Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1890 & 99

Sgt. Robert Crompton (1824 - 1897)

Robert Crompton was one of the heroes of the *Indian Mutiny at the downfall of the Delhi Citidel. He later became Staff Sergeant in the Salford Militia.


He was born in Salford in 1824, the son of Robert Crompton, Cotton Spinner. At the age of 19, he joined the 8th King's Own Hanoverian White Horse Regiment of Foot. He was very early drafted to India and served 18 years there. In 1857 he fought against the Indian Mutiny and was severely wounded at the siege of Delhi. When placing one of the first scaling ladders against the walls he received five bullet wounds in his legs. He lay in the ditch for hours until a medical orderly heard him groaning and removed him to a temporary hospital. His wounds were dressed and he was transferred to the military hospital at Umballa, where he recovered and rejoined his regiment. In 1862 he returned to Salford and served another 2 years, making a total of 21 years service. He then joined the Militia, stationed in Eccles New Road, Salford, as a Staff Sergeant and continued in that capacity for 12 years. In 1876 at the age of 52 he was retired on a pension of 2 shillings a day and lived with his children in Penny Lane, Salford.


At the age of 30, Robert married Cecilia McNab on 23rd April 1855 in St George's Church, Agra, Bengal, India. She was the 14-year-old daughter of James McNab. Their son Robert James was born in 1857, (although he was to die in his 21st year on 27th March 1878). Cecilia died on 18th April 1875 aged 34. On 3rd August 1879, Robert, now aged 55, married again to Margaret Sedgwick, aged 53, at Stowell Memorial Church, Salford. She was the daughter of Henry Sedgwick, Cotton Spinner. In the 1881 census. Robert was 56 and described as a Hall Porter in a Warehouse, Margaret was aged 55, and daughters Jessie (born 1869) was aged 11 and Matilda (born 1871) was aged 9.  At this time the family lived at 8 Lord Byrom Street, Salford. Margaret died ten years later, on 25th December 1891, aged 67. Robert survived his second wife by nearly six years, and died on 29th May 1897, aged 73. The funeral of Robert Crompton was held on 1st June when he was interred in plot B17 grave 1965 of the Church of England portion of Weaste Cemetery.


* Indian Mutiny and the downfall of the Delhi Citidel. The 1850s saw a deterioration in relations between the British officers and the Indian other ranks. Things came to a head with the introduction of the Enfield rifle when it was rumoured that the cartridges were greased with pig and cow fat, thus offending both Moslems and Hindus. In February 1857, members of the 19th Bengal Infantry refused to use the cartridges which sparked revolts through central and northern India. The mutineers captured the walled city of Delhi on 11th May. On 7th June a hastily-raised British force of 4,000 men occupied the ridge overlooking Delhi. By 14th September the British force was 9,000 men and 32 guns and the attack began. Breaches were made in the walls and a gate was blown. After a week's vicious street fighting, Delhi was back in British control. Although Delhi was the crucial battle, it took until 1859 to suppress the pockets of resistance throughout the rest of India