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Fred Roberts

Fred Roberts Victoria Cross Controversy

 

 

ROBERTS, Lieut. Hon. Frederick Hugh Sherston, King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Three Victoria Crosses were awarded at the battle of Colenso - to Roberts, Congreve and Babtie.

Lieut. Roberts died of wounds so VC not awarded posthumously. He was the son of Field Marshal Lord Frederick Sleigh Roberts, V.C.


CONGREVE, Walter Norris
Captain, The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own), British Army
Age:
37
Deed:
On 15 December 1899 at the Battle of Colenso, South Africa, Captain Congreve with several others, tried to save the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, when the detachments serving the guns had all become casualties or had been driven from their guns.  Some of the horses and drivers were sheltering in a donga about 500 yards behind the guns and the intervening space was swept with shell and rifle fire.  Captain Congreve, with two other officers (F.H.S. ROBERTS and H.N. SCHOFIELD) helped to hook a team into a limber and then to limber up a gun.  Although wounded himself, seeing one of the officers fall, he went out with an RAMC Major (W. BABTIE) and brought him in.


BABTIE, William
Major, Royal Army Medical Corps, British Army
Age:
40
Deed:
On 15 December 1899 at the Battle of Colenso, Major Babtie rode up under heavy rifle fire to attend to the wounded who were lying in an advanced donga close to the rear of the guns. When he arrived at the donga, he attended to them all, going from place to place, exposed to the heavy rifle fire which greeted anyone who showed himself.  Later in the day Major Babtie went out with another officer (CONGREVE, W. N.) to bring in a Lieutenant (ROBERTS, F. H. S.) who was lying wounded on the veldt -- this also under very heavy fire.

Citation: At Colenso, on the 15th Dec 1899, the wounded of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, were lying in an advanced donga close to the rear of the guns, without any medical officer to attend to them; and when a message was sent back asking for assistance, Major W. Babtie RAMC, rode up under a heavy rifle-fire, his pony being hit three times.  When he arrived at the donga, where the wounded were lying in a sheltered corner, he attended to them all, going from place to place exposed to the heavy rifle-fire which greeted anyone who showed himself.  Later on in the day Major Babtie went out with Capt Congreve to bring in Lieut Roberts, who was lying wounded on the veldt.  This also was under a heavy fire.


 

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