Thomas Cadell VC

b. 05/09/1835 Cockenzie, Scotland. d. 06/04/1919 Edinburgh, Scotland.

Thomas Cadell (1835-1919) was born on 5th September 1835 at Cockenzie House, East Lothian, Scotland, the son of Hew Francis Cadell, and Janet, daughter of Francis Buchan Sydserff, of Ruchlaw, East Lothian. His brothers were the General Sir Robert Cadell of the Royal Artillery, and Captain Francis Cadell, an explorer, who navigated the sources of the Murray River, Australia. His cousin was Samuel Hill Lawrence VC. Thomas was educated at Edinburgh Academy, the Grange, Sunderland and overseas. He received his commission on 17th April 1854, and was gazetted to the 2nd European Bengal Fusiliers (later Royal Munster Fusiliers), and promoted to Lieutenant on 23rd November 1856.

Thomas Cadell VC

Cadell was posted to India with his Regiment at the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny in 1857, and would greatly distinguish himself during the Siege of Delhi. He was awarded the Victoria Cross (London Gazette, 29th April 1862) for his actions on the 12th June 1857. He was stationed at the flag-staff picquet at Delhi, when the picquet came under heavy assault from the enemy. Both the 75th Regiment of Foot and 2nd European Bengal Fusiliers were pushed back, and during the fighting, Cadell rescued a wounded bugler of his own regiment from the middle of the enemy, under heavy fire. Later that day, when the Fusiliers were retiring, a wounded man was reported to have been left behind so Cadell went back on his own towards the enemy, accompanied by three men, and brought in the man from the 75th Regiment, who was severely wounded.

Following the conclusion of the Mutiny, Cadell served throughout the Oudh Campaign (1858-1859) with the 4th Irregular Cavalry, and commanded a Flying Column in Bundlekhund against the Bheels (1859-60), being mentioned in despatches, and receiving the thanks of the Government for his services. Cadell received his Victoria Cross from Brigadier General James Travers VC in Bhopal, India on 29th December 1862.

Cadell was promoted to Captain on 17th April 1866, and the following year, he married Anna Catherine, daughter of Patrick Dalmahoy, of Bourhouse, East Lothian, and they had two sons and two daughters. Both of their sons went into service, Hew Francis became a Major in the Lothians and Border Horse, and Patrick Robert was Chief Secretary to the Government, in Bombay, India. Cadell was promoted again to Major in April 1874. He entered the Political Department, and held various political appointments in Central India and Rajputana. From 1879 to 1892, when he retired, he held the appointment of Chief Commissioner of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Colonel Cadell was created a Companion of Bath in 1907 for his services.

Cadell died on 6th April 1919 aged 83 in Edinbugh, Scotland. He was buried in Tranent Parish Churchyard, Dovecot Brae, Edinburgh in the family vault. Cadell’s medals are not publicly held.





Thomas Stewart – Cockenzie Church Memorial.