William George Cubitt VC

b. 19/10/1835 Calcutta, India. d. 25/01/1903 Eastfield, Yorkshire

William George Cubitt (1835-1903) was born on 19th October 1835 in Calcutta, India, the son of Major William Cubitt, of the Honourable East India Company’s Service, and Harriet Harcourt. He was educated privately, and entered the 13th Bengal Native Infantry (now the 16th Lucknow Regiment) in 1853. He served in the Santhal Campaign, after which he served throughout the Indian Mutiny.

William G Cubitt VC

He took part in the defence of the Residency, was wounded, mentioned in despatches, and received the Indian Mutiny medal with clasp, and would be awarded the VC for his actions at Chinhut on the 30th June 1857. During the retreat from Chinhut, he saved the lives of three men at the risk of his own. The men were from the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.

His medal was gazetted on 21st June 1859, and he was presented with it by Queen Victoria on the 4th January 1860 at Windsor Castle. He was promoted to Captain in 1865 and served in the Duffla Expedition of 1874, and was mentioned in despatches. In 1879, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel during his service in the Afghan War of 1878-1880, but was invalided from Ali Musjid in the hot weather of 1880, and nearly succumbed to a serious illness, the result of blood poisoning, while quartered at Ali Musjid.

He was promoted to Colonel in 1883 and served in the Akka Expedition of 1885. He later served in the Burma War of 1887, and for his services in this conflict he was awarded the DSO. Colonel Cubitt had married in Fort William, Calcutta, Miss Charlotte Isabella Hills, daughter of James Hills of Neechindapur, Bengal, whose second son was later General Sir James Hills-Johnes VC, GCB. They had five children : William Martin, James Edward, Ethel Mary, Helen Anne and Lewis Hills Cubitt. Cubitt retired from the Army in 1891 and retired to Camberley in Surrey. He was also the uncle of Lewis Pugh Evans VC.

Cubitt died on 25th January 1903 in Eastfield, Yorkshire and his body was returned to Surrey. He was buried in St Peter’s Churchyard, Frimley.





Victoria Cross Trust – Images of William Cubitt’s cleaned grave. (August 2021)

Thomas Stewart – Image of Cubitt VC’s medal group at the Imperial War Museum, London.