Sir James Hope Grant GCB (July 22, 1808–March 7, 1875)
Hope Grant only appears briefly at the start of Chapter 21, but in fact he was a vital part of putting down the Mutiny. He also features in the Flashman novels, where he is described as a most formidable soldier and the deadliest fighter alive. His military career began at the age of 18, when he joined the 9th Lancers as a very junior NCO. He rose steadily through the ranks from lieutenant in 1828 to captain in 1835, and by 1842 he was a brigade-major, fighting in the First Opium War in China (1839–42), which had a strong connection with India. He was awarded for his bravery during the capture of Qin-Kiang and received the rank of major.
Three years later, Hope Grant was in India during the First Sikh War (1845–46) at the battle of Sobraon and in the Second Sikh War (1848–49) where he commanded the 9th Lancers. His reputation was further enhanced in the battles of Chillian Walla and Gujerat. As we see from the novel, he was present at the relief of Lucknow, but immeditaely prior to his appearance in the story he had commanded the cavalry division as a brigadier and been part of the final assault on Delhi, which resulted in the city’s capture.
At the final relief of Lucknow, he had his horse shot from under him, but recovered to lead the cavalry and horse artillery sent towards Kanpur to link up with the commander-in-chief
Sir Colin Campbell. When they met near the Alumbagh, Campbell appointed him brigadier-general and placed the whole force under his command during the last struggles to relieve the Residency. Hope Grant executed 25 rebels, but was only a little less harsh on 50 British soldiers found guilty of unlawful looting, who were viciously flogged.
After the relief of Lucknow, Hope Grant, now a major-general, was appointed to the command of the force which undertook the final pacification of northern India, for which service he was
created KCB. As brevet lieutenant-general, he commanded the Anglo-French land forces in the last year of the Second Opium War (1856–60) in China and again received the thanks of the
nation for what has been called the most successful of Britain’s ‘little wars’ and was gazetted GCB.
In the following year Hope Grant returned to india, confirmed as lieutenant-general in command of the army of Madras. He returned to England in 1865 and became General Officer
Commanding at Aldershot in November 1870, in which post he remained until his death in at the age of 67 in 1875.
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Sir James Hope Grant, painted in 1853 by his brother, Sir Francis Grant, President of the Royal Academy.
Appears in Chapter 21