Major Donald Macintyre VC

Major Donald Macintyre VC


Bengal Staff Corps attached to 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles


Looshai Expedition 


4th January 1872

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Early Life

Born at Kincraig House, Ross-Shire in the Scottish Highlands on the 12th September 1831, Donald Macintryre married Angleica, the daughter of the Reverend T J Patteson of Kinettles, Forfar.

Macintyre was educated at private schools in England and abroad before attending the Addiscombe Military Seminary where he was commissioned in June 1850. On arrival in India, he was posted to the 66th Regiment of Native Infantry (Goorkhas) with which Regiment he served until 1857.

During this time he took part in various frontier campaigns, including the Kurram Expedition to Afghanistan in 1856 under Sir Neville Chamberlain.  On 6th August 1857, he was appointed to raise “The Extra Goorkha Regiment” (later 4th Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkha Rifles) and on 2nd November 1858 was posted to the Sirmoor Rifle Regiment, becoming Adjutant in May 1860. A year later in the February of 1861, he was appointed to the Bengal Staff Corps and became Second-in-Command of the battalion in February 1864.

Victoria Cross Story

After various campaigns against Mohmands and other hill tribes, he accompanied the battalion to the Hazara country in May 1868 and in 1872, as a Major, served with the battalion in the first Looshai Expedition, where he was awarded the Victoria Cross in the storming of the stockaded village of Lalgnoora.  He was also Mentioned in Despatches, promoted to the brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel and given the thanks of the Governor General of India.

The citation in the London Gazette of 27th September 1872 read as follows:-

“For his gallant conduct at the storming of the stockaded village of Lalgnoora on the 4th January, 1872. Colonel Macpherson C.B., V.C.*, Commanding the 2nd Goorkha Regiment, in which Lieutenant-Colonel Macintyre was serving at the time as second-in-command, reports that this Officer, who led the assault, was the first to reach the stockade (on this side from 8 to 9 feet high): and that to climb over and disappear among the flames and smoke of the burning village, was the work of a very short time. The stockade, he adds, was successfully stormed by this Officer under fire, the heaviest the Looshais delivered that day”.


He and his wife Angelica had three sons (Donald, Frank and Ian) who followed in their father’s military footsteps. Donald served in 2nd King Edward’s Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles) from August 1905 to May 1919, while Frank served in the Royal Naval Air Service in the 1914-1918 war.   Ian became a Captain in the Royal Navy and was awarded the CB, CBE and DSO in the 1939-1945 war, serving as Chief of Staff to Admiral Sir Max Horton during the Battle of the Atlantic and commanding the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Scylla on several Russian convoys.  He ended the war as Captain of HMS Indefatigable, an aircraft carrier in the Pacific.

His Victoria Cross is now on display at The Gurkha Museum in Winchester, UK


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