Lieutenant George Lambert (1819 - 1860)

 

Name George, LAMBERT
Rank Lieutenant
Force 84th Regiment (later The York & Lancaster Regiment)
VC  Indian Mutiny,- 29 July at Onao - 16 August at Bithoor - 25 September at Lucknow Residency 1857
London Gazette 18 June 1858
Born Market Hill, Co Armagh, 16 December 1819 - see note 2
Died 10 February 1860, Hillsborough Barracks, Sheffield
Grave Wardsend Cemetery, Sheffield
Location of VC York & Lancaster Regiment Museum, Rotherham
Notes DCM

A native of Northern Ireland. his award is as follows

Digest of Citation reads: Sergeant Major Lambert (Indian Mutiny)
For Distinguished bravery whilst serving, in three Battles, with Havelock's Column at Oonao, Bithoor and at the assault and capture of Lucknow, India.
(i) On the 29th July, 1857 at Oonao, India, Sergeant-Major Lambert acted with Distinguished bravery.
(ii) At Bithoor when the rebels were driven from a strong position, using bayonets on 16th August 1857.
(iii) On the 25th of September 1857 at the passage through Lucknow, India, after its capture, to the Residency.
* York and Lancaster Regiment

From Victoria Cross Awards 1856 - 1920

Additional information:

George Lambert was promoted to Lieutenant on 17th December, 1858. He was the Adjutant of the 84th Regiment from 12th December 1857-17th September, 1858.

According to the website of the Friends of Wardsend Cemetery, George died whilst on the parade ground at *Hillsborough Barracks from the breaking of a blood vessel. But his death certificate gives the cause of death as being an aortic aneurysm that ruptured and flooded his right lung with blood. It would have been a traumatic event for all concerned. George's grave is in the Cemetery at Wardsend. His funeral took place eight days after his death on 18th February 1860. The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent attended the funeral and noted "The ceremony was conducted with military honours, the band of the regiment marching at the head of the procession and playing the Dead March ... his charger was led after the body bearing his masters boots reversed. The usual volleys were fired over the grave at the conclusion of the service and the procession then returned to the barracks"

The 84th (York and Lancaster) Foot arrived at Hillsborough Barracks from India on the 2nd of September 1859. Their new Colours were presented to the Regiment on the 3rd of May 1860 by Lady Wharncliffe. The 84th Regiment left Hillsborough Barracks on the 9th of August 1878 under the command of Colonel Hardy.
 

Photograph of George's grave in Wardsend Cemetery - supplied by Iain Stewart at the excellent
http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/vcross.htm

Like many other graveyards in Sheffield, Wardsend Cemetery is in a terrible state of repair and neglect. I feel sure that George's memorial deserves a better fate. If anyone wants to pay their respects to George, the grave reference is A426 - suitable footwear is required! 

As a postscript The Sheffield Star published the following article in its edition dated 28th June 2010 under the title

Shame of 'forgotten' city war hero's grave

By Ben James - News Reporter


THE grave of a war hero who was awarded the Victoria Cross has been abandoned in a state of disrepair and surrounded by drug addicts' heroin needles in a Sheffield cemetery.
The plot where the body of Lieutenant George Lambert lies is one of hundreds forgotten and overgrown at Wardsend Cemetery in Owlerton.

Dave Ogle, from High Green, Sheffield, went to pay his respects at the grave after researching Victoria Cross recipients on the internet. He said: "I couldn't believe it when I got there - it was overgrown, there were headstones knocked over, and there were heroin needles surrounding it."

Lieutenant Lambert was born in 1819 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, but was based at Hillsborough Barracks. He fought all over the world and was awarded the Victoria Cross for acts of bravery during the Indian Mutiny in 1857. He survived the fierce fighting to make it back to Sheffield were he died on the parade ground at his barracks in 1860. The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration that can be awarded for bravery. Only 1,356 have been handed out since the award was introduced in 1856.

Mr Ogle said: "I think it's disgusting that we forget our fallen heroes like this. This man was awarded the Victoria Cross, which not many people receive, and his grave is left like this. "It's in a terrible state and whoever is in charge of the cemetery should be ashamed."

The cemetery, which is behind the Bassett's factory in Owlerton, was last used for burials in the 1970s, and its chapel which was deemed unsafe was demolished. It was until this year managed by a charitable trust, but was taken over by Sheffield Council just 10 weeks ago.

Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, Cabinet member for Communities, said: "It's very sad that this historic cemetery has fallen into a state of disrepair.
"Now that we have taken over maintenance of the site, we're determined to both clean it up and stop people using it as a dumping ground.

"It's not going to be an easy job as some of the memorials will need a lot of attention, but we're going to work hard to make the area safe for the public to visit, and preserve the cemetery in a respectable condition."

A volunteers group called The Friends of Wardsend Cemetery exists to try to oversee the restoration of the Victorian cemetery.

Its secretary, George Proctor, said: "We are only a small group and do what we can, but we need the help of those in charge to help restore the cemetery.

"We have a lot of problems with security with people riding their off-road bikes around and people firing air rifles - often at rabbits that can be found in the area.

"It's a beautiful cemetery, with lots of local history, but it needs a lot of care and attention to make it accessible to those who want to use it."

As the article says it is a shameful state of affairs and one that reflects very badly on both the owners of the Cemetery in particular, and the city Sheffield in general.

Note

1. * A local website states that "Hillsborough Barracks was completed in 1854, having begun in 1848. Costing 124,000 and covering an area of 22 acres, it was the largest war depot in the country. Built mainly of solid stone blocks, with walls reaching four feet thick in places, it was essentially a fortified town. Within the walls were a fully equipped hospital, general stores, farriers shop, joiners shop, smithies, gymnasium, side-makers shop, tailors shop, saddler, tables, baths, a ball court, a rifle range, a great riding school, and many other buildings..." 

2. Medal entitlement of: Lieutenant George LAMBERT
84th Regiment ( York & Lancaster Regiment )

* Victoria Cross
* Indian Mutiny Medal ( 1857-58 )
o 2 clasps:
o "Defence of Lucknow" - "Lucknow"

The 84th Foot had six Victoria Crosses awarded to men serving in its ranks all won during the Indian Mutiny :

Abraham Boulger
Joel Holmes
George Lambert
John Sinnott
Augustus Anson
Patrick Mylott.

3. Markethill, - "a thriving little town, some seven miles from Armagh, has a fine linen weaving factory and a good weekly market. Here is Gosford Demesne, where there is the castle which is said to be the largest house in Ireland; built in the nineteenth century, it cost some 250,000. Previous to that the Acheson family (now Earls of Gosford) owners of the estate, had another residence, the remains of which can still be seen. Here Dean Swift was the guest of Sir Arthur and Lady Acheson in 1728-29.

Near by is Mullabrack Church, where some fine old monuments can be seen, including one to George Lambert, V.C., of the 84th Regiment, Adjutant to his Regiment. This officer was born in the village of Hamiltonsbawn, a mile away, and won the Cross in the Indian Mutiny. At Mullabrack, too, Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, V.C., spent many of his boyhood days, his father being Rector."

In September 2016 I received these photographs from Mullabrack Church.

Photos kindly supplied by Mr Jonathan Hull of Mullabrack Church and Mr Ron Clayton, Hillsborough, Sheffield   

4. The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 2nd June 1860

The Late Lieutenant Lambert. - Our townsman, Mr. Edwin Smith, of the Sheffield Marble Works, has just executed a neat marble tablet to the memory of the above respected officer, and which has just been forwarded to his parents in the county of Armagh.
It consists of a stainary marble tablet, supported upon trusses on the pediment of which is neatly carved two swords, suspended from which is the Victoria Cross, encircled with a ribbon, on which is engraved, "For Valour."
The whole is placed on a black marble background.
The tablet has the following inscription :- "In memory of Lieutenant George Lambert, V.C. Adjutant H.M. 84th Regiment, who died at Sheffield, February 10th, 1860, aged 39 years."
This tablet was presented to his parents by his brother officers, as a token of their esteem, and in appreciation of his gallantry during the Indian campaign of 1857 and 1858

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This page was last updated on 22/01/17 13:14