Euston Henry Sartorius

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Euston Henry Sartorius VC


Major General Euston Henry Sartorius VC, CB, who was educated at Victoria College, was a recipient of the Victoria Cross. His brother Major General Reginald William Sartorius was also awarded the VC


Euston Sartorius was 35 years old, and a captain in the 59th Regiment of Foot (later The East Lancashire Regiment), during the Second Anglo-Afghan War when he was awarded the VC. The London Gazette of 17 May 1881 recorded:

'For conspicuous bravery during the action at Sliah-jui, on 24 October 1879, in leading a party of five or six men of the 59th Regiment against a body of the enemy, of unknown strength, occupying an almost inaccessible position on the top of a precipitous hill. The nature of the ground made any sort of regular formation impossible, and Captain Sartorius had to bear the first brunt of the attack from the whole body of the enemy, who fell upon him and his men as they gained the top of the precipitous pathway. But the gallant and determined bearing of this Officer, emulated as it was by his men, led to the most perfect success, and the surviving occupants of the hill top, seven in number, were all killed. In this encounter Captain Sartorius was wounded by sword cuts in both hands, and one of his men was killed'.

The records of the 59th Regiment record:

"The Ghilzais had prepared a surprise attack on the British camp, but the information was brought to our command and the tables were turned on the enemy. Captain Sartorius led a small party of only five or six men, to a surprise attack on their stronghold at Tazi, on the top of an almost inaccessible hill. First creeping up and dashing unawares on the picket, the place was taken by assault with the loss of only one man. Captain Sartorius was himself, however, severely wounded in both hands by sword cuts."

Further information

Born at Cintra, near Lisbon, in 1844, Captain Sartorius is the son of the late Admiral of the Fleet, Sir George Sartorius, GCB. Educated at Woolwich and RM College, Sandhurst, he joined the 59th Regiment in 1862. Besides being mentioned in despatches in the Afghan War, he was thanked by the Indian Government for his services on the Survey.

He also served in the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War and was mentioned in despatches. He was later appointed as Military Attache in Japan. He was awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society for saving the lives of three girls from drowning at Broadstairs on June 29 1869.

The medal

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Army Museum, Chelsea

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