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Surgeon Herbert Taylor Reade

Surgeon Herbert Taylor Reade

Herbert Taylor Reade was born in Perth, Ontario, on the 20th of September 1828. He was the son of Staff Surgeon George Hume Reade, who was Colonel of the 3rd Regiment of the Leeds Militia in Upper Canada, (today's Ontario), and who was killed during the Crimean War in 1854. Reade attended schools in Quebec and in Ireland.

Reade entered the British Army in November 1850 as Assistant-Surgeon to the 61st Regiment of Foot, later known as the Gloucestershire Regiment. In 1857, he was promoted to Staff Surgeon 2nd Class.

Reade was in action at the Siege of Delhi on 14 September 1857, during the Indian Mutiny.

"During the siege of Delhi, on the 14th of September, 1857, while Surgeon Reade was attending to the wounded, at the end of one of the streets of the city, a party of rebels advanced from the direction of the Bank, and having established themselves in the houses in the street, commenced firing from the roofs. The wounded were thus in very great danger, and would have fallen into the hands of the enemy, had not Surgeon Reade drawn his sword, and calling upon the few soldiers who were near to follow, succeeded, under a very heavy fire, in dislodging the rebels from their position.

Surgeon Reade's party consisted of about ten in all, of whom two were killed, and five or six wounded.

Surgeon Reade also accompanied the regiment at the assault of Delhi, and, on the morning of the 16th September, 1857, was one of the first up at the breach in the magazine, which was stormed by the 61st Regiment and Belooch Battalion, upon which occasion he, with a serjeant of the 61st Regiment, spiked one of the enemy's guns."

- Victoria Cross citation, The London Gazette, 5 February 1861

Gloucestershire Regiment Insignia

Reade was also present during Ferozapore Affair, aside from the Siege, Assault and Capture of Delhi, and also in action at the assault of the Cashmire Gate. He returned to England and in 1886, he was promoted to Surgeon General. He retired from military service in 1887. His other honours include a Mention in Despatches for promotion for his actions during the Indian Mutiny, a Companion in the Most Honourable Order of Bath and, in 1895, he was made Honorary Surgeon to Queen Victoria.

Herbert Taylor Reade died 23 June 1897 in Bath, England.

His Victoria Cross and other medals are on display at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum, in Gloucester, England.

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