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Francis Edward Henry Farquharson VC (25 March 1837- 12 September 1875) was a Scottish 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. He was then 20 years old and a Lieutenant in the 42nd Regiment, British Army (later The Black Watch - Royal Highlanders).
The deed for which Francis Farquharson was awarded the VC took place on March 9th 1858 at Lucknow, India. Lieutenant Farquharson led a portion of his company and stormed a bastion mounting two guns and then spiked them. This meant that the advance positions held during the night were rendered secure from artillery fire. Lieutenant Farquharson was severely wounded while holding an advanced position the following morning.
Francis Farquharson survived, and continued to serve his regiment. In the1870s, he fought in the Gold Coast of Africa and was specially mentioned by Sir Garnet Wolseley for ‘having performed prominent services during the campaign’. As a result of the campaign, Captain Farquharson was promoted to the rank of Major.
Major Farquharson died shortly after the campaign in Africa and his grave lies a few metres to the east of the entrance to St. Andrew’s Church, Harberton; the stained-glass windows on the east side of the Lady Chapel were dedicated to him by fellow officers of the Black Watch. Major Farquharson was awarded the following medals: Victoria Cross; Crimea Medal (Sebastopol); Indian Mutiny (Lucknow); Ashantee Medal (Coomassie); Turkish Crimea. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Black Watch Museum (Perth, Scotland).
Although instituted more than a century ago and spanning four of the most terrible wars in Britain's history, the Victoria Cross has been awarded to only 1,353 individual recipients.
The (Parish News) Editor would like to thank Harberton’s Jim Mowat for the inspiration and prior investigation behind this article. The Farquharson family lived at Dundrige prior to the Harveys. Data sources include: electricscotland.com; findagrave.com;monarchmilitaria.co.uk;nationalarchives.gov.uk;wikipedia.org.