William Alexander Kerr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Alexander Kerr
Lt William Alexander Kerr, VC.jpg
Born 18 July 1831
Melrose, Scottish Borders
Died 21 May 1919
Folkestone, Kent
Buried at Cheriton Road Cemetery, Folkestone
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Bombay Army
Rank Captain
Unit 24th Bombay Native Infantry
Battles/wars Indian Mutiny
Awards Victoria Cross

Captain William Alexander Kerr VC (18 July 1831 – 21 May 1919) was a Scottish 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.


Kerr was 25 years old, and a lieutenant in the 24th Bombay Native Infantry (now 6th Battalion The Baloch Regiment, Pakistan Army) and serving with the Southern Mahratta Horse during the Indian Mutiny, when the following deed took place on 10 July 1857 at Kolapore, India for which he was awarded the VC:

24th Bombay Native Infantry. Lieutenant William Alexander Kerr. Date of Act of Bravery, 10th July, 1857.

"On the breaking out of a mutiny in the 27th Bombay Native Infantry in July, 1857, a party of the mutineers took up a position in the stronghold, or paga, near the town of Kolapore, and defended themselves to extremity. Lieutenant Kerr, of the Southern Mahratta Irregular Horse, took a prominent share of the attack on the position, and at the moment when its capture was of great public importance, he made a dash at one of the gateways, with some dismounted horsemen, and forced an entrance by breaking down the gate. The attack was completely successful, and the defenders were either killed, wounded, or captured, a result that may with perfect justice be attributed to Lieutenant Kerr's dashing and devoted bravery." (Letter from the Political Superintendent at Kolapore, to the Adjutant-General of the Army, dated 10th September, 1857.)[1]

Lieutenant William Alexander Kerr, 24th Bombay Native Infantry, winning the Victoria Cross near Kolapore, July 1857. Oil on canvas by Chevalier Louis-William Desanges, c. 1859.

Further information[edit]

He attended Loretto School. He achieved the rank of captain. His VC is on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London.


  1. ^ "no. 22131". The London Gazette. 27 April 1858. p. 2050. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 

External links[edit]