Sergeant William Napier VC
Sergeant William Napier enlisted in the 13th Foot (The Prince
Consort's Own Somerset Light Infantry) on 10 December 1846. He
served in the Indian Mutiny and was awarded the Victoria Cross
(London Gazette 24 December 1858): "W. Napier, Sergt., 1st Battn.
13th Foot. Date of Act of Bravery: 6 April 1858. For conspicuous
gallantry near Azimghur, on the 6th of April, 1858 in having defended
and finally rescued Private Benjamin Milnes, of the same regiment, when
severely wounded on the Baggage Guard. Sergt. Napier remained with
him at the hazard of his own life.
When surrounded by sepoys, bandaged his wound under fire, and then
carried him to safety to the convoy. (Dispatch from Colonel Lord Mark
Kerr, C.B., dated 2 Aug. 1858)." Sergt. William Napier was discharged
on his own request on 10 December 1862. He died on the 2nd June,
1908. He is buried in Bendigo Cemetery, Bendigo, Victoria.
William Napier is shown in this cabinet card photo wearing the medals
for the Crimea, Indian Mutiny, Turkish Crimea and the Victoria Cross
in the diamond pattern, rather than in the usual row.
Napier's medals are in the Somerset Light Infantry Museum.
Shown here, is one of Sergeant Napier's original calling cards.