion seemed greater. Roddy was posted to the Indian Mutiny, where he was one of the those left with Sir James Outram tasked with holding the Alumbagh in Lucknow until Sir Colin Campbell’s force relieved them in March. Sergeant Roddy’s conduct was such that he was commissioned to ensign in February 1858. In May 1858, he was attached to the Oudh Military Police Cavalry and joined the column commanded by Major-General Sir James Hope Grant. He spent the summer months chasing the rebels in Oudh Province.

Patrick Roddy VC

On the 27th September 1858, during the return from Kuthirga of the Kupperthulla Contingent, Roddy was heavily involved in contact with the enemy, charged a rebel (armed with a percussion musket) when the cavalry were afraid to approach, as each time they attempted to do so, the rebel knelt and covered his assailant. This did not deter Roddy, who went boldly in, and when within six yards, the rebel fired, killing Roddy’s horse and before he could get disentangled from the horse, the rebel attempted to cut him down. Roddy seized the rebel until he could get at his sword, when he ran him through the body. The rebel turned out to be a subadar (captain) in the 8th Native Infantry.

Roddy received his VC from the station commander at Ferozepore, Colonel Schopp, at a special parade on 5th September 1861. He was recommended for a captaincy, which he gained in the following year. In 1868, he took part in General Napier’s Abyssinian Campaign and was mentioned in despatches and given a brevet majority. He was confirmed major in 1876 and appointed station staff officer at Roorkee.

In 1878, he served in the First Afghan War and was attached to the 20th Punjab Native Infantry, part of General Sir Samuel Browne VC’s 1st Division Peshawar Field Force. On 22nd November, the 20th Punjab Native Infantry were involved in difficult flanking operations over the precipitous heights in reverse of the Ali Musjid, which forced the Afghans to abandon their mountain-top fort. He again received a mention in despatches and was brevetted lieutenant-colonel. This was confirmed in 1886, and, on 24th February 1887, he retired as a full colonel having served in the Bengal Army for 39 years. He retired to his wife’s home on Jersey where he died on 21st November 1895. He was buried in Mount L’Abbe Cemetery, St Helier, Jersey. His medals are not publicly held.





Steve Davies – Photograph of the cleaned Roddy VC grave (completed by Steve) from April 2023.