b. 28/02/1830 Antigua. d. 25/02/1901 Bath, Somerset.
Henry Edward Jerome (1830-1901) was born on the West Indian island of Antigua on 2nd February 1830, the son of Joseph and Mrs Jerome (nee Walker). He was educated at the Royal Military College Sandhurst, and was commissioned into the 86th Regiment of Foot (later Royal Irish Rifles) on 21st January 1848. By the time of the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, he had reached the rank of Captain, and took part in many of the battles of the Central India Field Force. He had an outstanding record of bravery and was recommended for the VC on five separate occasions. Indeed, his VC was inscribed with three dates.
During the assault on Jhansi fort on 3rd April 1858, his gallantry was finally rewarded. With the help of Private James Byrne, also of the 86th, they managed to rescue under heavy fire, Lieutenant Sewell who was severely wounded. Byrne would also be awarded the VC for this act. Later, on 28th May 1858, he was part of the storming party on the fort of Chandairee. The third date on his VC would be 28th May 1859 when he fought against a vastly superior force at Jumna and was severely wounded.
He would receive his VC at Windsor Castle on 4th January 1860 alongside James Byrne. He transferred to the 14th Regiment of Foot and took part in the Hazara Campaign in 1867. He returned to Britain and served on the Staff for eight years and in 1885 retired with the rank of Major-General. He retired to the West Country, and died at his home in Bath on 25th February 1901. Although he had been ill for some time, his son said he had died of shock when he learned of the news that his old regiment had surrendered to the Boers! He was laid to rest in Landsdown Cemetery, Bath. On 9th October 2012, his medals were purchased by the Ashcroft Collection and are displayed in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: LANDSDOWN CEMETERY, BATH, SOMERSET.
Picture: Kevin Brazier
Henry Jerome's medals including VC on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London. (August 2014)
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier