EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT THE VICTORIA CROSS AND CAMPAIGN MEDAL AWARDED TO CAPTAIN ROBERT SHEBBEARE, CORPS OF GUIDES ( INFANTRY ), HAD BEEN MISLAID BY THE ROYAL MILITARY ACADEMY, SANDHURST.
30 May 2016

Medal entitlement of Captain Robert Shebbeare,
Corps of Guides ( Infantry ) ( ex - 60th Bengal Native Infantry )

  • Victoria Cross
  • Indian Mutiny Medal ( 1857 - 1858 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Delhi"


In 1949 the Robert Shebbeare Victoria Cross was loaned to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and remained there until the time approached for the Centenary of the award of the Victoria Cross in June 1956. When the Shebbeare family asked the Royal Military Academy to return the Victoria Cross it could not be found; various excuses were offered that it had been lost or even stolen, but no satisfactory answer has ever been revealed.

In 1959 the Shebbeare family were successful in applying for an 'official' replacement Victoria Cross and this was prepared by Hancocks and sent to the family in its fitted case.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 21 October 1859 ], Siege of Delhi, Indian Mutiny, 14 September 1857, Lieutenant Robert Haydon Shebbeare, Corps of Guides ( Infantry ) ( ex - 60th Bengal Native Infantry )

For distinguished gallantry at the head of the Guides with the 4th column of assault at Delhi, on the 14th of September 1857, when, after twice charging beneath the wall of the loopholed Serai, it was found impossible, owing to the murderous fire, to attain the breach.

Captain ( then Lieutenant ) Shebbeare endeavoured to re-organize the men, but one-third of the Europeans having fallen, his efforts to do so failed. He then conducted the rearguard of the retreat across the canal most successfully.

He was almost miraculously preserved through the affair, but yet left the field with one bullet through his cheek, and a bad scalp wound along the back of the head from another.

Because Robert Shebbeare had not been invested with his Victoria Cross personally it was posted to his relatives in England.


Following his service in India Robert Shebbeare raised a new regiment of Mazhabi Sikhs, the 15th Punjab Pioneers, which volunteered to serve in China and took part in the advance on Pekin in 1860. Following the end of the conflict Shebbeare decided to sail back to England from China on the SS 'Emau' but unfortunately he died on board ship on the 16 September 1860 and was buried at sea, south of Shanghai.

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Iain Stewart, 30 May 2016