Gough, Sir Charles John Stanley (1832–1912), British army general and VC, was born 28 January 1832 at Chittagong, India (latterly Bangladesh), second son of George Gough (1802–89) of Rathronan House, Co. Tipperary, of the Bengal civil service and judge of the high court of the East India Company, and his wife Charlotte Margaret, daughter of Charles Becher of Tonbridge, Kent, England. Field-marshal Viscount Gough (qv) was his great-uncle; his younger brother, Gen. Sir Hugh Henry Gough (below) also won the VC in the Indian mutiny.
Entering the Indian army in 1848, he was commissioned as a cornet in the 8th Bengal Cavalry and served during the second Sikh war (1848–9). He was present at the battles of Chillianwallah (13 January 1849) and Goojerat (21 February 1849), serving under his great-uncle Lord (later Viscount) Gough. Promoted to captain, during the Indian mutiny he initially served with the EIC Guides Cavalry, later transferring to Hodson's Irregular Horse, and was present at the siege of Delhi, the operations at Alambagh (near the Lucknow residency), and the capture of Lucknow. In October 1859 he was gazetted for the VC, his citation mentioning four different acts of gallantry carried out during the mutiny. The first of these was on 15 August 1857 at Khurkowdah, near Rhotuck, when he rescued his wounded brother Hugh Henry Gough of Hodson's Horse, killing two rebel sepoys. He was again cited for his bravery during a charge of the Guides Cavalry (18 August) and his actions at Shumshabad (21 January 1858) and Meangunge (23 February), where he went to the assistance of Maj. O. H. St George Anson. He was also mentioned in dispatches five times and awarded the India Mutiny Medal with two clasps.
Promoted to major, he was given command of the 5th Bengal Cavalry in 1864 and served in the Bhootan expedition (1864–5). During the second Afghan war (1878–80) he commanded a brigade, defeating Afghan tribesmen at a battle at Futtehabad (2 April 1879) and coming to the assistance of Sir Frederick Roberts (qv) when he was besieged at Sherpur. Created KCB (1881), he was appointed as commander of the Hyderabad contingent of the Indian army and later commanded a division of the Bengal army (1886–90). Promoted to full general (1891), he was made GCB in 1895, retiring in the same year.
He returned to Ireland on retiring from the army and, collaborating with A. D. Innes, published The Sikhs and the Sikh war (London, 1897). He died 6 September 1912 at Innislonagh, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, and was buried in St Patrick's churchyard in Clonmel; his funeral was attended by a large number of army officers, local gentry, and the general public. There is a memorial plaque and window in St Patrick's church, Clonmel. A dramatic painting by Chevalier W. Desanges in the National Army Museum, Chelsea, London, depicts Gough going to the aid of his brother Hugh at Khurkowdah in 1857. In July 1996 his VC realised £41,000 at auction at Spinks in London.
He married (1869) Harriette Anastasia, daughter of John W. Power, MP, of Gorteen. They had two sons: the elder was Gen. Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough (qv), OC 3rd Cavalry Brigade in 1914 and one of the main protagonists of the ‘Curragh mutiny’. The younger was Brig.-gen. John Edmond Gough (qv), VC.
Charles Gough's younger brother, Sir Hugh Henry Gough (1833–1909), British army general and VC, was born 14 November 1833 at Calcutta. He was initially educated privately and then at Haileybury College (1851–2) before entering the East India Company army as a cornet of horse in September 1853. Promoted to lieutenant (August 1855), he was serving with the 3rd Light Cavalry at Meerut in May 1857 when the Indian mutiny broke out. Warned by a native officer that a mutiny was imminent, he told his commanding officer, Lt.-col. G. M. Carmichael-Smyth, and Maj.-gen. W. H. Hewitt, officer commanding the Meerut division. Neither of them took the warning seriously; but on 10 May 1857 the first native troops mutinied in the Meerut cantonments. Gough served throughout the mutiny with Hodson's Horse and was present at the siege of Delhi and the relief and capture of Lucknow. On 12 November 1857, near Alambagh, he led a charge against enemy forces, capturing two cannons, and on 25 February 1858 he led another charge at Jellalabad, near Lucknow. For his gallantry in these two actions, he was awarded the VC in December 1858, finishing the Indian mutiny as a brevet major.
He took part in the Abyssinia campaign of 1868, commanding the 12th Bengal Cavalry, and was made CB in August 1868. Promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1869 and colonel in 1877, he served with distinction in the second Afghan war of 1878–80. Created KCB in February 1881, he was promoted to major-general in 1887 and appointed commander of the Lahore division (1887–92), rising to lieutenant-general in 1891. He was made a full general in 1894 and GCB in May 1896. Retiring from the army in 1897, he was appointed (1898) keeper of the crown jewels at the Tower of London. He died 12 May 1909 in his apartments in St Thomas's Tower and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery.
He married (September 1863) Annie Margaret, daughter of Edward Eustace Hill and his wife Lady Georgiana Keppel. They had four sons and four daughters. In 1897 he published a memoir of his service in the Indian mutiny, Old memories. A detailed first-hand account of the outbreak at Meerut and the subsequent campaign, displaying remarkable sympathy for those who were treated harshly as suspected mutineers, it remains an invaluable source for students of the mutiny.