Field Marshal Sir Hew Dalrymple Ross GCB

Hew Dalrymple Ross was born on 5 July 1779. He attended RMA Woolwich and was commissioned into the RA on 6 Mar 1795. He served with distinction throughout the Peninsula War and Waterloo in command of Chestnut Troop RHA which was raised in 1793 using only chestnut coloured horses. At Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington asked the whereabouts of the Chestnut Troop which then became it’s designation, officially sanctioned almost 100 years later by King Edward VII. It became the senior Battery within the RA and takes pride of place on the right of the line. Captain Hew Ross took charge of the Troop in 1806, a command that lasted 19 years. Ross held many important commands in the Royal Artillery but was always regarded as a horse-gunner. After the battle of Vittoria his Troop was continually up with the most advanced units. The French had only one gun during their retreat across the Pyrenees but Ross’s men captured it. At the battle of the Nive he had his horse shot from under him but he was not injured.

During the Crimean War he was Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance, the last general to hold that post, and was responsible for all the artillery sent out from Britain. He also founded the facility that was to become the Experimental Unit at Shoeburyness. He was married to Elizabeth Graham, in 1816, and they had 3 sons, Brevet Major Hew Graham Ross RA, Captain James Adolphus Ross, 5th Bengal Cavalry and General Sir John Ross GCB of the Rifle Brigade.

The portrait is of Field Marshal Sir Hew D Ross GCB, painted by Sir Francis Grant. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1869 and is now at Woolwich. It was reproduced in the Journal of the Society of Army Historical Research no. 27 (January 1928) along with photos of his medals. The Maltese cross-shaped medal is his Gold Cross with BUSACO, SALAMANCA, BADAJOZ and NIVE on the cross, and claps for VITTORIA and NIVELLE. The cross nearest his throat is the Russian Order of St Ann 2nd Class with a red ribbon that has yellow borders. The eight-pointed star is Portuguese; Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Tower and the Sword, having a dark blue ribbon. Other medals are the Field Officer’s small gold (general service) medal for Salmanca. A silver general service medal, issued in 1847, with three clasps for FUENTES DE ONORO, CUIDAD RODRIGO and PYRENEES. And the Waterloo medal. There is also his breast star for Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB). On his right shoulder is the red sash and badge for the Order of the Bath.

1795 2nd Lieutenant RA 6 Mar
1796 Lieutenant RA 10 May
1798 Active Service against the Irish Rebellion
1803 Captain Lieutenant 1 Sep
1803 Adjutant 15 Sep
1804 Second Captain 26 July
1804 Adjutant 4th Btn RA Woolwich
1806 Captain 24 July in command of Chestnut Troop RHA
1809 Active Service in the Peninsula
1810 Battle of Côa July
1810 Battle of Bussaco Sep
1811 Battles of Pombal, Redinha, Casal Novo and Sabugal
1811 Battle of Fuentes d’Onor May
1811 Promoted to Major 31 Dec
1812 Siege of Cuidad Rodrigo Jan
1812 Siege of Badajoz April
1812 Battle of Salamanca July
1813 Battle of Vittoria June
1813 Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel 3 July
1813 Battle of Nive Dec
1814 Battle of Bayonne April
1815 Appointed Knight Commander, Order of the Bath 4 Jan
1815 Battle of Waterloo June
1815 Awarded Russian order of St Ann 2nd Class 8 Oct
1816 Married to Elizabeth Graham
1825 Artillery Commander Northern District
1830 Colonel 22 July
1840 Deputy Adjutant-General RA 23 April
1841 Major-General 23 Nov
1851 Lieutenant General 11 Nov
1854 Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance 2 May
1854 General 28 Nov
1855 Adjutant-General RA 22 May
1855 Advanced to Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath 5 July
1855 Colonel Commandant of the RHA
1858 Retired in April
1864 Master Gunner, St James’s Park
1864 Field Marshal 1 Jan
1868 Lieutenant Governor of he Royal Hospital, Chelsea 3 Aug
1868 Died at Knightsbridge on 10 December.

Regimental Details | Commanding Officers

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