Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/110

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Cureton
Cureton
98

to Afghanistan in the army of the Indus under Sir John (afterwards Lord) Keane. He was appointed assistant adjutant-general of cavalry, was specially selected to command the advanced column of the army through the Bolan pass, marched to Kandahar, was present at the assault and capture of Ghazni on 23 July. He commanded a force in advance of the army which seized the enemy's guns, and secured possession of the citadel of Kabul in August 1839. For his services he was mentioned in despatches, received from the amir of Afghanistan the third class of the order of the Durani empire, was promoted to a brevet lieutenant-colonelcy, and awarded the medal.

In the Gwalior campaign Cureton commanded a brigade of cavalry at the battle of Maharajpur on 29 Dec. 1843, was mentioned in despatches for his distinguished services, was awarded the medal, and on 2 May 1844 was made a companion of the Bath, military division. In the Satlaj campaign he commanded the whole of the cavalry in the force under Sir Harry George Wakelyn Smith [q. v.], and took part in the reduction of Dharm-Kote on 18 Jan. 1846, in the advance towards Ludiana, and in the action near Badowal on the 22nd, when it was due to the admirable efforts of the cavalry that Smith only lost a large portion of his baggage.

Cureton commanded the cavalry at the battle of Aliwal on 28 Jan., when he smashed up a large body of the celebrated Ayin troop trained by General Avitabile, and utterly routed the Sikh right, the 16th lancers breaking a well-formed infantry square of Avitabile's regiment, and, notwithstanding the steadiness of the enemy, reforming and charging back repeatedly. Sir Harry Smith signally defeated the Sikhs, and in his despatch of 30 Jan. said: 'In Brigadier Cureton her majesty has one of those officers rarely met with; the cool experience of the veteran soldier is combined with youthful activity; his knowledge of outpost duty and the able manner he handles his cavalry under the heaviest fire rank him among the first cavalry officers of the age; and I beg to draw his excellency's marked attention to this honest encomium;' while Sir Henry Hardinge, the governor-general, observed: 'This officer's whole life has been spent in the most meritorious exertions in Europe and Asia, and on this occasion the skill and intrepidity with which the cavalry force was handled obtained the admiration of the army which witnessed their movements.' Cureton commanded a brigade of cavalry at the battle of Sobraon on 10 Feb., and was again honourably mentioned in despatches. For his services in the campaign he received the thanks of parliament, the medal and clasp, and was made an aide-de-camp to the queen, with the rank of colonel in the army, on 3 April.

On 7 April 1846 Cureton was appointed adjutant-general of the queen's forces in the East Indies. In the Punjab, or second Sikh war, Cureton commanded the cavalry division and three troops of horse artillery at the action at Ramnagar on 23 Nov. 1848, and was killed when leading the 14th light dragoons to the support of the 5th light cavalry. He was buried with military honours. He was a strict disciplinarian, but a most genial and popular officer with all ranks.

Several of his sons survived him, and two were distinguished soldiers. Edward Burgoyne Cureton (1822–1894), lieutenant-general, colonel of the 12th lancers, became an ensign in the 13th foot on 21 June 1839. He was made brevet colonel 28 Dec. 1868, major-general 29 Sept. 1878, lieutenant-general 1 July 1881, colonel of the 3rd hussars 19 April 1891, and was transferred to the colonelcy of the 12th lancers 30 April 1892. He exchanged from the 13th foot into the 3rd light dragoons; served with the 16th lancers at the battle of Maharajpur on 29 Dec. 1843, and received the bronze star; served with his own regiment at Mudki on 18 Dec. 1845, when he was severely wounded, and at Sobraon on 10 Feb. 1846, receiving the medal and clasp for the campaign. Having exchanged with the 12th lancers, he served with them in the Kaffir war of 1851-3, was thanked for his services in general orders (London Gazette, 1 June 1852), and received the medal. He went through the Crimean campaign from 31 July 1855, took part in the battle of the Tchernaya, in the siege and capture of Sebastopol, and in the operations around Eupatoria, was mentioned in despatches, received a brevet majority, the war medal with clasp, and the Turkish medal. He retired from the active list in 1881. He died at Hillbrook River, Dover, on 9 Feb. 1894. He married in 1856 a daughter of Captain John Swindley.

Sir Charles Cureton (1826–1891), general, Bengal staff corps, was born on 25 Nov. 1826. He received a commission as ensign in the East India Company's army on 22 Feb. 1843. He became brevet colonel 14 Feb. 1868, lieutenant-colonel 22 Feb. 1869, major-general 22 Feb. 1870, lieutenant-general 1 Oct. 1877, general 1 Dec. 1888. He was appointed adjutant of the 12th regiment of irregular cavalry on 14 Jan. 1846, having arrived in India on 24 June 1843. He served in the Satlaj campaign, was present at the