b. 01/09/1821 Dublin, Ireland. d. 24/10/1868 Morar, India.
Peter Gill (1831-1868) was born in September 1831 in Dublin, Ireland. Little is known about his life prior to service in the Army. He did enlist with the Ludhiana Regiment and rose to the rank of Sergeant Major before the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, where he became heavily involved in the fighting against the rebels.
Gill came to prominence with the events at Benares, India on 4th June 1857. He had volunteered alongside Sergeant Major Rosamund, of the 37th Regiment of the Bengal Native Infantry, to rescue Captain Brown. Brown was the Pension Paymaster and he, and his family, were trapped in a detached bungalow. Gill and Rosamund managed to fight their way to the bungalow and rescue the Paymaster and his family. Gill also saved the life of the Quartermaster-Sergeant of the 25th Regiment of the Bengal Native Infantry, who was being attacked by a Sepoy. The Sepoy had bayoneted him, before Gill arrived and cut off the head of the attacker. On the same night, Gill is also stated to have saved the life twice of Major Barrett, 27th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry, when he was being attacked by groups of Sepoys.
Gill was awarded the Victoria Cross as was Rosamund on 24th August 1858, and he was presented with his medal sometime in 1859, though the location of the investiture and who presented the medal is unknown. Gill remained in India following the Mutiny, and was involved in several colonial conflicts. Gill was killed in action on 24th October 1868 at Moror, near Gwalior. He was buried in an unmarked grave at the Artillery Lines Cemetery, Gwalior. His medal was held in private ownership for a number of years, when it came up for sale at auction on 22nd November 2012. It was sold at Spinks for a hammer price of £70,000. It was purchased by an unknown buyer but was later purchased by Lord Ashcroft.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM
BURIAL PLACE: ARTILLERY LINES CEMETERY, GWALIOR, INDIA. (UNMARKED)
Lord Ashcroft Collection Website – Images of the Gill VC Medal.