Samuel Browne


This photo was published in The Navy and Army Illustrated in 1897. Sam Browne saw action as a subaltern at the battles of Chilianwallah and Gujerat. He was a captain at the time of the Indian Mutiny when he won the VC and lost his arm. At Seerporah on 31st August 1858 he single-handedly attacked a rebel field gun, preventing its reload. In the fight he sustained a sword cut to the knee and had his arm cut off. He was a Lieutenant-General when he commanded the Peshawar Field Force and captured Ali Masjid in 1878. He was promoted General in 1888. It is commonly assumed that the famous Sam Browne belt with one shoulder strap was designed by him to cope with his disability, but in fact he had it made before he lost his left arm.


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by Stephen Luscombe