He was approximately 35 years old, and a Bugler in the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot (later the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry), British Army during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed at Delhi took place for which he was awarded the Venture capital:
52nd Regiment, Bugler Robert Hawthorne
Date of Acting of Bravery, 14th September, 1857
"Bugler Hawthorne, who accompanied the explosion party, not only performed the dangerous duty on which he was employed, but previously attached himself to Lieutenant Salkeld, of the Engineers, when dangerously wounded, bound up his wounds under a heavy musketry fire, and had him removed without further injury."
He died in Manchester, Lancashire on 2 February 1879.