George Channer VC

George Channer VC


1st Goorkha Regiment


Perak Campaign


20th December 1875


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His Story

George Nicholas Channer was born at Allahabad, India, on 7th January 1843, the son of Colonel George Girdwood Channer, and his wife Susan, daughter of the Reverend Nicolas Kendall, Vicar of Lanlivery, Cornwall. He was educated at Truro Grammar School and Cheltenham College.

George Channer was commissioned on 4th September 1859 and became an ‘Ensign Unattached’ until being attached to the 89th Foot from 1862 – 1864. He had been promoted to Lieutenant on 28thAugust 1861 and served on the North West Frontier in 1863 – 64. In March 1867 he was appointed Quartermaster of the 35th (Manipuri) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry and was transferred to the 2nd Bengal Native (Light) Infantry in the same capacity in December 1869. Promoted Captain on 4th September 1871, he served in the Looshai campaign before being appointed to the 1st Goorkha Regiment on 6th March 1873.

For a conspicuous act of bravery on 20th December 1875, at the Bukit Pass and stockades in Negri Sembilan, Malay Peninsula, Captain Channer was awarded the Victoria Cross and promoted to Brevet Major.

The citation in the London Gazette of 14th April 1876 stated:

“For having, with the greatest gallantry, been the first to jump into the Enemy’s Stockade, to which he had been dispatched with a small party of the 1st Ghoorkha Light Infantry, on the afternoon of the 20th December, 1875, by the Officer commanding the Malacca Column, to procure intelligence as to its strength, position, etc.,

Major Channer got completely in rear of the Enemy’s position, and finding himself so close that he could hear the voices of the men inside, who were cooking at the time, and keeping no look out, he beckoned to his men, and the whole party stole quietly forward to within a few paces of the Stockade. On jumping in, he shot the first man dead with his revolver, and his party then came up, and entered the Stockade, which was of a most formidable nature, surrounded by a bamboo palisade; about seven yards within was a loghouse, loop-holed, with two narrow entrances, and trees laid latitudinally, to the thickness of two feet.

The Officer commanding reports that if Major Channer, by his foresight, coolness, and intrepidity, had not taken this Stockade, a great loss of life must have occurred, as from the fact of his being unable to bring guns to bear on it, from the steepness of the hill, and the density of the jungle, it must have been taken at the point of the bayonet”.

Major Channer took part in the Jowaki Afridi Expedition of 1877/78 and was Mentioned in Despatches and promoted to Brevet Lieutenant Colonel during the Afghan War of 1878 – 80. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of The Bath and again Mentioned in Despatches whilst commanding the 1st Brigade on the Black Mountain Expedition of 1888. He was promoted Major General on 27th April 1893 and Lieutenant General on 9th November 1896. He died at Westward Ho, Devon on 13th December 1905, aged 62.

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