Scarce Dehli Massacre Officer Survivors medal group.
General Henry Nicoll, C.B., 50th Bengal Native Infantry, Brigade Major at Delhi from 1854 and one of the few European survivors of the ‘Delhi Massacre’ on the outbreak of the Mutiny; he afterwards took part in all the operations before Delhi up to the final capture of the city, and was posthumously appointed a C.B. on the 50th anniversary of the Mutiny

Maharajpoor Star 1843 (Lieutt. Henry Nocoll 50th Regt. Native Infy.) fitted with contemporary replacement bar suspension; Punjab 1848-49, no clasp (Lieutt. Henry Nicoll 50th Regt. Native Infy.) naming officially re-engraved in running script, these two medals probably official replacements for those lost during the Mutiny; Indian Mutiny 1857-59, 1 clasp, Dlehi (Bt. Majr. H. Nicall, Majr. of Brigde.) note spelling of surname.

Henry Nicoll was born at Lyndhurst, Hampshire, on 4 November 1816, and baptised at Alresford on 3 December following. He entered the H.E.I.C. College at Addiscombe in February 1832 and was appointed an Ensign in the 50th Bengal Native Infantry on 12 December 1834;
Lieutenant, 4 November 1838;
Captain, 21 October 1849;
Brevet Major, 19 January 1858.
He spent most of his regimental career with the 50th Native Infantry before moving into Staff appointments as Brigade Major at Delhi 1854-61, and afterwards in the Adsjutant General’s Department.

He served as a Lieutenant in 1842 during the disturbances in the Saugor and Bundelkhand districts in which one Wing of the 50th was involved. Served during the Gwalior campaign of 1843 and was present at the battle of Punniar, 29 December (Bronze Star). Served in the Punjab campaign of 1848-49 (Medal), and in the Sonthal Rebellion in 1855-56.

Nicoll was Brigade Major to Brigadier Graves at Delhi from 1854, and was there when the mutiny broke out on 11 May 1857, leading to the ‘Delhi Massacre’; he was one of the comparatively few survivors when the city rose in rebellion and the Europeans were hunted down and murdered, sometimes in appalling circumstances. He is recorded as having given his carriage to some ladies to enable their escape –

We got into Captain Nicoll’s carriage, and put in as many others as we could, and drove one pair of horses for 50 miles, expecting every minute to be pursued and killed, and we were told a regiment had left Umballah and was cutting up whatever came in its way, so that unless we turned off the road we could not escape. This induced some to go off to Meerut, but we did not know what to do, as there was danger there. However, the report proved false, and we arrived safe at Kurnaul the next morning.’

Nicoll is also recorded by Harriet Tytler as being at Flagstaff Tower where some of the survivors had assembled. He is also recorded as having been one of the last three officers to leave the Flagstaff Tower, which had been found unsuitable as a place of refuge, as the refugees fled the city. Nicoll headed for Kurnaul, as did other survivors with varying degrees of success, and here he joined the Delhi Field Force as it assembled.

Nicoll took part in the advance to Delhi Ridge and was present at the battle of Badli-ki-Serai and the taking of the heights above Delhi. He then served throughout the operations on Delhi Ridge and during the assault and capture of the city. He was mentioned in despatches by Brigadier Groves on 8 June 1857, and also by Brigadier Longford for his part in the siege, assault and final capture of Delhi.

He was appointed Brevet Major in January 1858 ‘for services before Delhi’, and remained as Brigade Major at Delhi until 1861, being promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel on 18 February.
He was further promoted to Colonel on 18 February 1866;
Major-General, 1 October 1877;
Lieutenant-General, 25 May 1880;
General, 22 January 1889.
General Nicoll died at Lidlington Vicarage, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, on 5 February 1907, aged 90.

On 28 June 1907, in the special 50th Anniversary commemorative King’s honours list, he was posthumously appointed C.B. for his Mutiny service.

With a copy of a portrait of Nicole wearing his Maharajpoor Star’
Light pitting from star, otherwise nearly very fine or better