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Richard Harte Keatinge

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Allegiance  United Kingdom
Battles/wars  Indian Mutiny

Name  Richard Keatinge
Rank  Lieutenant general
Role  Armed force officer
Awards  Victoria Cross
Richard Harte Keatinge
Born  17 June 1825 Dublin, Ireland (1825-06-17)
Buried at  Hills Street Cemetery, Horsham
Service/branch  Bombay Army  British Army  British Indian Army
Other work  Chief Commissioner of Ajmer-Merwara Chief Commissioner of Assam
Died  May 25, 1904, Horsham, United Kingdom
Previous office  Chief Commissioner (1874–1878)

Place of burial  Horsham, United Kingdom
Battles and wars  Indian Rebellion of 1857

Lieutenant General Richard Harte Keatinge VC CSI (17 June 1825 – 25 May 1904) was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.


Life and career

Keatinge was born in Dublin. He was 32 years old, and a major in the Bombay Artillery, Bombay Army during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed took place on 17 March 1858 at the assault of Chundairee for which he was awarded the VC:

Bombay Artillery (now of the Staff Corps)

Major Richard Harte Keatinge Date of Act of Bravery, March 17th, 1858

For having rendered most efficient aid at the assault of Chundairee; in voluntarily leading the Column through the breach, which was protected by a heavy cross fire. He was one of the foremost to enter, and was severely wounded in the breach. The Column was saved from a serious loss that would probably have resulted, but for Major Keatinge's knowledge of the small path leading across the ditch, which had been examined during the night by himself and a servant, who declined, when required, to lead the column, without his master. Having cleared the breach; he led into the Fort where he was struck down by another dangerous wound. The Commander-in-Chief in India states that the success af Chundairee was mainly owing to this Officer, whose gallantry, really brilliant, he considers was equalled by his ability and devotion.

Major Keatinge was at the time a Political Officer with the 2nd Brigade of the Central India Field Force.

In 1862 he was transferred to the Royal Artillery and then to the Bombay Staff Corps of the British Indian Army.

In 1868, Colonel Keatinge designed Rajkumar College, Rajkot, which was formally opened in 1870. The college was founded for the education of the princely order by the princes and chiefs of Kathiawad for their sons and relations.

From 1871 to 1873 he was Chief Commissioner of Ajmer-Merwara, and from 1874 to 1878 was Chief Commissioner of Assam. He later achieved the rank of lieutenant general.

In retirement, he settled at Horsham, Sussex, where he died in 1904.


A road in the Indian city of Shillong, which was the capital of the British Province of Assam, where Keatinge had served as Chief Commissioner, has been named Keatinge Road in his honour.


Richard Harte Keatinge Wikipedia