b. 26/03/1826 London. d. 06/08/1906 London.
William Martin Café (1826-1906) was born in London on 26th March 1826, and entered Addiscombe Seminary as a young boy, and was commissioned into the 56th Bengal Native Infantry in 1842. He took part in the Gwalior Campaign of 1843 and the 2nd Sikh War. When the 56th Bengal Natives mutinied, he was appointed Captain in command of the 4th Punjab Infantry.
During the assault on Fort Ruhya on 15th April 1858, casualties began to mount in the ditch in front of the fort. Lieutenant Willoughby, for example, of the 4th was mortally wounded in the ditch. Along with Privates Thompson, Crowie, Spence and Cook, William Café managed to bring away the body. During the rescue, Spence was hit and Café managed to carry him to safety too.
Café was recommended for the VC and it was published on 17th February 1860. He received his medal probably through the post later that year. He was appointed to the Adjutant General’s Department and spent the rest of this career on the Staff, retiring in 1894. He returned to London, where he died on 6th August 1906 at his home, 16 Weatherby Place, South Kensington. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery, and his medals are held by the National Army Museum, Chelsea.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM, CHELSEA, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: BROMPTON CEMETERY, LONDON.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
COMPARTMENT 5 EAST