INDIAN MUTINY 1857-59, NO CLASP ‘LIEUTT. F. A. MONTRION 25TH. BO. N.L.I.’
Francis Austin Montrion was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 25th Bombay Native Infantry on 5 March 1857 and served during the Great Sepoy Mutiny as a Staff Officer to the field force under Major Sutherland, 92nd Highlanders, and was present at the action of Rajpoor and the subsequent pursuit of Tantya Tope and the Rao Sahib.
The History of the Gordon Highlanders 1815-74 gives the following account:
‘The rebels, in the meantime, after crossing the Nerbudda, had been again repulsed by the troops in Candeish. One hundred men of the 92nd, part of a small column under Major Sutherland, proceeded on 20 November 1857 to cross the Nerbudda, and on 24 November reached Jeelwana, where they were joined by another 50 men of the 92nd and a like number of the 71st mounted on camels.
On the morning of 24 November Major Sutherland proceeded with 120 Highlanders and 80 sepoys, partly on camels, and soon ascertaining that the rebels, under Tantya Tope, with two guns, were on the road to Rajpoor, pushed on in pursuit. On approaching Rajpoor, the rebel force was perceived passing through it, and the Highlanders, on camels, pushing rapidly forward, came on the enemy in half an hour. Before the men, however, could dismount for the attack, the rebels again retired. By this time the men following on foot, both Europeans and natives, having marched at a very rapid pace in rear, overtook the men on camels.
The whole now advanced together direct upon the enemy, who had taken up a strong position, in order of battle, on a rocky and wooded ridge, their two guns on the road commanding the only approach. The Highlanders, supported by the native troops, at once advanced, and rushing up the road under a shower of grape, in a very short time captured the guns, on which the rebels precipitately abandoned their position. In this attack, Lieutenant and Adjutant Humfrey was wounded.
Major Sutherland’s force remained in the neighbourhood of Kooksee until 27 December, when it was ordered to join the headquarters at Mhow.’
Montrion was promoted Lieutenant on 5 July 1858, and Captain on 5 March 1869. He subsequently served as Adjutant of the 37th Bengal Native Light Infantry, and was advanced Wing Officer in 1879.
Condition Light contact marks, GVF. With research. Ex DNW 2007.