Lieutenant T Melvill VC

Lieutenant Teignmouth Melvill was the adjutant of the 1st Battalion 24th Regiment which suffered so badly at the Battle of Isandhlwana in the Zulu War of 1879. When it looked as if the battle was lost Melvill was ordered to take the Queen's Colour to safety. He rode to Buffalo River but his horse was shot and he struggled to cross the fast flowing waters with the Colour. He was assisted by Lieutenant Coghill of the same regiment but both were killed on the other bank. They were posthumously awarded the VC for their brave struggle against the Zulus, although it would be fair to say that every man of the regiment who fought in that battle could see their death coming and deserved the VC for their courage and discipline. Melvill was born in London on 8th Sep 1842 and died in Zululand on 22nd Jan 1879.

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by Stephen Luscombe