Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Paton, John Stafford

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PATON, JOHN STAFFORD (1821–1889), general in the Indian army, was son of Captain John Forbes Paton, Bengal engineers (1796–1826), and was grandson of another Bengal officer, Col. John Paton (d. 1824), who saw 41 years' service in India, and whose ‘Tables of Routes and Stages in the Presidency of Fort William’ (3rd edition, Calcutta, 1821, fol.) went through several editions. John Stafford, born in 1821, was educated at the East India Company's military seminary at Addiscombe, and in 1837 obtained a Bengal infantry cadetship. On 3 Oct. 1840 he was appointed lieutenant in the 14th Bengal native infantry, with which he served at the battle of Maharajpore in 1843, and in the Sikh war of 1845–6, being present at the battles of Ferozeshah and Sobraon (medal and two clasps), and in the expedition to Kat-Kangra under Brigadier Alexander Jack [q. v.] As a deputy assistant quartermaster-general he served in the Punjab campaign of 1848–9, and was present in the affair at Ramnuggur, the passage of the Chenab, and the battles at Sadoolapore and Chillianwallah, where he was severely wounded (medal and clasps). In 1850 he served with the expedition under Sir Charles James Napier against the Afridees, and was present at the forcing of the Kohat Pass, near Peshawur (medal). He became captain in his regiment on 8 Feb. 1851, and received a brevet majority the day after for services in the Punjab in 1848–9. As brevet lieutenant-colonel and assistant quartermaster-general he served with the force sent to suppress the Gogaira insurrection in 1857, where he commanded the field detachment from Lahore, which was three times engaged with the enemy. While Paton was thus employed, his regiment—the 14th native infantry—mutinied at Jhelum. He was appointed brevet colonel and deputy quartermaster-general in the Punjab in November 1857. He joined the Bengal staff corps on its formation, and became a major-general on 29 Oct. 1866. He was quartermaster-general in Bengal in 1863–8, and was in temporary charge of a division of the Bengal army in 1870.

Paton, who during his active career had been thirty times mentioned in despatches and orders, was made a C.B. in 1873. He became a general on the retired list on 1 Oct. 1877. He married, in 1852, Wilhelmina Jane, daughter of the late Colonel Sir James Tennant, K.C.B., H.E.I.C.S. He died at his residence, 86 Oxford Terrace, London, W., on 28 Nov. 1889.

[Indian Registers and Army Lists, under dates; Broad Arrow, 7 Dec. 1889, p. 687; Colonel Vibart's Addiscombe, 1894, p. 679.]

H. M. C.