The Indian Mutiny is triggered on May 10, 1857. It is a civil war complicated by the impossibility of differentiating friends and enemies who wear the same uniform. Major Henry 'Harry' Tombs, in charge of a troop of the Bengal horse artillery, is immediately involved in the field.
Tombs is one of those exemplary soldiers whose old armies so badly needed. Impeccable in his handsome bearing, he will display an unstoppable bravery and a cold lucidity of decision in action throughout his career that he will finish in the rank of Major General.
The Victoria Cross rewards his heroism in a defensive action on July 9, 1857 during the siege of Delhi. The rebels attack the camp, so sneakily that they cheat the infantry picket. The Second Lieutenant Hills of the horse artillery remains alone in resisting the enemy. He is ridden down and has no chance to survive the hand-to-hand combat. In heavy rain Tombs hurries out of the mess tent, takes a revolver and a sword and twice saves his subordinate.
The camp had resisted. In his report Tombs misses to tell his own exploits. In admiration, the lieutenant-colonel re-establishes in all its details the heroic truth and obtains the Victoria Cross for Tombs and Hills.
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