b. 14/04/1815 Chatham, Kent. d. 04/01/1899 108, Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, London.
Sir James Mouat (1815-1899) was born in Chatham, Kent on 14th April 1815, the eldest son of James Mouat, who was a Surgeon in the King’s Hussars, 13th Infantry and 15th Dragoons, who died on a voyage home from India in 1848 when James junior was 33. James had a younger brother called Frederic John.
James followed his father into the medical profession and was educated at University College Hospital, London and in Paris. He would later become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1852. James entered the Medical Department of the Army in 1838, was promoted to Surgeon in 1848, Surgeon Major in 1855, Deputy Surgeon General in 1858, Surgeon General in 1864, and would retire from the Army on half pay in 1876.
He served throughout the regimental medical system in the 44th, 4th, and 9th Regiments of Foot, in the 6th Dragoon Guards from 15th August 1854, and on the Medical Staff throughout the Crimean War. Before the Siege of Sebastopol he was in charge of the General Field Hospital and was present at the Battles of Balaklava, Inkerman, and Tchernaya, and the night attack on the Russian outposts on 19th February 1855.
He was the first medical man and of the FRCS to be awarded the Victoria Cross. At the Battle of Balaklava on 25th October 1854, and after the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade, and the Light Cavalry having retreated, Mouat volunteered and went out to the assistance of Lieutenant Colonel Morris, 17th Lancers, lying dangerously wounded in an exposed position, in front of the Russians. Mouat dressed his wounds and, by arresting a haemorrhage, saved his life. For his services, besides the VC, he was awarded the Crimean Medal with three clasps, the Turkish Medal, was appointed Companion of Bath and a Knight of the Legion of Honour. From January 1856, he held the position of Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals, and was promoted to that rank at home in October 1858.
His VC was announced in the London Gazette on 2nd June 1858. Mouat went on to serve in the New Zealand Campaign of 1860-1865; under General Pratt in 1860-61, and was twice mentioned in despatches. As principal Medical Officer he was present in the field throughout 1863-65 under Sir D Cameron, was mentioned in despatches, and received the thanks of the New Zealand Government for his service.
He received a good service pension in 1868, was appointed Honorary Surgeon to Queen Victoria in 1888, and promoted to Knight Commander of Bath in 1894. He died at his home, 108 Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, London on 4th January 1899 and was laid to rest at Kensal Green Cemetery. His medals were bequeathed to the United Service Institution, Whitehall. They are now displayed at the Army Medical Services Museum, Mytchett, Surrey.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: MUSEUM OF MILITARY MEDICINE, KEOGH BARRACKS, ALDERSHOT.
BURIAL PLACE: KENSAL GREEN CEMETERY, LONDON.
SQUARE 154/PS PLOT 28837
Kevin Brazier – Cemetery Map.
Thomas Stewart – Image of the Mouat VC Medal Group at the RAMC Museum, Keogh Barracks.