b. 04/08/1829 Fort William, Scotland. d. 23/04/1884 Southsea, Hampshire
Hugh Stewart Cochrane (1829-1884) was born in Fort William, Scotland on 4th August 1829, and was gazetted to the 86th (the Royal County Down) Regiment, later the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, as an Ensign on 13th April 1849. By the time of the Indian Mutiny, he was an Adjutant in the Regiment, a post he held throughout the conflict, under the command of Sir Hugh Rose. He was present at the storming and capture of the hill fort of Chandairee (slightly wounded); the Battle of Betwa (three horses shot from under him); siege, storming and capture of the fortress and city of Jhansi, where, under the heavy fire of the enemy, he placed the British flag on top of the palace.
It was at Jhansi on the 1st April 1858 that he would be awarded the VC. No 1 Company was ordered to take a gun, and he dashed forward at a gallop, under heavy fire, and drove the enemy from the gun. He then held the gun until the rest of the Company caught up to him.
Cochrane later served during Battle of Gowlowlee and the capture of Gwalior. He was Second in Command of Meade’s Horse, Central India, from 1858 to 1859 and commanded the Irregular Cavalry under Sir Robert Napier in the pursuit of Tantia Topi.
Cochrane later transferred to the 7th Fusiliers and promoted to Captain. Later he became Lieutenant Colonel in the 43rd Light Infantry, which he commanded in India from February 1878, until his retirement. He later served in the Umbeyla Campaign and had been promoted to Major in 1871. He was given command of the 43rd Light Infantry in India 1878-1881, and given the brevet of Colonel 7th January 1881. He was forced to retire due to ill health on 27th July 1881, and moved to the south coast of England. He died on 23rd April 1884 in Southsea, Hampshire, and was buried in Highland Road Cemetery. His medals are held by the Royal Ulster Rifles Museum, Belfast.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES MUSEUM, BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND.
BURIAL PLACE: HIGHLAND ROAD CEMETERY, PORTSMOUTH, HAMPSHIRE.
Hugh Cochrane's grave at Highland Road Cemetery, Portsmouth
(Memorials to Valour website)
Hugh Cochrane's medals including VC on display at the Royal Ulster Rifles Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland (Picture - Thomas Stewart).
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
SECTION N, ROW 2, GRAVE 3