Robert James Loyd-Lindsay VC KCB

b. 16/04/1832 Berkeley Square, London. d. 10/06/1901 Lockinge, Wantage, Oxfordshire.

Robert James Lindsay (later Loyd-Lindsay) (1832-1901) was born in Berkeley Square, London on 16th April 1832, the son of Lieutenant-General James Lindsay, who hailed from Balcarras, Fife, Scotland, and his wife, Anne, the eldest daughter of Sir Coutts Trotter, Baronet.

Robert J Loyd-Lindsay VC KCB

Robert was educated at Eton, and entered the Scots Fusiliers Guards as an Ensign on 13th December 1850, and was promoted to Captain on 6th November 1854, shortly after his actions in the Crimea. At the Battle of Alma on 20th September 1854, when the form of the line of the Regiment was disordered, Captain Lindsay, Adjutant Drummond and a group of other officers stood firm with the Colours and, having rallied a party of non-commissioned officers and men around them they held their ground against overwhelming odds until the enemy retired on seeing the battalion coming up the hill. A few weeks later, on 5th November 1854, he showed further gallantry at the Battle of Inkerman when, at a very critical moment, he led a charge against superior numbers of Russians, caused them to retreat.

Lindsay then became Aide-de-Camp to General Simpson, but chose to give up the appointment on 14th August 1855. This allowed him to become Adjutant in the 1st Battalion of the Scots Guards. He held the Adjutancy until 1858. His award of the Victoria Cross for the two actions at Alma and Inkerman was announced in the London Gazette on 24th February 1857 and received his medal at the first investiture on 26th June 1857 at Hyde Park, London. He also received the Legion of Honour for his Crimean service. He had now been promoted to Major and would then become Equerry to the Prince of Wales in 1858.

In 1858 Lindsay married the Honourable Harriet Sarah Loyd, only daughter and heiress of Lord Overstone, the head of banking firm of Jones, Loyd & Company. As a wedding present, Lord Overstone gifted the couple the Lockinge estate in Wantage. Loyd Lindsay was, in many ways, an archetypal Victorian ‘improving landlord’ with an unshakable belief in material progress. He was determined that the Lockinge estate (then in Berkshire) would be developed as a ‘model’ estate employing the most advanced methods of cultivation and management, and in this context he had a particular interest in the provision of improved transport facilities.

Just before the marriage, he assumed the name of Loyd in conjunction with his own. He retired from the Army in September 1859 and became the first Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales’ (Royal Berkshire) Regiment in 1860.

At the General Election of 1865, he was elected one of three MPs for Berkshire, and he held the seat until he was given a peerage in 1885. He was Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant Honourable Artillery Company from 1866 to 1881. He was created a KCB in May 1881, and was raised to the peerage with the title of Baron Wantage of Lockinge. In 1888, he was appointed to the command of the Home Counties Brigade with its HQ at Reading. He was one of the earliest members of the National Rifle Association formed in 1860, was its president in 1887, and became Chairman in 1891. In 1886, he became Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.

In 1870, he had also become a founder member of the National Society for Aid to the Sick & Wounded (later the British Red Cross Society). A committed freemason, he became Provincial Grand Master of Berkshire from 1898-1901. After a long life, he attended the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901, but became ill soon afterwards. He passed away at Lockinge House on 10th June 1901 and was buried three days later in the vault of Ardington Church, Oxfordshire.