Brigade of Gurkhas – Capt. John Cook – 2 December 1878

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

One of a series of posts concerning Gurkha recipients of the Victoria Cross, each of which will appear on the anniversary of the action leading to the award.

Recipient: Capt. John Cook

Unit: Bengal Staff Corps, 5th Gurkha Rifles

Date: 2 December, 1878

Engagement:  Peiwar Kotal, Second Anglo-Afghan War, Umbeyla Campaign.

Citation: Captain John Cook.  For a signal act of valour at the action of the Peiwar Kotal on the 2nd December, 1878, in having, during a very heavy, fire, charged out of the entrenchments with such impetuosity that the enemy broke and fled, when, perceiving, at the close of the melee, the danger of Major Galbraith, Assistant Adjutant-General, Durum Column Field Force, who was in personal conflict with an Afghan soldier, Captain Cook distracted his attention to himself, and aiming a sword cut which the Douranee avoided, sprang upon him, and, grasping his throat, grappled with him.  They both fell to the ground. The Douranee, a most powerful man, still endeavouring to use his rifle, seized Captain Cook’s arm in his teeth until the struggle was ended by the man being shot through the head.

London Gazette:

Subsequent career: Achieved the rank of major. Killed at Sherpur, Afghanistan, on 19 December 1879.

Cant. John Cook, VC

Cant. John Cook, VC

Assault on the Sherpur cantonment

Assault on the Sherpur cantonment

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About Nigel

Retired law firm project manager based in Jersey, British Channel Islands. When he isn't shooting clay pigeons, he's polishing his collection of kukris or digging his vegetable patch.
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