10th September 2006

The grave of Colonel John Daunt VC in Redland Green Chapel graveyard was thought at one time to have been unmarked until the graveyard was cleared of foliage, bushes and shrubs and his grave was discovered. The grave and headstone was found to be severely damaged leaving only the main upright stone bearing Daunt's name recognisable.

However, this was no barrier to local Bristol man Stephen Jackson who set out to raise the necessary funds to take the broken grave stones and to re-use them to construct the headstone to its original state. The project was brought to a successful conclusion on the 10th September 2006 when a ceremony was held in the graveyard to unveil the new stone.

In attendance was Stephen Jackson, Project Founder and Benefactor, Tom Johnson BEM, Project Liaison & Co-ordinator, Didy Grahame representating the VC & GC Association, standard bearers attending were the Bristol Branch of the Royal British Legion, and the Bristol Burma Star Association. Also attending was Mr Edward Daunt & Mrs Daunt of Colchester, great-great-grandson of John Daunt VC.

Daunt's grave:
before and after

John Charles Campbell Daunt 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. 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 on the 2nd October 1857, at the attack and defeat of the Ramghur Light Infantry Battalion at Chuttra, Chota Nagpore, on which occasion his conduct was brought to the especial notice of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief.

For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 25 February 1862 ], 2nd October & 2nd November 1857, Indian Mutiny, Lieutenant John Daunt, 11th ( late 70th ) Bengal Native Infantry.

For conspicuous gallantry in action on 2nd October 1857, against the mutineers of the Ramgurh Battalion at Chota Behar, in capturing two guns, particularly the last when he, in conjunction with Sergeant Denis Dynon of the 53rd Foot, rushed at and captured it by pistolling the gunners who were mowing the detachment down with grape shot, one third of which was hors de comabt at the time.

On 2nd November 1857, for chasing the mutineers of the 32nd Bengal Native Infantry across a plain into a rich cultivation into which he followed them with a few of Rattray's Sikhs. He was dangerously wounded in the attempt to drive out a large body of these mutineers from an enclosure, the preservation of many of his party on the occasion being attributed to his gallantry.

Daunt's conduct was again brought to the notice of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief for submission to Her Majesty, for the decoration of the Victoria Cross.

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 Magazine Hill. He entered civil employ in April 1862 and became a District Superintendent in the Bengal Police Department. He was made Captain 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.

Medal entitlement of Colonel John Daunt,
11th Bengal Native Infantry

  • Victoria Cross
  • Indian Mutiny Medal ( 1857-58 )
  • Second China War Medal ( 1857-60 )


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Iain Stewart, 19 September 2006