This marble bust is on display in Inverness Town House, on the staircase, on the right hand side of the landing. The inscription reads:
“Major General William Macbean V.C. 93rd Sutherland Highlanders. Born at Inverness January 1819. Died at Woolwich 22nd June 1878. Who served with great distinction at the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny. Presented to the Town in 1897 by the family of his brother the late Dean of Guild James Macbean.”
William Macbean enlisted as a young man in the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, the regiment he remained with until he retired. He spent fifteen or sixteen years in the ranks as a non-commissioned officer. In 1854, while serving in the Crimea, he was raised to the rank of ensign. At Varnia he was in charge of the wounded men when he successfully intervened in a dispute between French and Turkish troops. He was awarded the ‘Order of Medjidie’ by the Sultan.
Macbean served at the siege of Sebastapol. In India he was honoured with the Victoria Cross for his actions at the main breach of the Begum Bagh at Lucknow in 1858, where he single-handedly killed eleven of the enemy. In 1873 he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and on his retirement in 1877 he was accorded the rank of Major General.