Herbert Boulcott

Medals awarded

  • India General Service Medal 1854-1895

clasp: North West Frontier

Herbert Boulcott was born in 1842. He initially enlisted as an Ensign in the 86th Regiment of Foot, but joined the 19th Regiment in 1863.

Herbert is pictured with the other officers of the 1st Battalion in Peshawar in 1866. He is seated on the left of the photograph, which is in the museum collection.

The 1st Battalion had served in India since 1857, but only moved to the North West Frontier in 1862. It was generally viewed as a period of intense boredom, mixed with the fear of diseases such as cholera. Thus a regime of drill and route marching was devised, with polo, hunting and racing filling the days of most of the regiment’s officers.

Boulcott was promoted to Lieutenant in 1867. The following year he served with the regiment in the Hazara Campaign. This was a punitive campaign against Yusufzai tribesmen in the Black Mountains of north-west India.

Colonel Langford records how, during the second day of the occupation of their objective, Muchai Peak, the ablutions of a group of naked officers was “interrupted by a volley of some dozen bullets, which struck the rocks all around us. How we escaped was a miracle…”

Boulcott sold his commission and retired in May 1870. He died, aged 67 in Hampshire in 1909.