Major-General Philip McPherson CB

Philip McPherson was born in 1790 and had volunteered with the 52nd (or the Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot in the Peninsula in 1809 before being commissioned ensign in the 43rd (or Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot later that year. He continued to serve with that regiment until the end of the Peninsular War in 1814 being awarded eight clasps to his war medal. During operations in the Scinde in 1843 McPherson served as aide-de-camp to Sir Charles Napier. He was at Meeanee and Hyderabad and reached the rank of brevet lieutenant-colonel. He was then promoted lieutenant-colonel in the 17th (Leicestershire) Regiment of Foot in 1852. and commanded the regiment when it embarked for Gibraltar on 28 April 1854. In the Crimea he commanded the 1st Brigade, 4th Division from 18 Dec 1854 to 15 June 1855. But he suffered ill-health from over-fatigue in the trenches and was forced to leave the Crimea having been personally thanked by Lord Raglan. He was promoted to major-general in 1858 and was Colonel of the 13th Light Infantry Regiment from Aug 1863 to Feb 1864. He was also Inspecting Field Officer of York District. He was married to Matilda. He died on 2 Feb 1864 aged 73, and buried in York.

The painting is by Daniel Cunliffe, dated 1855. It is rather odd that the figure has a disproportionately large head. Also the face and uniform are very detailed but the background looks as if it was painted by someone much less competent. The uniform is that of the 17th Regiment and his epaulettes show a crown and star on each shoulder denoting a full colonel. The gilt waist-belt clasp has a crown, Tiger and 17. The medal nearest his left shoulder is the Scinde medal inscribed MEEANEE and HYDERABAD 1843 within a wreath. The topmost medal is for the Crimea, beneath that the CB, and to the left his many-clasped Military General Service medal, not issued until 1848 but recognising service in the Napoleonic Wars.

Regimental Details | Colonels

Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe