11 November 2007

Victoria Cross: Walker, Rolland and Gough


Captain, 4th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army; attached Bikanir Camel Corps

Born: 28 May 1863, Naini Tal, India


Captain, 1st Bombay Grenadiers, Indian Army; attached Berbera Bohotle Flying Column

Born: 12 May 1869, Wellington, India

Joint Citation: During the return of Major Gough's column to Danop [British Somaliland] on the 22nd April last [1903], after the action at Daratoleh, the rear-guard got considerably in rear of the column, owing to the thick bush, and to having to hold their ground while wounded men were being placed on camels. At this time Captain Bruce was shot through the body from a distance of about 20 yards, and fell on the path unable to move.
Captains Walker and Rolland, two men of the 2nd Battalion King's African Rifles, one Sikh and one Somali of the Camel Corps were with him when he fell.
In the meantime the column being unaware of what had happened were getting further away. Captain Rolland then ran back some 500 yards and returned with assistance to bring off Captain Bruce, while Captain Walker and the men remained with that Officer, endeavouring to keep off the enemy, who were all round in the thick bush. This they succeeded in doing, though not before Captain Bruce was hit a second time, and the Sikh wounded. But for the gallant conduct displayed by these Officers and men, Captain Bruce must have fallen into the hands of the enemy.

(London Gazette Issue 27584 dated 7 Aug 1903, published 7 Aug 1903.)

Note: The same issue of the Gazette contained the following:
The KING has also been pleased to approve of the grant of the Medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field to the undermentioned Soldiers in recognition of their gallant conduct in assisting Captains Walker and Rolland to save Captain Bruce from falling into the enemy's hands:–
66 Sergeant Nderamani, 2nd Battalion King's African Rifles.
87 Corporal Surmoni, 2nd Battalion King's African Rifles.
Sowar Umar Ismail, Somali Camel Corps, 6th Battalion King's African Rifles.

The services of the Sikh, Lance-Naik Maieya Singh, 24th Beluchistan Regiment, Indian Contingent, British Central Africa (who also assisted), have been brought to the notice of the Government of India.


Captain (Brevet Major), The Rifle Brigade

Born: 25 October 1871, Muree, India

Citation: During the action at Daratoleh, on 22nd April last, Major Gough assisted Captains Walker and Rolland in carrying back the late Captain Bruce (who had been mortally wounded) and preventing that Officer from falling into the hands of the enemy.
Captains Walker and Rolland have already been awarded the Victoria Cross for their gallantry on this occasion, but Major Gough (who was in command of the column) made no mention of his own conduct, which has only recently been brought to notice.

(London Gazette Issue 27636 dated 15 Jan 1904, published 15 Jan 1904.)

Note: The same issue of the Gazette also reported that Major Gough was being promoted to Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel. Gough (eventually Brigadier General Sir John Gough VC KCB CMG) was the son of General Sir Charles Gough VC GCB and the nephew of General Sir Hugh Gough VC GCB, who had both been awarded the Victoria Cross for their actions during the Indian Mutiny.

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