|COLONEL JAMES DUNCAN MACPHERSON
|Indian Mutiny Medal, without clasp, named to Ensign J. D. Macpherson, 1st Bengal Fusiliers.
India General Service Medal 1854, with clasp for Northwest Frontier,
named to Lieutenant J. D. Macpherson.
2nd Afghan War Medal, with clasp for Kandahar,
named to Major J. D. Macpherson, 3rd Punjab Cavalry.
Kabul to Kandahar Star, named to Major J. D. Macpherson, 3rd Punjab Cavalry.
With four corresponding contemporary miniatures with original ribbons mounted on bar for wearing.
James Duncan Macpherson was born on the 16th of May, 1841. He was the son of Major General Sir James Duncan
Macpherson, K.C.B. and Mary Macpherson (nee Kennedy), the eighth daughter of General James Kennedy, C.B. He was
also the nephew of Major General Sir Herbert Taylor Macpherson, V.C., K.C.B., K.C.S.I.
James Duncan Macpherson was commissioned as an Ensign in the 65th Bengal Native Infantry on the 19th of December, 1857.
At the time Ensign Macpherson first joined his regiment in India in December of 1857, although Delhi had been retaken by
the British and the Residency at Lucknow relieved, the Indian Mutiny was still actively being fought.
Promoted to Lieutenant on the 11th of August 1859. His listing in Ubique: War Services of Officers of the Bengal Army”
(1863) shows him then serving in the 10th Bengal Native Infantry and lists his service in the Indian Mutiny as:
“Lieutenant Macpherson served during the Oude Campaign. Present at the capture of the Fort of Tiroul, 16th July ’58.”
Lieutenant Macpherson next served in the relatively bloodless campaign of October of 1868 on the Northwest Frontier
under Major General Wilde against the Black Mountain Tribes for which he received the India General Service medal with
clasp for the Northwest Frontier and a Mention in Despatches.
Promoted to Captain on the 19th of December, 1869, he also served as the Adjutant of the 3rd Punjab Cavalry. Macpherson
continued to serve in this Regiment the remainder of his career. He was promoted Major on the 19th of December 1877.
Major Macpherson served with the 3rd Punjab Cavalry in the 2nd Afghan War as part of the Cavalry Brigade of the
Kabul-Kandahar Field Force. His services are listed in Shadbolt, The Afghan Campaign of 1878-1880 as having:
“(S)erved with the regiment thought out the period it was employed in the war, taking part in the march from Kabul
to the relief of Kandahar, the battle of Kandahar, and the operations against the Marris.”
Major Macpherson was mentioned in dispatches for his services in the 2nd Afghan War. He also received the medal with
clasp for Kandahar and the Robert’s Star for the march from Kabul to Kandahar.
Macpherson was promoted Lieutenant Colonel on the 19th of December 1883 and Colonel on the 19th of December 1887. Colonel
Macpherson admitted to a Colonel’s Allowance and retired on the 19th of December, 1895. He died at Inverness, Scotland on 19
October 1927, at the age of 86. His obituary was published in the Times of London and is set forth below:
COLONEL J. D. MACPHERSON
October 21, 1927
An Indian Mutiny veteran, Colonel James Duncan Macpherson. Late of the 3rd Punjab Cavalry, Punjab Frontier Force,
and 4th Bengal Cavalry, has died at Inverness in his 87th year.
Colonel Macpherson enjoyed remarkably good health, and he was a familiar figure at Inverness up to a month ago.
Born in India, he was commissioned as an ensign in December, 1857, at the age of 16, and served in the Oude campaign
the following year. He also served in the Black Mountain expedition, being mentioned in dispatches, and was in the
march from Kabul to Kandahar, for which he was again mentioned.
He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1883, and to Colonel in 1887, and held the Indian Mutiny medal (Oude
Campaign), the India medal and clasp for the North-west Frontier (Black Mountain) expedition, the Kabul medal
and clasp (battle of Kandahar),and the bronze star (march from Kabul to Kandahar). His father was Major-General
Sir James Duncan Macpherson, Commissary-General to the Bengal Army from 1864 to 1868. Colonel Macpherson
belonged to a distinguished Inverness-shire family from the district of Ardersier. They were closely associated
with the Seaforth Highlanders, which Colonel Macpherson’s grandfather commanded for several years, while an uncle
of his was Sir Herbert Macpherson, V.C. Colonel Macpherson married a daughter of the late Major Adams,
Commissioner of Peshawar: she survives him. He was brother-in-law of Major-General Sir Robert Bellew Adams, V.C.
The Times, Oct. 21, 1927; pg. 19; Issue 44718; col C
|Right: Headstone of
In loving memory of Colonel James Duncan
MacPherson 4th Bengal Cavalry, eldest son of Major
General Sir James Duncan MacPherson, KOB
died 19th Oct 1927 in his 87th year.
Emily Ann Erskine, wife of the above and
eldest daughter of Major Robert Roy Adams
died 22nd March 1937 aged 82 years.
In dearest memory of Ismay Bellew Logan,
wife of Maxwell Beckett Logan, second
daughter of Major Robert Roy Adams died
18th June 1929 aged 70. In very dear memory
of Major General Sir Robert Bellew Adams,
VC, KOB, Queens Own Corps of Guides,
son of Major Robert Roy Adams, Bengal
Staff Corps died 13th Feb 1928.
Photo Courtesy of the Scottish War