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Thomas Adair Butler
Thomas Butler VC IWM Q 80483.jpg
Born 12 February 1836
Died 17 May 1901 (aged 65)
Place of birth Soberton, Hampshire
Buried at St Michael's Churchyard, Camberley
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Bengal Army
Flag of the British Army British Army
Years of service 1854 - 1874
Rank Major
Unit 1st European Bengal Fusiliers
101st Regiment of Foot
Battles/wars Indian Mutiny
Umbeyla Campaign
Awards Victoria Cross

Thomas Adair Butler VC (12 February 1836 – 17 May 1901) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Early lifeEdit

Born at Soberton, Hampshire. He was the son of the Rev. Stephen Butler, of Bury Lodge, Hambledon, Hampshire, by his first wife Mary Ann Thistlethwayte, daughter of Thomas Thistlethwayte (1779-1850), of Southwick Park; Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, hereditary Constable of Porchester Castle and warden of the Forest of Bere. He was a nephew of Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Augustus Collier.

He was educated privately and gazetted as Ensign to the 1st Bengal European Fusiliers, June 9, 1854; Lieutenant, November 23rd, 1856, and was afterwards Instructor of Musketry. He served in the Indian Mutiny from June 10, 1857, was in all the engagements under the walls of Delhi, was galloper to General Nicholson at the action of Nugafshot, and took part in the Storming of Delhi. He also took part in the actions of Gungehri, Pu and Minpoorie and was present at the Siege and capture of Lucknow where he won the Victoria Cross.[1]


He was 22 years old, and a lieutenant in the 1st European Bengal Fusiliers (later Royal Munster Fusiliers) during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed took place on 9 March 1858 at Lucknow, India, for which he was awarded the VC:

"Of which success the skirmishers on the other side of the river were subsequently apprised by Lieutenant Butler, of the Bengal Fusiliers, who swam across the Goomtee, and, climbing the parapet, remained in that position for a considerable time, under a heavy fire of musketry, until the work was occupied."
(Extract of Lieutenant-General Sir James Outram's memorandum of operations carried on under his command at the siege of Lucknow, published in the Governor-General's Gazette Extraordinary, of the 5th April, 1858, and re-published in General Orders by the Commander-in-Chief in India, on the 27th of December, 1858.)

Further informationEdit

He later served in the Umbeyla Campaign and achieved the rank of major in the service of the 101st Regiment of Foot.

The medalEdit

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.


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