INDENTField Marshal Sir Neville Bowles Chamberlain G.C.B., G.C.I.E. (1820-1902), born Rio de Janeiro, 10th January, 1820 was commissioned Ensign into the army of the Honourable East India Company 1837; serving with the 16th Bengal Native Infantry, he distinguished himself in the fighting which preceded the storming of Ghuznee, 23rd July, 1839; was present at Candahar under General Nott, from November, 1841 to August, 1842 during which time he took prominent part in the
many actions with the Afghan levies and was wounded in the knee at Urghundab, 12th January, 1841 and in March, during an encounter, his men failed him, and he had to fight hard for his life; on the 29th May, he was stabbed in the thigh by a Ghazi who jumped on his horse; Lieutenant, July 1842. Chamberlain accompanied General Nott on the March from Candahar to Cabul in August, and took part afterwards in the capture of Istaliffe, 20th September: left Cabul for Peshawar in the rear-guard of the combined forces of Nott and Pollock on the 12th October, and was wounded by a bullet near the spine, 16th October and a bullet in the leg 6th November: appointed to the Governor General's Body Guard, January, 1843 after nearly four years in Afghanistan, Chamberlain was wounded six times; took part in the Gwallor campaign, although still suffering from his last wound; was appointed Brigade Major of the 4th Cavalry Brigade (irregulars) at the outbreak of the second Sikh war, and so distinguished himself, that Lord Gough referred to Chamberlain as the 'bravest of the brave'; Captain lst November, 1849 and Major two days later; Lieutenant Colonel, 1854 and took up the command of the Punjab Irregular Force, which had to guard over 700 miles of frontier against turbulent tribes; he led the expeditions into the Miranzai Valley, April, 1855 and against the Orakzais in August (received the thanks of the Governor General);
he went into the Miranzai, 1856 and the following year penetrated the Bozdar country; during the Indian Mutiny, before Delhi, he took the leading part in repulsing the attacks of the mutineers on the 9th and the 14th of July, 1857, he was wounded in the shoulder during the last action (received the thanks of the Governor General and was made a C.B. November, l857); Colonel, 1857; led an expedition against the Kabul Khel Waziris, December, 1859 and another against the Mahsuds, April, 1860 (K.C.B. llth April l863); was called upon to lead an expedition against the Wahabi fanatics, who had found shelter at Sitana in the autumn of 1863, but was forced to take up a defensive position on the top of the Umbeyla Pass, with outlying picket posts commanding the heights, the taking and the re-taking of these posts are legendary, especially the one known as Crag Picket which was re-taken by Chamberlain himself, at the head of the Highland Light Infantry, the 5th Gurkhas and the 5th Punjab Infantry, during this famous action, he was wounded in the fore-arm; Major General, 1864 (K.C.S.I., 24th May 1861); Lieutenant General, 1872 (G.C.S.I., 24th May, 1873 and G.C.B. 29th May, 1875); he took command of the Madras Army, February, 1876: General, 1877; Field Marshal 1900.
Field Marshal Sir Neville Bowles Chamberlain. G.C.B., G.C.S.I., referred to by Sir Charles Napier as 'Coeur de Lion' and 'the very soul of chivalry', died at Lordsworth, 18th February, 1902.
Field Marshall Chamberlain's medals were sold in these rooms, 3 April 1984, lot 163