O'Moore Creagh

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This article is about the Indian Army general. For the British Army major-general, see Michael O'Moore Creagh.
Sir Garrett O'Moore Creagh
General O'Moore Creagh, VC, Colonel of 129th Baluchis, 1912 copyv.jpg
General Sir Garrett O'Moore Creagh
Born Cahirbane, County Clare
Died South Kensington, London
Buried at East Sheen Cemetery
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
British Indian Army
Years of service 1866–1914
Rank General
Unit 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot
29th (DCO) Bombay Infantry (2nd Baluch Battalion)
Commands held Commander-in-Chief, India
Battles/wars Second Anglo-Afghan War
Boxer Rebellion
Awards Victoria Cross
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of India
Venerable Order of Saint John
Order of the Rising Sun (Japan)
Relations Major General Sir Michael Creagh (son)

General Sir Garrett O'Moore Creagh VC, GCB, GCSI (2 April 1848 – 9 August 1923), known as Sir O'Moore Creagh,[1] was born in Cahirbane, County Clare and was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Background[edit]

Creagh was the eighth son of Captain James Creagh RN and his wife, Grace O'Moore.

Creagh was married twice, firstly to Mary Longfield (or possibly Brereton) in 1874, who died in 1876, and then to Elizabeth Reade in 1891. He had three children, one of whom was Major General Sir Michael Creagh.

In 1866, after training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Creagh was commissioned into the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot and in 1869 was posted to India, being transferred to the British Indian Army the next year.

Second Anglo-Afghan War[edit]

Creagh was 31 years old, and a captain in the Bombay Staff Corps during the Second Anglo-Afghan War, when the following deed on 22 April 1879 at Kam Dakka, on the Kabul River, Afghanistan, took place for which he was awarded the VC:

On the 21st April Captain Creagh was detached from Dakka with two Companies of his Battalion to protect the village of Kam Dakka on the Cabul River, against a threatened incursion of the Mohmunds, and reached that place the same night. On the following morning the detachment, 150 men, was attacked by the Mohmunds in overwhelming numbers, about 1,500 ; and the inhabitants of Kam Dakka having themselves taken part with the enemy, Captain Creagh found himself under the necessity of retiring from the village. He took up a position in a cemetery not far off, which he made as defensible as circumstances would admit of, and this position he held against all the efforts of the enemy, repeatedly repulsing them with the bayonet until three o'clock in the afternoon, when he was relieved by a detachment sent for the purpose from Dakka. The enemy were then finally repulsed, and being charged by a troop of the 10th Bengal Lancers, under the command of Captain D. M. Strong, were routed and broken, and great numbers of them driven into the river. The Commander-in-Chief in India has expressed his opinion that but for the coolness, determination, and gallantry of the highest order, and the admirable conduct which Captain Creagh displayed on this occasion the detachment under his command would, in all probability, have been cut off and destroyed.[2]

Later career[edit]

In 1878 he became captain of the Merwara battalion, commanding them from 1882 until 1886. He assumed command of the 29th (Duke of Connaught's Own) Bombay Infantry (2nd Baluch Battalion) in 1890, and was promoted to Assistant Quarter-master General in 1896. He commanded the Indian contingent during the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, and was in September 1901 appointed General Officer Commanding the Force after the departure of General Gaselee.[3] He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in 1904 and promoted to general in 1907, becoming the Military Secretary to the India Office the same year.

Creagh succeeded Lord Kitchener as Commander-in-Chief, India in 1909, retiring in 1914. During the First World War he served as the military advisor to the Central Association of Volunteer Training Corps.[4] He died at 65 Albert Hall Mansions, London SW9 on 9 August 1923.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London, England.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Despite appearances to the contrary, O'Moore was his middle name, not part of his surname
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24784. p. 6494. 18 November 1879. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27357. p. 6172. 20 September 1901.
  4. ^ The Law Times, Volume 138 p.346 (13 February 1915)

References[edit]

Listed in order of publication year

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Edward Stedman
Military Secretary to the India Office
1907–1909
Succeeded by
Sir Beauchamp Duff
Preceded by
The Viscount Kitchener
Commander-in-Chief, India
1909–1914
Succeeded by
Sir Harry Duff