A PLAQUE has been unveiled to honour an Eaton Socon man awarded the Victoria Cross. Born in Eaton Socon in 1823, Matthew Rosamond left England as a teenager, following the death of his father, to join the Army. In 1857, he was called upon to help fight i

The blue plaque

A PLAQUE has been unveiled to honour an Eaton Socon man awarded the Victoria Cross.

Born in Eaton Socon in 1823, Matthew Rosamond left England as a teenager, following the death of his father, to join the Army.

In 1857, he was called upon to help fight in the Indian Mutiny. The East India Company, then the colonial authority, was facing revolt from some of the armed forces, mainly in the north of India.

History has singled out two of Mr Rosamond's brave deeds and gallantry. On one occasion, he volunteered to light fires in order to drive back the Indian soldiers.

Then Mr Rosamond helped to rescue a paymaster and his family from their bungalow and take them to the safety of the barracks.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria in 1861 - one of only 182 recipients during the Indian Mutiny.

It was a war which brought about the end of the East India Company's rule in India and led to direct rule by the British government.

David Bushby, a Huntingdonshire historian who has been researching Mr Rosamond's life, said: "I wonder what Matthew must have felt like having risen from such a humble background to meeting Queen Victoria, foreign ambassadors and ministers, lords, bishops, British and India army officers and officials, including General Lord Clyde, on his return from India?"

The unveiling, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his act of bravery, was carried out by two members of the Rosamond family, Frederick and Peter.

Sue Jarrett, of the Eatons Community Association, said: "Matthew Rosamond's name and achievement, once forgotten, will once again be remembered and honoured."

The plaque has been placed on Regis House, opposite the church where the bakery, run by the Rosamond family, once stood.

The plaque is one of a group which will be placed on buildings in Eaton Socon and Eaton Ford during the next few weeks as part of the Eatons People and Places Project, which has been funded by a grant from St Neots Town Council, Huntingdonshire Local History Society, the Rotary Club of St Neots St Mary's and a Local Heritage Initiative Grant.

INFORMATION: To find out the location of the other plaques, pick up a leaflet from St Neots Museum or St Neots Library. To find out more, write to Sue Jarrett, ESCA History Co-ordinator, 3 Collingsworth Road, Eaton Socon PE19 8JQ.