Thomas Egerton Hale VC

b. 24/09/1832 Nantwich, Cheshire. d. 25/12/1909 Nantwich, Cheshire.

Thomas Egerton Hale (1832-1909) was born on September 24th 1832, at Cooks Pit Farm, Faddiley, near Nantwich, the son of George P Hale and his wife, Sarah, who came from Hatherton near Nantwich. He was educated at St Andrews University and at the Royal College of Surgeons. He joined the army on December 14th 1854 and was appointed assistant-surgeon with the 1st Battalion, 7th Royal Fusiliers, with whom he received orders for active service in the Crimea. On his arrival he was posted to the front line trenches before Sebastopol.

Thomas E Hale VC

During the attack on the 5th Parallel, at the Great Redan, Sebastopol, on September 8th 1855, Surgeon Hale remained with Captain H M Jones, who was dangerously wounded, when everyone except Lieutenant William Hope retreated, and for endeavouring to rally the men with Lieutenant Hope. Again, on the same day, after the regiment had retired to the trenches, he cleared the most advanced sap of the wounded and then carried into the sap, under heavy fire, several wounded men from the open ground, being assisted by Sergeant Charles Fisher. His award of Victoria Cross was announced in the London Gazette on May 5th 1857. Hale received his medal just over a month later, as part of the first investiture in Hyde Park on 26th June 1857, where he was one of the 62 men decorated with the VC.

He was again on active service during the Indian Mutiny, being in medical charge of a field force under Colonel Blunt, detached from Lahore to the Trans-Indus Frontier during the hot season of 1857. It was an extremely difficult campaign as the troops embarked on long forced marches under the constant threat of rebel attack and the ravages of disease, after which they assaulted large heavily-manned masonry fortresses.

Hundreds of men had to be treated for the effects of sunstroke. But they overcame these hardships and most of the rebel leaders were captured and dealt with. Surgeon Hale remained in India, becoming medical officer in charge at Chirat in 1860, and he was medical officer in charge of the 2nd Punjab Infantry and European detachments on the Punjab Frontier, 1864-66, serving with distinction in the Peshawar Hills.

He married his wife, Emily, whom he had met while serving at Gibraltar. He became surgeon lieutenant-colonel, and retired in 1876. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Horticultural Society, and he was awarded a CB in 1906.

He lived in the family home of Faddiley Lodge, Acton, near Nantwich, where he died on Christmas Day 1909, aged 77. He was buried in St Marys Churchyard at Acton. His wife died on April 7th 1921, and his name appears on her memorial stone at Bath Cemetery. His medals are with the Army Medical Services Museum at Aldershot.





Thomas Stewart – Image of the Hale VC Medal Group at the RAMC Museum, Keogh Barracks.