CHARLES ALBERT COPLAND
|Lahore Light Horse (late Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry)
Charles Copland was born on the 18th of May 1840 and baptised on the
28th at Taney, Dublin. He was the son of Charles Copland and his wife
Charles received a classical and mathematical education under the Rev.
W C. Stacpoole of Kingstown; Ireland, “Mr. Howard” of St John's
Wood, London; and Charles B. Gray of Regent's Park, London.
Nominated as a Cadet for the East India Company's Bengal Infantry
for the 1856/7 season by EIC Director Lieutenant-Colonel James
Oliphant, at the recommendation of James Hartley, Esq. Charles’
father was then described as a “Banker, Royal Bank, Dublin”.
Charles passed the interview by the Professors of the EIC's Military
Seminary at Addiscombe on 17 March 1857. He passed the Military
Committee at East India House, London, 18 March 1857.
Calcutta on the 15th of May 1857, five days after the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny at Meerut in Northern India.
Calcutta was in a state of frenzy after the news of the Mutiny at Meerut, with rumors rampant among the citizenry
regarding the possibility of a rising in Calcutta similar to that at Delhi. Charles was commissioned as an Ensign in the
Bengal Army on 13 June 1857.
Charles was ordered to do duty with the 30th Bengal Native Infantry by General Order 22 July 1857. He was
promoted to Lieutenant on the 3rd of November 1858, however, he had been doing duty with the Bengal Yeomanry
Cavalry from March of 1858 with rank of Cornet. Cornet Copland served with the 2nd Troop, Bengal Yeomanry
Cavalry in the Sarun Field Force under Colonel Rowcroft (later Brigadier Rowcroft, C.B.) until the end of the Trans-
Gorga campaign. Charles is shown in the Quarterly Bengal Army List of August, 1859 as still doing duty with the
Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry. Charles received the Indian Mutiny medal without clasp, named to him as a Cornet in the
Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry, which is confirmed on the Medal Roll of the Bengal Yeomanry Cavalry. He was twice
mentioned in dispatches for his gallantry by Colonel Rowcroft.
Charles’ service during the Indian Mutiny is listed in Ubique:War Services of Officers of the Bengal Army as:
“Lieutenant Copland served during the Mutiny, ’57,’58,’59. Served in Brigadier Rowcroft’s Column. Present at the
attack of Belwah Fort, in Oude, 2nd March ’58; action of Amorah, 5th March; Thelga, 17th April; and action of
Amorah, 25th April and 8th June; action of Hurriah, 18th June; attack and capture of Hurriah; actions of
Dumooriergunge, 27th November and 3rd December ’58; and Toolsipore, in the Trans-Gorga Campaign. Medal. Twice
specially mentioned in the Despatches of Brigadier Rowcroft, C.B., 6th March and 19th April ’58.”
Lieutenant Copland is shown as serving with the 3rd Sikh Irregular Cavalry in January of 1859 and with the Lahore
Light Horse in January of 1861.
Charles Albert Copland died of cholera at Barrackpore, India on the 19th of June, 1862 and was buried the same day.
He was then described as 'Lieutenant, Lahore Light Horse' and was twenty-two years old.
Sources: India Office Records: L/MIL/9/241 ff.209-16 Cadet Papers; L/MIL/IO/65 no.695 Bengal Services;
published Bengal Army List; N/I/IOI f.583 Bengal Burials 1862.
A copy of Copland's MID is shown below: