|CHARLES POWLETT LANE
Bengal Cavalry and H.M. 21st Hussars
Charles Powlett Lane was born on the 8th of
February 1826, and baptized on the 9th of May at
St George's in Bloomsbury, London.
He was the son of Charles Lane, Esq. of Badgemore,
Oxon (1793-1878), and his wife Emily Maria (died
21 July 1877), of Montague Street, London.
His father was a Barrister at Law, and a Justice
of the Peace. His mother was the second daughter
of John Thornhill, Esq., an East India Company
Charles had eight siblings:
Thomas Thornhill, born 17 November 1833 (died 3 April 1873).
John Reynolds, born 1 November 1835 (died circa 1900), who was rector of Tattersett-with-Tatterford, Norfolk.
Cudbert Willam Jones, born 10 March 1842 (died 9 September 1864).
Francina Maria, date of birth unknown, but on 16 May 1865 married the Right Rev. Thomas Baker Morrell, D.D., late Bishop
(coadjutor) of Edinburgh and following his death in 1877, married John Manly Arbuthnot, the 3rd and last Lord Keane.
Henrietta Catherine, date of birth and date of death unknown.
Emily Rose, date of birth unknown, but on 15 April 1857 married Rev. Henry George Eland, M.A., Vicar of Bedminster, near
Anna Maria, date of birth unknown, died 16 May 1936.
Helina Ursula Catherina, date of birth unknown, but on 18 April 1856 married Valentine Dudley Henry Cary Elwes, late 12th
Lancers, only son and heir of Cary Charles Elwes, of Great Billings Hall, Northampton.
Charles Powlett Lane received a classical and mathematical education at Eton public school, under tutors the Rev. Thomas J.
Nowsell of Kennington, Surrey and the Rev. Frederick Jeffery of Sway, Hampshire, and at the East India Company’s
college, Haileybury, where he was unsuccessful in securing an appointment to the EIC's Civil Service.
Charles was then nominated as a Cadet for the Bengal Cavalry by EIC Director William Butterworth Bayley, at the
recommendation of Charles’ father, who was then described as being “of Badgemore, Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant
of the County of Oxford”.
Charles passed the Military Committee at East India House, London on the 2nd of January, 1846. He embarked for India
at Southampton on the steamer “Great Liverpool” on the 20th of January, 1846.
Charles was commissioned a Cornet in the Bengal Cavalry as of the 20th of January, 1846, the date he sailed for India. He
arrived at Calcutta on the 11th of March, 1846, and was ordered to do duty with the 9th Bengal Light Cavalry on the 1st of
April, 1846. He was subsequently posted to the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry on the 23rd of December, 1846.
Cornet Lane served with his regiment in the 2nd Sikh War, a military campaign for the control of the area in the North of
India known as the Punjab. The 6th Bengal Light Cavalry formed part of the 2nd Brigade of Cavalry and was granted the
Battle Honours “Chillianwallah” and “Goojerat” for the regiment’s services during the Punjab campaign. Cornet Lane
received the Punjab medal with clasps for Chillianwalla and Goojerat, named to him in the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry .
Cornet Lane passed the course to act as an interpreter at the College of Fort William on the 1st of September, 1852, and
was appointed Interpreter and Quartermaster to the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry on the 25th of September, 1852. He was
appointed to be in charge of the Native Staff Office at Nowgong on the 30th of December, 1853, and was appointed to
be in charge of the Military Chest at Nowgong on the 4th of February, 1854.
Charles was promoted to Captain on 23 November 1856. He was granted a furlough to the UK on private affairs
commencing on the 10th of March, 1857, the first time he had returned to England since being appointed to the EIC army
in 1846. The Coventry Herald reported that on the 2nd of November, 1857, Captain Charles Powlett Lane of the Bengal
Cavalry, eldest son of Charles Lane, Esq. of Badgemore, married Caroline Lucy, born 1828, the second daughter of the late
George Lucy of Charlecote Park, in a ceremony performed by her uncle, the Rev. John Lucy at Charlecote Park.
Returning to duty in India, Charles arrived at Calcutta on the 7th of December, 1857. During his absence from India, on
May 10th, 1857, troopers of the 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry stationed at Meerut in Northern India had risen against their
officers, igniting the firestorm which was to become the Great Indian Mutiny. By the time Captain Lane arrived in
Calcutta in December, Delhi had been laid siege to, assaulted and retaken by the British, and the Residency at Lucknow
had been relieved; however, the Indian Mutiny was far from over.
During Captain Lane’s absence from India, his regiment, the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry, which had been stationed in
Jalandhar in Northern India, like so many other Bengal regiments, mutinied against their British Officers. On the
evening of the 7th of June, 1857, the sowars of the regiment rose in open mutiny, murdering any British officer they
came upon. The 6th Bengal Light Cavalry for all practical purposes ceased to exist following this mutiny, and was
formally disbanded at the end of the Mutiny.
Captain Lane, upon his arrival in India, was ordered to act in military command of the 2nd Brigade (Junga Doje’s Brigade)
of the Gurkha Force of Maharajah Jung Bahadur of Nepaul. These forces were not part of the East India Company’s Army,
but their services were offered to the Government of India to assist in the suppression of the Mutiny by their ally the
Maharajah, who continued to maintain at least titular control of his troops. The Gurkha Force performed well, assisting
in the final capture of the city of Lucknow by the British. Besides serving at the capture of Lucknow, Captain Lane also
participated in the capture of Pellalpore.
Charles Lane received the Indian Mutiny Medal with clasp Lucknow, and was mentioned in dispatches by his superior
officers. As a reward for his services during the Mutiny, Captain Lane was promoted Brevet Major on the 20th of July,
Following the conclusion of the Indian Mutiny, Brevet Major Lane transferred to the Left Wing of the newly formed
3rd Bengal European Light Cavalry, which had been formed principally from the former officers of the disbanded 4th
BLC and 6th BLC, and which was then stationed at Lahore, India. Charles was granted a furlough to the UK for eighteen
months starting on the 10th of April, 1859.
Charles Lane transferred to the British Army upon the British Crown assuming control of the government of India and
the military forces of the East India Company in 1860. The 21st Hussars (later the 21st Lancers and now part of the
Queen’s Royal Lancers) was formed from the 3rd Bengal European Light Cavalry and Brevet Major Lane transferred to
this newly formed regiment.
|Major General Charles Powlett Lane
died at the age of 84 on the 17th of
November, 1910 at Widworthy,
Broadstone, Dorset. He was buried in
the churchyard of St. Hubert’s at
Corfe Mullen, Dorset, on the 21st of
November. His wife, Bertha Lane,
died in January of 1939, and was
buried with him.
Special thanks to Hilary Gooding who
took these pictures of Lane's grave
inscription and the memorial in St.
She holds the copyright and they are
used with permission.
|The copyright for these |
two pictures of
"Glendon" belongs to
Hilary Gooding who
took them and they are
used with permission.
Alymer Powlett Lane, Charles’ son by his first wife Lucy, was educated at Eaton. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in
the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry in September 1891, a Lieutenant in July 1892, and a Lieutenant in the Imperial Yeomanry
in February 1900. During the Boer War he served in South Africa in the 47th (Lord Donoughmore’s) Company, 13th
Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry, taking part in operations in the Cape Colony and Orange Free State, including the action at
Lindley, 27-31 May 1900, where he was taken prisoner. Later released, he was appointed a Railway Staff Officer on 17
In April of 1902, he was promoted Captain in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was appointed Honorary
Major in 1906. Promoted Major in September 1914, he was appointed to the Staff as an Embarkation Officer from
September 1916. Alymer Lane is mentioned by name in this and another extract as having narrowly escaped death from an
explosion of an enemy shell. Alymer Powlett Lane died unmarried and without issue in 1929.
Reginald Powlett Lane, Charles’ son by his second wife, Bertha, was educated at Wellington and died at Salisbury,
Rhodesia on 31 December 1904.
Charles’ youngest son, Marwood Elton Lane, (died 17 Dec. 1961) was educated at Harrow and was a tea planter at
Hallowella, Norwood, Ceylon and in 1903 married Violet Millie Lane, nee Walker (died circa October, 1947).
Sources: India Office Records: L/MIL/9/211 ff. 514-24 Cadet Papers; L/MIL/5/72 Punjab Medal Rolls; L/MTL/5/77
Mutiny Medal Rolls; No. 534 in L/MIL/I0/41,43,48,50,54,56,59, 63 & 65 Bengal Service Army Lists; L/MiL/I0/76 no.
199 Bengal Services; published Bengal Army List; Hart’s Army List 1880; Times Nov. 23, 1910; pg. 1; Issue 39437;
col A; Burke’s Landed Gentry 18th Ed. 1965
Charles Lane continued to serve with the 21st Hussars for
the remainder of his military career. He was promoted Lt.
Colonel on the 25th of March, 1868. The 21st Hussars
remained in India until 1873, when the regiment returned
to England. Charles was promoted Colonel on 1 October
1877, becoming Colonel Commanding, H.M. 21st Hussars.
He was promoted Major General on the 1st of May 1878,
and retired on full pay the same year.
Charles and his first wife, Caroline Lane (nee Lucy) had one
child, Alymer Powlett, born 10 July 1860. Lucy passed away
on the 6th of March, 1864, presumably in India where
Charles was serving at the time.
On the 14th of September, 1869, Charles Lane married
Bertha Dalbiac Du Boulay, the daughter of John
Houssemayne Du Boulay and his wife Mary Farr (nee
Yeatman) at Sturminster, Dorset. Charles and Bertha had
two children. A son, Reginald Powlett Lane, was born in
1871, in India, and another son, Marwood Elton Lane, was
born in 1874 in London. Following his retirement from the
military, the couple resided at their home, “Glendon”, in
Corfe Mullen where Charles served as a Justice of the
Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for the County of
|The photo is entitled: Group of Officers 21st Hussars |
on Formation of the Regt 1862. Major Lane is fourth
from the left in the back row.
|Major Marwood Elton Lane's final|
resting place is on the Hallowella
estate in Sri Lanka. Pictured here
are some photos of his mausoleum
which he built himself prior to his death.
Special thanks to Prashan Fernando
for kindly supplying the photos.