O'Moore Creagh

General Sir Garrett O'Moore Creagh VC, GCB, GCSI (2 April 1848 – 9 August 1923), known as Sir O'Moore Creagh,[1] was a senior British Army officer and an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Sir Garrett O'Moore Creagh
General Sir Garrett O'Moore Creagh
Born(1848-04-02)2 April 1848
Cahirbane, County Clare
Died9 August 1923(1923-08-09) (aged 75)
South Kensington, London
East Sheen Cemetery
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
British Indian Army
Years of service1866–1914
Unit95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot
29th (DCO) Bombay Infantry (2nd Baluch Battalion)
Commands heldCommander-in-Chief, India
Battles/warsSecond Anglo-Afghan War
Boxer Rebellion
AwardsVictoria Cross
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of India
Venerable Order of Saint John
Order of the Rising Sun (Japan)
RelationsMajor General Sir Michael Creagh (son)


Creagh was born in Cahirbane, County Clare, on 2 April 1848, the seventh son of Captain James Creagh, RN, and his wife, Grace O'Moore.

Creagh was married twice, firstly to Mary Longfield (or possibly Brereton) in 1874, who died in 1876, and then to Elizabeth Reade in 1891. He had three children, one of whom was Major General Sir Michael Creagh.

In 1866, after training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Creagh was commissioned into the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot and in 1869 was posted to India, being transferred to the British Indian Army the next year.

Second Anglo-Afghan War

Creagh was 31 years old, and a captain in the Bombay Staff Corps during the Second Anglo-Afghan War, when the following deed on 22 April 1879 at Kam Dakka, on the Kabul River, Afghanistan, took place for which he was awarded the VC:

On the 21st April Captain Creagh was detached from Dakka with two Companies of his Battalion to protect the village of Kam Dakka on the Cabul River, against a threatened incursion of the Mohmunds, and reached that place the same night. On the following morning the detachment, 150 men, was attacked by the Mohmunds in overwhelming numbers, about 1,500 ; and the inhabitants of Kam Dakka having themselves taken part with the enemy, Captain Creagh found himself under the necessity of retiring from the village. He took up a position in a cemetery not far off, which he made as defensible as circumstances would admit of, and this position he held against all the efforts of the enemy, repeatedly repulsing them with the bayonet until three o'clock in the afternoon, when he was relieved by a detachment sent for the purpose from Dakka. The enemy were then finally repulsed, and being charged by a troop of the 10th Bengal Lancers, under the command of Captain D. M. Strong, were routed and broken, and great numbers of them driven into the river. The Commander-in-Chief in India has expressed his opinion that but for the coolness, determination, and gallantry of the highest order, and the admirable conduct which Captain Creagh displayed on this occasion the detachment under his command would, in all probability, have been cut off and destroyed.[2]

Later career

In 1878 he became captain of the Merwara battalion, commanding them from 1882 until 1886. He assumed command of the 29th (Duke of Connaught's Own) Bombay Infantry (2nd Baluch Battalion) in 1890, and was promoted to Assistant Quarter-master General in 1896. He commanded the Indian contingent during the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, and was in September 1901 appointed General Officer Commanding the British Force in China after the departure of General Alfred Gaselee.[3] He stayed there for several years, was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in 1904 and promoted to general on 11 December 1907. The same year he was appointed Military Secretary to the India Office.

Creagh succeeded Lord Kitchener as Commander-in-Chief, India, in 1909, retiring in 1914. During the First World War he served as the military advisor to the Central Association of Volunteer Training Corps.[4] He died at 65 Albert Hall Mansions, London SW9, on 9 August 1923.

Creagh further followed Kitchener in becoming the District Grand Master of Freemasons in the Punjab.

His Victoria Cross is held by the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London, England.[5]


  1. Despite appearances to the contrary, O'Moore was his middle name, not part of his surname
  2. "No. 24784". The London Gazette. 18 November 1879. p. 6494.
  3. "No. 27357". The London Gazette. 20 September 1901. p. 6172.
  4. The Law Times, Volume 138 p.346 (13 February 1915)


Listed in order of publication year

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Edward Stedman
Military Secretary to the India Office
Succeeded by
Sir Beauchamp Duff
Preceded by
The Viscount Kitchener
Commander-in-Chief, India
Succeeded by
Sir Beauchamp Duff

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