Captain E Noel
(Click to enlarge)Oil Painting, Captain Edward Andrew Noel
Captain E. Noel of the 31st Regiment who, as Lieutenant Edward Andrew Noel is listed in the History of The East Surrey Regiment as having served in the Sutlej Campaign. At the Battle of Ferozeshah on 21st December 1845, British troops were under heavy Sikh fire and several officers were killed. Noel's sword was broken in action so he took up the sword of another dead officer and continued in battle. The following day, in an attack on a Sikh battery, he captured an enemy standard and also took prisoner an Englishman named Porter, "who held a high command in Sikh artillery". Later, at the Battle of Sobraon, scene of Sgt. McCabe's heroic seizure and salvation of the Regimental Colour, a similar feat was performed by Lieutenant Noel in respect of the Queen's Colour which he took from the mortally wounded Lieutenant Tritton. As Noel gallantly led his men forward, the staff was shattered in his hand - a narrow escape from death on what was rapidly becoming a bloody and body strewn battlefield. With such a military record behind him, Captain Noel can truly be said to have earned himself a portrait and a place in the regimental museum.
The picture is believed to have been painted when the 31st returned to England. Noel was twenty-three. he was later appointed to Her Majesty's Bodyguard and died in 1899 at the age of 74. He served in the 1st Gloucester Rifle Volunteers and was their Colonel for a number of years.