1899, Battle of Elandslaagte

MULLINS, CHARLES HERBERT, Captain, was born in 1869, at Grahamstown, Cape Colony, son of the Reverend Canon Mullins. He was educated at St Andrew's College, Grahamstown, and at Keble College, Oxford, and was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1893. He served in the South African Campaign of 1899 to 1902, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 12 February 1901]: "Charles Herbert Mullins, Captain, Imperial Light Horse. On the 21st October 1899, at Elandslaagte, at a most critical moment, the advance being momentarily checked by a severe fire at point-blank range, these two officers very gallantly rushed forward under this heavy tire and rallied the men, thus enabling the flanking movement which decided the day to be carried out. On this occasion Captain Mullins was wounded". He was also created a CMG (1900). Captain Mullins was wounded at Elandslaagte, when he won the VC, and a second time later on in the war, when he was literally riddled with bullets, and it seemed an even chance whether he would live or die. His pluck and his magnificent physique pulled him through at last, but his spine had been injured, and he remained a cripple on crutches to the day of his death. He married in 1902, Norah Gertrude, third daughter of S Haslam, Brooklands, Uppingham, and they had two sons. Crippled and handicapped by constant illnesses, Captain Mullins faced his life as he had before faced death, and resolutely resumed his place in the life of the Rand. He took up his broken practice at the Bar, employed himself in various schemes of development, was an indefatigable supporter of the Church as it gradually revived after the war under Bishop Carter and Bishop Furse, and maintained a constant interest in his old corps, the ILH, which he had helped to found and to make famous. It was unthinkable, after all that he had suffered, that his life should be a long one, but he made the very utmost of it, not only in the glorious days of the war, but in the dull and often difficult times that followed. He died in the spring of 1916, and the 'Times' of 20 April, 1916, said that his death was a real loss to South Africa, which could ill spare men of his sterling character, and that there were many of his old comrades in England and in the field at that time who would find time in the midst of a greater struggle to honour a gallant soldier and an unfailing friend.

VC, CMG, QSA (3) Elands, DofL, RofM, KSA (2), 1911 Coronation Medal

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