b. 03/02/1831 Derby. d. 07/04/1901 Bournemouth, Dorset.
Henry Wilmot (1831-1901) was born on 3rd February 1831 in Derby, the second son of Sir Henry Sacheverel Wilmot, Baronet, of Chaddesden, His father was a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for Derbyshire. He had also served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. His mother was Maria, eldest daughter of Edward Miller Mundy. He was educated at Rugby School, and joined the 43rd Light Infantry in 1841. In 1851, on obtaining his company, he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade in January 1856. He took part in the latter stages of the Crimean War.
In July 1857, he sailed for India and would be awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Lucknow on 11th March 1858. Captain Wilmot’s company was engaged with a large body of the enemy near the Iron Bridge. Wilmot then found himself at the end of a street with only four men, opposed to a considerable body of the enemy. One of his four men was shot through the legs and became helpless. Two of the other men lifted him up, and although Private Hawkes was severely wounded, he carried him for a considerable distance, exposed to the fire of the enemy. Captain Wilmot using the men’s rifles, kept up a steady covering fire, allowing them to retreat.
Following the award of his VC, he served on the staff of Sir James Hope Grant as Deputy Judge Advocate General in Oudh. His last active service was when as Judge Advocate General of the Expeditionary Force, he took part in the campaign in China.
In 1862, Wilmot retired from the regular army having been appointed a Major in the Volunteer Force unit, the 1st Administrative Battalion, Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers. Appointment as Lieutenant Colonel of the Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers followed in 1863. Further recognition was made in 1868 when Wilmot was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire In 1881 he was granted the honorary rank of Colonel of the Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers, prior to resigning his commission and being appointed honorary Colonel of the Derbyshire Rifle Corps. With the expansion of the Volunteer Force Wilmot was appointed as brigade commander of the North Midland Brigade in 1888 with the substantive rank of Colonel in the Volunteer Forces an appointment he held until 1895.
Wilmot married Charlotte Pare (1838–1891) in 1862. He succeeded to the baronetcy of Wilmot of Chaddesden on the death of his father in 1872 and was made a Companion of the Bath in the Civil Division of the Order (CB) in 1881. Wilmot sat as Conservative Member of Parliament for South Derbyshire from 1869 to 1885. He was also an alderman of Derbyshire and had been chairman of the County Council. A final honour in 1898 was to be appointed a Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB). Henry Wilmot died of pneumonia on 7 April 1901 at his home in Bournemouth and was buried at St Mary’s Church, Chaddesden. His medals are held at the Royal Green Jackets Museum, Winchester.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ROYAL GREEN JACKETS MUSEUM, WINCHESTER, HAMPSHIRE.
BURIAL PLACE: ST MARYS CHURCHYARD, CHADDESDEN, DERBY, DERBYSHIRE.
Thomas Stewart – Image of the Wilmot VC Medal Group RGJ Museum, Winchester, Hampshire.