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
Regimental Details | Commanding Officers
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