Brigadier-General C R Cureton CB

Charles Robert Cureton, born in 1789, started out as a private soldier and rose to the rank of brigadier-general.' He died leading the 14th Light Dragoons at Ramnuggur in 1848. He was the son of a Shropshire gentleman and joined the militia in 1806.' He was given a commission, but debts forced him to find somewhere he could keep a low profile.' He joined the 14th Light Dragoons in 1808 as a private under the assumed name of Roberts and served throughout the Peninsula War.' He was wounded several times and granted a commission as an ensign in the 40th Foot, in 1814.' He served for a while in the 20th Light Dragoons and later entered the 16th Lancers where he rose from lieutenant in 1819 to Colonel in 1846. He served in India for 30 years and was under the command of Lord Combermere.' He distinguished himself at the siege of Bhurtpore in 1825-6 and purchased a captaincy. In 1839-40 he was Assistant Adjutant-General of cavalry in Afghanistan under Lord Keane and was present at the siege of Ghunzee. He commanded the advance column of the army through the Bolan Pass and many more exploits culminating in seizing the citadel at Kabul in 1839.' He commanded the cavalry in the charge at Aliwal and was present at all the battles of both Sikh wars. On 7 April 1846 Cureton was appointed adjutant-general of the Queen's forces in India. In the Punjab, or second Sikh war, Cureton commanded the cavalry division and three troops of horse artillery at the action at Ramnuggur on 23 Nov. 1848, and was killed when leading the 14th Light Dragoons to the support of the 5th light cavalry. He was buried with military honours. He was a strict disciplinarian, but a most genial and popular officer with all ranks.'

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