Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Cubitt, William George

CUBITT, WILLIAM GEORGE (1835–1903), colonel, Indian staff corps, born in Calcutta on 19 Oct. 1835, was son of Major William Cubitt of the Bengal native infantry, third son of George Cubitt of Catfield, Norfolk. His mother was Harriet Harcourt. His sister, Selena Fitzgerald, married in 1859 Julian (afterwards Lord) Pauncefote [q. v. Suppl. II]. Educated privately at Latham, Yorkshire, he entered the Indian army as ensign in the 13th regiment Bengal native infantry on 26 July 1853. He served against the Santhal rebels in 1855, and joined the Indian staff corps in 1861.

Promoted lieutenant on 23 Nov. 1866, he was at Lucknow with his regiment in 1867, when the Indian Mutiny broke out and his regiment revolted. With the volunteer cavalry he was engaged at the action of Chinhut near Lucknow on 30 June 1857, and was awarded the Victoria Cross for having on the retreat from Chinhut saved, at great risk to himself, the lives of three men of the 32nd regiment (duke of Cornwall's light infantry). He was afterwards present throughout the defence of the residency at Lucknow. His gallant conduct was commended during the capture of the Tehri Koti on 25–26 September and in a successful attack on a barricaded gateway held by the enemy on 12 Nov. 1857, when he was wounded. He received the medal with clasp and was granted a year's extra service (Lond. Gaz. 17 Feb. 1858).

Cubitt, who was promoted captain on 26 July 1865, major on 26 July 1873, lieutenant-colonel on 27 July 1879, and colonel on 26 July 1883, served with the Duffla expedition on the north-west frontier in 1874–5, when he was mentioned in despatches; was with the Khyber line force in the Afghan war in 1880, when he received a medal; was present with the Akha expedition in 1883–4, when he was mentioned in despatches, and with the Burmese expedition in 1886–7, when he obtained the distinguished service order and was awarded the medal with clasp (Lond. Gaz. 2 Sept. 1887). At the time of his retirement in 1892 he was in command of the 43rd Gurkhas.

Accomplished in all outdoor games, especially racquets and cricket, Cubitt after retirement resided at Collingwood House, Camberley, Surrey, where he died on 25 Jan. 1903. He married at Fort church, Calcutta, on 19 May 1863, Charlotte Isabella, second daughter of James Hills of Niohindapur, Bengal, and sister of Lieutenant-general Sir James Hills-Johnes, V.C., G.C.B. She survived him with three sons and two daughters. The third son, Lewis, died of blood poisoning while assistant commissioner in Uganda on 31 July 1911. A painted portrait of Cubitt is in the Victoria Cross Gallery; a replica belongs to the widow.

[The Times, 27 Jan. and 7 Feb. 1903; Indian Mutiny, 1857-8, Selections from State Papers in the Military Department, edited by G. W. Forrest, 1902, ii. 267, 276; Hart's Army List.]

H. M. V.