Major C C Fraser
Charles Crawford Fraser was born 1829. He was the second son of Sir James John Fraser, the 3rd Baronet FRASER of Leadclune and Morar, County Inverness. He purchased his Commission into the 7th Hussars at the rank of Cornet on the 3rd December 1847.
In 1857 a revolt began by the soldiers of the Bengal Army who were part of the British East India Company, this spread and became and uprising against British rule in India. The revolt was termed the Indian Mutiny however it is also known as the Sepoy Rebellion (a sepoy is the term for the native Indian soldier) or the Indian War of Independence.
The 7th Queen's Own Hussars were heavily involved with the British operations during the Indian Mutiny (1857 - 1859). At one stage of the battle the 7th were to cross the River Raptee, this is something that should not really be attempted at pace and knowing there had been no survey as to the suitability of the crossing made this even worse. The Regiment was positioned on the borders of Napaul and received information that the Nana and his Army were only some 25 miles from their position, To that end they marched to within a mile of their position that evening. The 7th along with the Royal Horse Artillery and the 1st Punjab Cavalry were under the command of Sir William Russell who directed them to drive the enemy from their position.
The 3rd and 4th squadrons of the 7th Hussars were pushing the sepoys to the ford and when the command of "Charge" was given it was met with a cheer from the ranks as they pilled at speed into the river Raptee, Oudh. The fording point was strewn with tree trunks, quick sand and rocks.
The river was swarming with rebels trying to escape as the horses and men piled into the river, the confusion was immense, horses were being swept away and drowned, men likewise. Major Horne (who led the charge) was last seen in the river battling with rebels, his body was found days later by a native diver trapped underneath a log, in each hand was grasped a sowar (a Sowar is the term for a native Indian Trooper). Captain Stisted was dismounted and his horse swept away and drowned.
Sir William Russell galloped to the front of the Squadron before the majority entered the river and halted the charge so as to prevent further loss of life. It was noticed that Captain Stisted along with three other ranks were stranded minus horse and under considerable musket fire on a small bank in the middle of the river: none of them could swim.
Major Fraser, although not completely recovered from a severe injury incurred whilst leading a squadron against a group of Gazzie fanatics at Nawab-Gunge on June 13th, gallantly volunteered at great personal risk and under constant musket fire to swim out to rescue the Captain and three other ranks from assured death if they were to have remained on the bank. In his personal mission Major Fraser succeeded in the rescue and on 13th December 1858 was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery.
His citation reads: "Charles Crawford Fraser, Major, 7th Hussars (now 11th Hussars). Date of act of bravery: 31December 1858 in having volunteered at great personal risk, and under a sharp fire of musketry, to swim to the rescue of Capt Stisted and some of the men of the 7th Hussars, who were in imminent danger of being drowned in the River Raptee, while in pursuit of the rebels. Major Fraser succeeded in this gallant service, allthough at the same time partially disabled, not having recovered from a severe wound received while leading a squadron in a charge against some fanatics in the action of Nawab-Gunge on the 13th June 1858".
During his 43 Years of service Charles Crawford Fraser purchased his rank up to Lieutenant Colonel. He transferred to the 11th Hussars and was also the Colonel of the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars, later gaining the rank of Major General. He became a Conservative Member of Parliament for the North Lambeth Constituency 1885 - 1892, before retiring on full pay in 1890. During his service he was awarded the Indian Mutiny Medal with clasp for Lucknow, the Victoria Cross, Silver Medal and the KCB.
Major General Sir Charles Crawford Fraser Died at the age of 65 at Sloane Street London, Today he rests in the Brompton Cemetery London.