Born 25 February 1836 at Woolwich, Kent, the son of Burke Cuppage,
Captain, Royal Artillery, and his wife Emily Anne. He was baptised 25 Mar
1836 at Saint Mary Magdalene Church, Woolwich.
Cuppage received a classical and mathematical education at Charterhouse
School from 1846 to 1852. He was nominated as a Cadet for the East India
Company's Bengal Cavalry (initially for the Infantry) for the 1852/3
season, by the EIC Director William Wigram, at the recommendation of
Cuppage’s father, who by then was a Colonel in the Royal Artillery
Cuppage was passed as qualified by the professors at the EIC Military
Seminary at Addiscombe near Croydon on 17 May 1853 and passed the
Military Committee at East India House, London, 31 August 1853 (having
previously passed for the Bengal Infantry on 18 May 1853).
Cuppage was commissioned as a Cornet on 4 September 1853 and embarked
for India by the 'overland' route (i.e. via Marseilles and Egypt) the same
day. He arrived at Calcutta on 15 October 1853.
Cuppage was ordered to do duty with 1st Bengal Cavalry (Bengal General Orders 19 November 1853). He was formally posted
to 1st Bengal Cavalry by General Orders 12 January 1854. Removed at his own request to the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry
pursuant to General Orders 15 May 1854.
Reported to have passed examination in colloquial Hindustani (General Orders 17 February 1855.)
Grant leave on sick certificate 30 March to 5 April 1855, with an extension of 30 days granted him to visit Cawnpore on
private affairs (General Orders 21 April 1855.)
Cuppage was promoted to Lieutenant on 1 June 1855, while still serving with the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry. He was granted
leave to visit Simla and Benares on private affairs 15 June to 15 October 1855 (General Orders 28 April 1855.)
Lieutenant Cuppage was present with the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry at Jalandhar when the native troopers rose in open
mutiny on 7 June 1857, in a scene reminiscent of mutiny at Meerut on the previous 10th of May. Those members of the
Regiment who did not mutiny were disarmed and the 6th Light Cavalry as a practical matter ceased to exist as a regiment
thereafter. See Gimlette, A Postscript to the Records of the Indian Mutiny.
Cuppage was ordered to act as detachment staff to a force proceeding on special service General Orders 23 July 1857. He
is listed in the Bengal Army List as attached to 2nd Cavalry, Punjab Irregular Force, a.k.a. Sam Browne's Cavalry.
Order to do duty with H.M. 9th Lancers by General Orders 6 August 1857. Served with them at the siege and storm of
Delhi and severely wounded at the storm of Delhi on 14 September 1857, as reported in the London Gazette of 14
November 1857. Major Anson of the 9th Lancers recorded that “Cuppage, late 6th Cavalry, is is said, will lose an arm.”
(Anson, With H.M. 9th Lancers During the Indian Mutiny, at page 149.) Cuppage received the Indian Mutiny medal with
clasp for Delhi as a Lieutenant in the 2nd Punjab Cavalry.
Granted leave to Bombay on sick certificate 1 December 1857 to 1 March 1858, preparatory to furlough to England per
General Orders 22 January 1858. Leave from Bombay to the UK on sick certificate for 3 years per General Orders 1
Cuppage transferred to H.M. 21st Hussars (formerly 3rd Bengal European Light Cavalry, raised during the Mutiny in 1858
and transferred to the British Army in 1861 as the 21st Hussars.) He was promoted Captain on 1 January 1862.
Captain Burke Cuppage, H.M. 21st Hussars died aged 28 at 8 July 1864 at Ambala, Punjab from the effects of his service
during the Indian Mutiny.
[India Office Records: L/HIL/9/229ff7S0-60 Cadet Papers; NO,631 in L/HIL/l0/S6,S9,61,6S,67 Bengal Services:
published Bengal Army Lists]
In 1896, Major O.H. St. G. Anson’s son, Harcourt S. Anson, edited the letters his
father had written to his mother during the Indian Mutiny. They were published by
W. H. Allen & Co. of London under the title: With H.M. 9th Lancers During the
Indian Mutiny.. An extract is shown below in which Cuppage is referenced in one of
Cuppage's entry in Ubique follows: War Services of All Officers of H.M.'s Bengal Army.