William Mactier

Last Name: 
First Name: 
Grave Plot No.: 
Lieut. Col., C.B.E
Date of birth: 
year of death: 
date of death: 
Ethnicity / Origin: 
Scottish [?]
Age at death: 
62 yrs
Son of Alexander Mactier and his wife Rosanna. Brother of Anthony Mactier, Head Commissioner, Court of Bequests, Bengal and of Durris House, co. Kincardine. Married Miss Harriet Armstrong in Muttra, 10.06.1821.
Full Epitaph: 
Sacred/ To the memory of/ Lieut Col WILLIAM MACTIER/ of the Bengal Light Cavalry/ Colonel of the Indian Army/ Companion of the Order of the Bath/ Who died at Indore/ 16 September 1855/ Aged 62 years/ His mortal remains were brought down to Calcutta/ And interred 9 April 1856.
Officer of the British Army (Lieut. Col.), Deputy Judge Advocate General, Member of the Military Board.
Place of birth / origin: 
Wigton, Cumbria
Places mentioned 1: 
Indore, Dinapore, Gwalior, Mudki
Place of death: 
Detailed information: 

Brevet Colonel CB, Second Light Cavalry Brigadier Commanding Benares Division. Attained the ranks of Cadet (1809), Cornet (28.03.1810), Lieutenant (1.09.1818), Captain (1.05.1824), Major (13.01.1842), Lieutenant Colonel (2.02.1851), Brevet Colonel (20.06.1854).

Attended Barasat Cadet College for eight and a half months; admitted to the military 17.11.1810; Cadet in 4th Northern Command 1811; Cornet in 4th Northern Command 1813; took leave for six months to sea (with sick certificate) in July 1817; Third Mahratta War 1813 as Cornet in 4th Northern Command; Interpreter and Quartermaster in 4th Light Cavalry 10.04.1819 till 29.06.1824; operations in Kotah 1821; Mangrol (?w); Lieutenant 4th Light Cavalry leave (urgent private affairs) to Calcutta 19.04 till 14.12.1822; leave (sick certificate) 12 months to New South Wales 3.05.1823 till 16.04.1826; furlough (sick certificate) 4.06.1826 till 14.05.1831. Was active in Shekhawat expedition 1834 as Captain in 4th Light Cavalry. Acted as Officiating Deputy Judge Advocate General in Sirhind Division (23.02.1838), D.J.A.G. for Dinapore and Benares 6.03.1839, and for Presidency Division 25.06.1839 till 21.12.1842.

In the Gwalior campaign of 1843, he served as Major commanding the 4th Light Cavalry (Lancers) under Brig. Scott CB. He was active in the Battle of Maharajpur (29.12.1843) which was reported in the London Gazette of 8th March and 30th April 1844. For his feats in this battle he won the Bronze Star. He then served as Brigadier in the First Sikh War, leading the 3rd Cavalry in the Battle of Mudki (18.12.1845) in Maj. Gen. Sir Joseph Thackwell's Cavalry Division. The cavalry, under Brigadiers White, Gough, and Mactier, played a crucial role in this battle, advancing to the front in columns of squadrons and occupying the plains to allow the passage of five troops of horse artillery under Brigadier Brooke. Mactier was severely wounded. In the Battle of Ferozeshah he was Brevet Lieut. Col. commanding the 4th Light Cavalry, and won a "medal with clasp" for his services.

He was officiating Member of the Military Board from 1849-50 and stipendiary M.M.B. from 8.11.1850. Posted as Lieut. Col. to 1st Light Cavalry December 1851; to 2nd Light Cavalry November 1852; Brigadier 2nd Class in Delhi 22.09.1854 and in Benaras January 1855 until his death. CB 3.04.1846.

Also mentioned in a footnote to p. 84 of Compton Rede's 'A Record of the Redes' (Hereford, 1899) wherein it is stated that he, by giving the command to retire when within fifty yards of the enemy, stranded and caused the death of two Officers at the front (Edward Jervoise Ridge and Henry Jonathan Reade). "Mactier's interest with the E.I.C. being strong, he escaped with a reprimand." (Compton Reade) The Commander-in-Charge refuted "these base insinuations" in a General Order of 6.01.1823. A Court of Enquiry was ordered in June 1825 but not held owing to the absence of witnesses.

His grave seems to be in need of repair and the tablet is supposed to have been moved to South Park Street Cemetery. A plaque dedicated to his memory can be found in St. Andrew's Church, Calcutta. The image of the latter is displayed here.

Source: V. C. P. Hodson, List of the Officers of the Bengal Army 1758-1834 Vol. 3, p. 202-203
For more on the Gwalior and Punjab Campaigns of the British Indian Army, see Our Soldiers by W. H. G. Kingston, chapters 3 and 4: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23052/23052-h/23052-h.htm

Any reason for importance: 
Served in the Gwalior and Punjab campaigns. Led the 3rd Cavalry in the Battle of Mudki. Monumental Inscription in St. Andrew's, Calcutta.
Tomb placed by: 
Stone placed in South Park Street Cemetery by Inchcape and Co., London, and BACSA in 1987; original grave in the Scottish Cemetery, Karaya Road
Photo 2 close up: 
This record has been created by:: 

Shalmi Barman