EDWARD LONG GRANT, C.B.
|Officers of the 1st Madras Fusiliers|
Diary of Captain Spurgin of the 1st Madras Fusiliers
October 19th.-- … Grant was the first man into the garrison of Lucknow on September 25th, and General Outram
mentioned his name in orders.
Neill’s Blue Caps by Col. H.C. Wylly, C.B., pg. 91.
Captain Grant of the Regiment was the first man to enter the Residency.
Service of the 102nd Regiment of Foot, Royal Madras Fusiliers, from 1842 to the Present Time, R.J.H. Vivian, pg. 41.
Lucknow Residency, 26 September 1857
The Major-General begs to return his most sincere and heartfelt thanks to the General and his gallant army for their
glorious exertions, the only acknowledgement of their achievement which it is within his power to render. … the Major-
General deems it right to bear his personal testimony to the admirable conduct of such of the troops as acted under
his immediate observance. He would especially note… that of the 1st Fusiliers (Madras), who charged the bridge and
battery at the entrance of the city, headed by the gallant assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant Havelock; and finally,
that of the 78th Highlanders, who led the advance on the Residency, headed by their brave commander, Colonel Stisted,
accompanied by the gallant Lieutenant Hargood, aide-de-camp to General Havelock; Captain Grant, 1st Madras
Lieut.-General Sir James Outram’s Campaign in India 1857-1858, pg. 23.
|1st Madras Fusiliers|
Memorial at Lucknow
Edward Long Grant (known as Ned to his family and friends) was born in India on the 3rd of February, 1823, the son of
Edward Grant of the Bombay Civil Service and his wife Anna Eliza. Ned was baptized on the 23rd of February at Surat in
the Bombay Presidency. Ned was nominated for the HEIC Military Seminar at Addiscombe by HEIC Director Russell Ellice
on the recommendation of Ned’s older brother Alexander Grant. His application stated that their father was then
deceased, but that he had been a Judge at Bombay. Ned passed the Selection Committee on the 31st of July 1839,
and joined the cadet class at Addiscombe on the 9th of August.
Ned passed the public examination on the 11th of June 1841, and was commissioned an Ensign in the Madras Infantry the
same day. He arrived in Madras, India on the 20th of September, 1841, and on the 1st of November was posted to the 1st
Madras (European) Fusiliers, the oldest military force then in the service of the East India Company. Unlike the HEIC’s
Bengal forces, and to a lesser extent those of the Bombay Presidency, most Madras regiments saw little actual campaigning
during the early Victorian era. However, the 1st Madras Fusiliers was one of the few exceptions to that generalization.
Ned apparently got along well in the Regiment. He received exemplary Service Reports, with at least one report noting
that he was a “capital draftsman”. He was promoted Lieutenant on the 31st of January, 1845.
By 1851, the government of India had become concerned over breaches of the Treaty of Yandabo by the Burmese
government, by restrictions on British merchants’ ability to trade in Burma and by other insults to the authority of the
East India Company. Lord Dalhousie, the Governor General of India, sent a squadron to Rangoon under the command of
under Commodore Lambert with correspondence directed to the Burmese King. Upon arriving in Rangoon, Commodore
Lambert felt so threatened that he embarked the British subjects of Rangoon in the ships of his squadron and, in a show
of force, seized a Royal vessel belonging to the Burmese King. With these acts, the Second Burma War had started.
An expeditionary force under the command of Major-General Godwin left India for Burma in April of 1852. By the end
of April, Rangoon had been taken by the Major-General Godwin’s forces. The British forces continued to meet with
military success although the Burmese made no sign of submission. In August it was decided although the British forces
controlled the sea coast, the Irrawaddy River from the mouth of the river up to Prone and most of the Lower Province,
additional troops were needed. An additional force under the command of Brigadier General S.W. Steel was formed for
deployment to Burma. This force was organized into a Bengal Division of three brigades and a Madras Division of equal
strength. The 1st Madras Fusiliers were part of the 2nd Brigade of the Madras Division, under the command of Brigadier
Although Pegu had been captured early in the campaign by the HEIC forces, it had then been turned over to the British
allies the Talaings (more properly referred to as the Mons), from whom it was retaken by the Burmese. The Burmese
subsequently greatly strengthened their defensive positions by erecting stockades and constructing earthworks.
In October, General Godwin dispatched a column to recapture Pegu which included three hundred men of the 1st Madras
Fusiliers. General Godwin’s forces proceeded up the Pegu River and on the 21st of November the column landed
approximately 5 miles below Pegu. After an exhaustive jungle march which included numerous skirmishes with the enemy,
the Burmese defenses at Pegu were stormed by the British troops. By mid-afternoon the 1st Madras Fusiliers were the
first troops to re-enter the Pagoda at Pegu.
Following the retaking of Pegu, Major-General Godwin returned to Rangoon with the bulk of his force. Two companies
of the 1st Madras Fusiliers remained with the small force garrisoning Pegu. On the night of the 27th of November, the
Burmese army simultaneously attacked the British garrison, the British gunboats and the river piquet. The British garrison
soon found itself besieged in the Pagoda at Pegu by a vastly superior force. On December 14th, a force under the command
of Major-General Godwin, which included 250 men of the 1st Madras Fusiliers, fought their way into Pegu and reaching the
Pagoda relieved the besieged garrison.
On the 29th of December, Brigadier-General Steel issued orders for the immediate embarkation of a Field Force to
Martaban to expel the Burmese from the valley of the Sittang River as far as the city of Tonghoo. The Field Force
included 150 men of the 1st Madras Fusiliers, including Lieutenant Grant. This force had several hostile engagements
with the enemy, most notably one on the 14th of January, 1853. On each occasion the Burmese were defeated.
The Field Force reached Tonghoo on the 22nd of February, 1853. Lieutenant Grant was favorable mentioned in the
despatch which conveyed the thanks of the Governor General to General Steele for the services of the Field Force..
A decision was made not to advance beyond Pegu and in June of 1854 Lord Dalhousie issued a Proclamation of Peace,
fixing a parallel of latitude to be the frontier between the British and Burmese territory. This annexation of Pegu
Province signaled the end of the “Official Campaign” of the Second Burma War.
In what was to become an all too familiar pattern, it was the pacification program and not the initial campaign that
would be the biggest problem for the British and which would involve some of the toughest fighting. As stated by
Colonel Parritt in Red With Two Blue Stripes, the pacification program came to involve: “…long fatiguing patrols through
hot unhealthy jungles in the hope of catching an elusive enemy…” and would not be resolved before the issuance of three
additional clasps for the India General Service medal, i.e., Burma 1885-7, Burma 1887-89 and Burma 1889-90.
Lieutenant Grant would see additional action during the early stages of the pacification program, although the pacification
program itself was destined to last for decades.
In January of 1854, the Nos. 1 and 7 Companies of the 1st Madras Fusiliers left Tonghoo as part of an escort to the
Boundary Commission of Special Commissioner Major Allen. Lieutenant Geils was in command of Company No. 1 and
Lieutenant Grant was in command of Company No. 7. The escort also consisted of a detachment of Madras sepoys, some
sappers and a few Irregular Horse. The party was attacked on four separate occasions. In the final engagement, the
Burmese attacked with “great spirit” but were repulsed. However, both Lieutenant Grant and Geils were severely
wounded in the action. Lieutenant Geils died of his wounds on March 4th. In April of 1854, while still recovering from
his wounds, Grant was promoted to Captain in the Regiment.
The 1st Madras Fusiliers received the Battle Honor “Pegu” for the Regiment’s services during the 2nd Burma War. For his
services in the campaign, Lieutenant Grant received the India General Service Medal with clasp for Pegu and a mention in
In February of 1856, the 1st Madras Fusiliers sailed from Burma for Madras. In March of 1857, the Regiment sailed
as reinforcements for the war then ongoing with Persia. However, by the time the ships carrying the troops reached the
Persian Gulf, word reached them that a peace treaty with Persia had been reached on March 4 and that the Regiment was
to return to Madras with all deliberate speed.
The Regiment reached Fort St. George on the 20th of April, 1857. Less than a month later, on May 10th, the Indian
Mutiny broke out when the native regiments of the HEIC stationed at the military cantonment at Meerut in the Bengal
Presidency mutinied, killing their British officers and any Europeans they came across. The Mutiny quickly spread to
most of the Bengal native regiments.
On the 14th of May, Lord Canning ordered the 1st Madras Fusiliers to proceed to Calcutta. Captain Grant and his
company embarked for Calcutta with a portion of the Regiment on the 18th of May on board the Zenobia, reaching
Calcutta on the 24th. Upon their arrival at Calcutta, the Regiment was rearmed with the new Enfield rifle from the
On the 25th of May, the Regiment under the command of Colonel Neill left Calcutta, arriving at Benares on the 4th of
May where the Regiment suppressed the mutinous 37th Bengal Native Infantry. On the 5th and 6th of June, two
detachments of the Regiment marched to the relief of the fort at Allahabad. Colonel Neill, with a further detachment
of the Regiment, reached Allahabad on the 9th of June. There, Colonel Neill, although seriously, continued to command
the Regiment in the actions against the rebels in the area around Allahabad.
On the 20th of June General Havelock arrived at Allahabad to take command of the Lucknow Relief Force. On the 7th
of July, with just over 2,000 men, including 376 officers and men of the 1st Madras Fusiliers, the force began its march
towards Lucknow. As the 1st Madras Fusiliers were the only unit of the relief force armed entirely with the Enfield rifle,
they acted as the vanguard in all of the actions that were to come. Captain Grant’s Company was placed at the very front
of the advancing force.
On the 12th of July, the column engaged a superior force at Futtehpore. The rebel army, after a four hour battle, was
driven from a strong position and “scattered to the wind” with 12 of their guns being captured. The British forces did
not suffer a single casualty in the attack.
On the 15th, two actions were fought. The first was at Aong where the rebels were driven from several small enclosures
and the other at a strongly entrenched position under at the bridge at Pandoo Nuddi were four guns were taken. In both
actions, the superior firepower of the 1st Madras Fusiliers with their Enfield rifles insured a British victory. Major
Renaud and Captain Fraser were severely wounded.
On the 16th of July, General Havelock with a force of only 900 men fought and defeated an army of mutineers estimated
at 10,000 strong on the outskirts of Cawnpore, driving the enemy from the field and capturing a hilltop position only a
half mile from Cawnpore. Color-Sergeant Kelly of the 1st Madras Fusiliers was awarded the Victoria Cross for his
actions during the battle. The column marched 126 miles in the hottest season of the year, in full field gear, and fighting
four pitched battles against far superior numbers of disciplined troops, only to confirm to their horror upon entering
Cawnpore that all British inhabitants of the city- soldiers, civilians, woman and children alike- had been brutally massacred
by the followers of the Nana Sahib.
Having received word of the death of Sir Henry Lawrence and that the situation at Lucknow was indeed grave, General
Havelock left Cawnpore on the 29th of July, pressing on towards Lucknow. Marching only four miles, the column
encountered a force of 6,000 mutineers at Unao (Woonai). Captain Grant was mentioned in the despatches of Major
Stephenson for his “dashing and forward conduct” in the ensuing battle. The enemy was driven from the field and 15 guns
were captured. Lieutenant Richardson of was killed and Lieutenant Seton severely wounded. Lieutenant Dangerfield was
awarded the Victoria Cross for the action at Unao.
On the 31st, General Havelock telegraphed the Commander-in-Chief that due to illness and combat casualties, his force
had been reduced to 1,300 men and only 10 guns (cannons) and that he was unable to continue the march towards Lucknow.
Havelock made two retrograde marches towards Cawnpore. On the 3rd of August, Havelock’s column was reinforced by a
company of the 84th Regiment and Olphert’s half-battery.
General Havelock received intelligence that the rebels were again occupying Bashiratganj, a town from which the column
had previously cleared the enemy at the end of July. On the 5th of August Havelock’s force marched to Bashiratganj and
engaged the enemy on the 6th. After a pitched battle in which Havelock’s force drove the rebels from the village and then
burned the rebel’s camp, the force returned to their camp at Unao.
On the 11th of August, General Havelock having received word from his spies that the mutineers were again occupying
Bashiratganj again marched on the village. The rebels had erected batteries on a plain near the village and on the 12th
the British forces in attacking the village were required to advance against the enemy under a heavy cannonade. Although
the attack was successful, Captain Grant was wounded in the attack by a shell fragment.
On the 16th of August, with an effective force of only about 750 European troops and 250 loyal Sikhs, General
Havelock marched on Bithur ,which was described by Havelock as "one of the strongest positions I have ever seen".
Captain Grant, who was in hospital due to his wound, did not take part in the victory at Bithur, an intense house to house
Major-General James Outram arrived at Cawnpore on the 15th of September. Although outranking General Havelock,
he waived his right to command the now reinforced column and elected to accompany the column under the command of
General Havelock as a volunteer in his civil capacity as Chief Commissioner of Oude.
On the night of the 18th of September, a bridge was laid over the Ganges and the troops crossed over for the next two
days. At daybreak on the 21st, Havelock’s column again began it advance for the relief of Lucknow. Captain Grant,
having recovered from wound, accompanied the column.
On 21st September the Column engaged a rebel force at Mangulwar, and on the 23rd the force reached the Alam Bagh, a
small palace or hunting lodge of the kings of Oudh, some two miles from Residency. There the Column confronted a rebel
force some 12,000 strong with numerous guns drawn up in a wooded ground near the Alam Bagh. The Fusiliers were on
the left, most exposed flank. Captain Grant, in command of No. 10 Company, was ordered to capture the Yellow House
in the city of Lucknow by General Outram, but was ordered to retire by bugle call as it was feared they were much
too isolated. By dusk, the Column was in complete possession of the Alam Bagh, capturing five of the enemy’s guns in the
On 25th September the final assault on Lucknow by Havelock's force began, the wing of the Madras Fusiliers present
forming part of the brigade that led the advance into the city. The 1st Madras Fusiliers assisted in taking the Charbagh
Bridge at the point of the bayonet, over-running a battery of enemy artillery at the opposing end of the bridge. The
brigade fought their way through the narrow streets of the outskirts of Lucknow, drawing their guns with them as
they went across the numerous deep trenches cut across their path. Fired at continuously from loopholes and the
rooftops of houses, the relief force fought their way towards the besieged Residency.
From this point, Ned Grant’s story can best be told by those who were there with him:
Lieutenant Henry Delafosse, H.M. 5th Fusiliers
When we started the advance, two companies of the 5th were in front of our leading guns and two were behind. Major
Simmons and I were mounted at the head of the first two companies, but the fire was so hot from the right and in front
that Simmons’s horse reared and plunged in such a frightful manner as to oblige him to dismount. Our position was then
frightful. The enemy in front were enfilading the road with grape, canister, and roundshot, which came plowing up the
ground, tearing down branches of trees over our heads, smashing through artillery wagons and causing some of them to
exploded, knocking down poor fellows right and left; while the men were frequently wounded by the unseen enemy
sharpshooters on our right, who were firing at them from behind the huts and long grass, besides another gun, which they
had in position in a small village in our far right. This went on for some time, when finally General Outram (who was close
by) gave the order; “5th charge the guns!”
Major Simmons immediately ordered the men to advance up the road at the double, which they did – God knows how –
through a deadly hail. About a hundred yards ahead was a loopholed house inside a walled garden – the wall also
loopholed – from which the enemy kept up a sharp fire of musketry. When we were approaching this, volley after
volley were poured out; but before we could storm the place, the enemy deserted it and moved on to meet us at some
other defense. It was a marvel to me how I escaped, exposed as I was on horseback.
A little higher up the road, another road crossed it diagonally. We turned down it to the right and were opposed by a
tremendous fire of musketry from its further end, where the enemy were swarming. The Major gave the order: “Fire
two volleys by sections into the middle of them!” This had the desired effect of driving back the enemy still further.
We were then ordered to clear out the garden to our left.
As we entered the garden, the enemy’s artillery opened us from the left side of the crossroads with grape and shell; and
so well did they pitch their shells that they burst immediately over the gate we entered by, killing and wounding many
of us. But we rushed on through the garden, clearing it of rebels as we went, then skirmished along that side of it facing
the canal, until we came out a little to the left of the canal bridge, where the enemy had some heavy guns in position.
Meanwhile a company of the Madras Fusiliers charged and captures two guns on the left side of the crossroads. (For
our part, we had not yet captured a gun, as the enemy had made off with those we were ordered to take before we could
get at them.) Captain Grant, who was a crack shot, picked off the gunners as fast as rifles were handed to him by his men;
whereupon they all rushed in and took and spiked the guns. At the same time, the enclosures and guns on the right were
captured and cleared by the rest of our brigade, but with considerable loss on our side....They Fight Like Devils, D.A.
Kinsley, pgs. 49, 50.
Francis Cornwallis Maude
No history of the Residency would be complete without a reference to the doings of Edward Long Grant, of the Madras
Fusiliers, then Captain, and now Colonel and C.B. Grant is at present residing at Wellington in the Nilgherries. On our
entry into the Residency, he and his company were put in charge of one of the most important posts. It was called after
him, and he held it with great gallantry, until Sir Colin Campbell’s Relief, although it was once mined and blown up by the
rebels. However, Grant came down on his feet, and, after the Engineers had put the post into some little repair, returned
to it. Besides being blown up, he was three times wounded; the first time in the back of the leg, in Burmah, nearly
hamstringing him. Then again, on our first entry into Oudh; while, in the Residency, a ball passed clean through his body,
grazing and slightly wounding his liver. He used to go out every morning, “sniping,” as he called it, carrying an Enfield
rifle, with a supply of cartridges slung over his shoulder in a game net, in the most approved sportsmanlike style. He
kept a regular “game book,” in which he noted his daily “bag;” unfortunately he has not preserved it, nor, Sir John
Spurgin tells me, any record of his deeds.....Memories of the Mutiny, Francis Cornwallis Maude and John Walter Sherer
On the 2nd of November, I had a narrow escape of being shot which seemed more memorable than the others. I was
behind a Venetian door in a turret in one of our buildings with Captain Grant of the Madras Fusiliers, shooting at the
rebels on the top of a sandbagged and loopholed house, from which they were keeping up a hot fire on our picket. While
we were firing, they sent in several bullets, stinging us with the splinters from the door. Grant had only just picked out
some of them from my neck, and was on the point of taking a shot, when he threw down his rifle and said, “I am shot!” I
took him downstairs and laid him down till the doctor came who extracted the bullet and dressed his wound, which was
serious one. But he survived it.
They Fought Like Devils: Stories from Lucknow During the Great Indian Mutiny, 1857-58, D.A. Kinsley
Colonel R. Napier
“Captain Grant of the Madras Fusiliers has commanded the post of the Mosque from 11th October to 2nd of November,
when he was severely wounded. He maintained the post under a constant and close musketry fire, and repeated attacks by
mining, with cool courage and judgment; both these qualities were required to avoid real, and to disregard the imaginary,
dangers of mines, and Captain Grant displayed them in an eminent degree.”
Extract from Despatch of Colonel R. Napier, Military Secretary, dated Lucknow, 20th November 1857.
Col. H.C. Wylly, C.B.
On January 16th the enemy made an attack on the Jellalabad piquet, near which was an outpost of 200 of the Madras
Fusiliers under Captain Grant. Lieutenant Dale, with 100 men, was immediately detached to cover the right in a
concealed position, but things at one time looked so serious that parties were detailed to be ready to cut the tent ropes
and so let the tents fall flat in case the enemy should try to fire them. This attack, like the preceding ones, was beaten
back…“Neill’s Blue Caps”, Col. H.C. Wylly, C.B., pg. 109.
For his services during the Indian Mutiny, Ned Grant was granted his Brevet Majority on the 24th of March, 1858, and
he received the Indian Mutiny medal with the Defense of Lucknow clasp. Due to his wounds, he was invalidated with the
rank of Lieutenant-Colonel on the 1st of October, 1867. He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (Military
Division) by Queen Victoria in the Jubilee Honours List of the 21st of May, 1887, for his military services.
Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Long Grant, C.B., died on the 19th of November, 1907.