Buried at Wardsend, George Lambert was a highly decorated soldier who rose to the rank of lieutenant and received a Victoria Cross. He spent much of service as a soldier in India. Lambert was awarded his V.C. for service during ‘The Indian Campaign,’ as noted on a memorial to him in Mullaghbrack Church, County Armagh, where he grew up. You can read more about ‘The Indian Mutiny’ HERE. 6 members of Lambert’s regiment were awarded V.C.s during this campaign; only 1,356 of these have ever been awarded as of June 2010.
Photo Courtesy of Howard Bayley
Two years after having returned from active service, Lieutenant George Lambert V.C. died on the 10th of Febraury, 1860, after he collapsed on the parade ground at Hillsborough Barracks. Lambert’s funeral was conducted with military honours, and was reported in the local papers (below)
“The funeral of Lieutenant and Adjutant Lambert, of the 84th Regiment, took place on Thursday, at the St. Philip’s burial ground. The ceremony was conducted with military honours, the band of the regiment marching at the head of the procession, and playing the “Dead March” in Saul. Most of the deceased’s brother officers were present, and his charger was led after the body, bearing his master’s boots reversed. The usual volleys were fired over his grave at the conclusion of the service, and the procession then returned to the Barracks. Lieutenant Lambert was greatly respected by all who knew him, and his sudden decease is greatly lamented. His death was caused by the breaking of a blood vessel on Friday week, whilst on the parade ground of the Barracks. He had been somewhat unwell for several weeks, but not so seriously as to cause any apprehension, or to prevent him from fulfilling a part of his duties. He had risen from the ranks, having been in the service about 18 years, and had earned his honours in India”
The location of Lambert’s grave fell out of popular memory for many years, but was rediscovered March 15th 1993 by D. Scott and F. Westwood. There have been attempts in recent years to repatriate Lambert to County Amargh, where he was born.
Above: Death Certificate
Lambert led a very full life, and we have prepared a timeline below to show this:
December 16th 1819: Born at Markethill, County Armagh
June 6th 1840: Joined the Military
August 8th 1842: Began his station in East India
July 29th 1857: Fought at Oonao, received the Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry
August 5th 1857: Fought at Busseerutgunge
August 12th 1857: Fought at Boorbeakee Chowkee
August 16th 1857: Fought at Bithur, where local rebelling troops were driven from their strong position. Promoted to Sergeant Major of the 84th Regiment of Foot, which later became the York and Lancaster
September 21st 1857: Fought at Mungawar
September 23rd 1857: Fought at Alumbagh
September 25th 1857: Severely wounded in the head at the Relief and subsequent seige of Lucknow. Whilst serving with the Azimghur Field Force, George Lambert participated in the suppression of the Shahabad District Rebellion. Here he received a medal and two clasps
18th June 1858: Lambert’s VC Gazetted in London, described at the time:
“For distinguished bravery in three of Havelock’s battles, namely at Oonao on 29th July, at Bithoor on 16th August, when the rebels were driven at the point of bayonet out of a strong position, and at the passage through Lucknow to the Residency on 25th September.”
December 17th 1858: Promoted to lieutenant
February 10th 1860: Died on the Parade Ground at Hillsborough Barracks, after suffering an aortic aneurysm that flooded his right lung.
- York and Lancaster Museum Archives, Clifton Park Museum, Rotherham
- The Tiger & Rose
- The York and Lancaster Regiment 1758-1919, Vol. 1 by Colonel H.C. Wylly, C.B.
- The York and Lancaster Regiment (65th and 84th Foot) Victoria Cross Recipient
- Statement of the Services of George Lambert (military record)
- The Star
- Sheffield and Rotherham Independent
- The Ulster Gazette
- Letter, posted 27th May 1910
Profile Researched by Katy Walton and Friends of Wardsend Cemetery
Profile Written by Tom Gidlow