William Spottiswoode Trevor

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William Spottiswoode Trevor
Born 9 October 1831
Calcutta, British India
Died 2 November 1907 (1907-11-03) (aged 76)
Newport, Isle of Wight
Buried Kensal Green Cemetery
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Bengal Army
British Army
Rank Major General
Battles/wars Bhutan War
Indian Mutiny
Second Anglo-Burmese War
Awards Victoria Cross
Other work Railway administrator

Major General William Spottiswoode Trevor VC (9 October 1831 – 2 November 1907) was a 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.


Educated at Addiscombe Military Seminary, Trevor was 33 years old, and a major in the Bengal Engineers, Bengal Army during the Bhutan War when the following deed took place on 30 April 1865 at Dewan-Giri, Bhutan for which he was awarded the VC in a joint citation with Lieutenant James Dundas:

For their gallant conduct at the attack on the Block-house at Dewan-Giri, in Bhootan, on the 30th of April, 1865.

Major-General Tombs, C.B., V.C., the Officer in command at the time, reports that a party of the enemy, from 180 to 200 in number, had barricaded themselves in the Block-house in question, which they continued to defend after the rest of the position had been carried, and the main body was in retreat. The Block-house, which was loop-holed, was the key of the enemy's position. Seeing no Officer of the storming party near him, and being anxious that the place should be taken immediately, as any protracted resistance might have caused the main body of the Bhooteas to rally, the British force having been fighting in a broiling sun on very steep and difficult ground for upwards of three hours, the General in command ordered these two Officers to show the way into the Block-house. They had to climb up a wall which was 14 feet high, and then to enter a house, occupied by some 200 desperate men, head foremost through an opening not more than two feet wide between the top of the wall and the roof of the Block-house. Major-General Tombs states that on speaking to the Sikh soldiers around him, and telling them in Hindoostani to swarm up the wall, none of them responded to the call, until these two Officers had shown them the way, when they followed with the greatest alacrity. Both of them were wounded.[1]

He later achieved the rank of Colonel, and retired in February 1887 with the honorary rank of Major-General.[2]

He is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery.[3]

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Engineers Museum.


  1. ^ "No. 23338". The London Gazette. 18 November 1864. p. 7107. 
  2. ^ "No. 25688". The London Gazette. 1 April 1887. p. 1915. 
  3. ^ Paths of Glory. Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery. 1997. p. 99. 

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