b. 08/11/1832 Autranches, France. d. 15/04/1886 Bristol.
John Charles Campbell Daunt (1832-1886) was born at Autranches, Normandy, on 8th November 1832 and was first commissioned on the 20th July 1852 as Ensign in the 70th Bengal Native Infantry, and promoted Lieutenant on 20th July 1857. During 1857 he served as Baggage-Master to the 27th Madras Native Infantry, and during 1857 - 1858 as Interpreter to the column commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel English, 53rd Foot.
John Daunt was present at the attack and defeat of the Ramghur Light Infantry Battalion at Chuttra, Chota Nagpore, on 2nd October 1857, on which occasion his conduct was brought to the especial notice of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief. On that occasion, Lieutenant Daunt, supported by Sergeant Denis Dynon, charged the mutineer’s two guns which were causing casualties with grapeshot. Both men managed to pistol the gunners and captured the guns. On 2nd November 1857, he chased the mutineers of the 32nd Bengal Native Infantry across a plain into a rich cultivation into which he followed them with a group of Rattray’s Sikhs. He was dangerously wounded in the attempt to drive out a large body of these mutineers from an enclosure.
Daunt was again singled out for his conduct, but it would be nearly five years before his VC would be announced in the London Gazette on 25th February 1862. In the meantime, Lieutenant Daunt rejoined the 70th Native Infantry on 1st April 1858 in Canton, China, where he was present at the affair with the Braves at the White Cloud Mountains, at the repulse of the Chinese at the Landing Pier and at the Magazine Hill. He entered civil employ in April 1862 and became a District Superintendent in the Bengal Police Department. He received the brevet of Captain in July 1864, was confirmed in that rank in September 1866, and thereafter received promotion to Major in July 1872, to Lieutenant-Colonel in July 1878, and to Brevet Colonel in July 1882.
Colonel John Daunt died in Bristol on the 15th April 1886, aged 54, and was buried in the Redland Green Chapel Graveyard. The chapel was built in 1743 by a wealthy London grocer as a private place of worship after he had purchased the Redland Estate. In 1943 the new parish of Redland was formed and the chapel became the Redland Parish Church. The graveyard is now closed to burials but all headstones are accessible. His medals were sold at auction at Dix Noonan Webb on 2nd July 2003, and were purchased by the Michael Ashcroft Trust for a hammer price of £110,000, and are now part of the Ashcroft Collection in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM.
BURIAL PLACE: REDLAND GREEN PARISH CHURCHYARD, BRISTOL, AVON.
John Daunt's medals including VC on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London (August 2014).