Spink are to auction this unusual friendly fire DCM to Private H Morton of the Seaforths. The pair were last seen in the 1999 Centenary auction.
Picture Courtesy of Spink
DCM Ed VII (5601 Pte. H. Morton. Seaforth Hdrs:)
QSA (5) CC OFS Tr 01 02 (5601 Pte. H. Morton. Sea: Highrs: M.I.)
D.C.M. London Gazette 26.7.1901 5601 Private H. Morton, Seaforth Highlanders. Morton was decorated for his gallantry during a 'Friendly Fire' incident and Mentioned in Despatches by Lord Kitchener thus, 'Private H. Morton (promoted Corporal); on June 14, a company of mounted infantry with which he was, being shelled by our own guns at 2,000 yards, took cover; Morton stayed in the open trying to signal to the guns, though the shells were all around him.'
The original Recommendation for Morton's DCM made by Major T. Macan, Officer Commanding 18th Mounted Infantry gives the following:
I have the honour to bring to your notice the conduct of No. 5601 Pte. H. Morton 1st Bn. Seaforth Highlanders now serving with the 18th Mounted Infantry as a signaller. On the 14th June 1901 the company to which this man belongs was working in the Houtbosch Loop when shell fire was opened upon it by one of the guns belonging to a cooperating column, the company having been mistaken for the enemy; the company managed to get under cover but Private Morton remained in the open at very great personal risk endeavouring to signal to the party who were firing on the company. The distance the gun was firing from was only about 2,000 yds. and the range had been correctly estimated as the shells were bursting all round the position. I consider the conduct of Pte. Morton well worthy of recognition.'
Additional remarks supplied by Colonel G.E. Benson: 'I recommend Pte. Morton's conduct for consideration. I think that it is probable he may have saved the lives of some of his comrades by this action. The column which opened fire was Col. Parkes'.'
Brigadier General Spens added: 'Forwarded and recommended that No. 5601 Pte. H. Morton 1/Seaforth Highlanders be awarded a Distinguished Service [as the D.C.M. was sometimes called at the time] Medal for gallant conduct on the 14th June 1901.'
Good Afternoon David,
I am more than a little curious as to why you have singled out this particular regiment for it's own thread, not that I'm suggesting there is anything whatsoever wrong in doing so, a great many of it's members proved to be nothing short of magnificent, in particular, those who served on the western front in the Cape Colony, from the very beginning of the war.
Over the last few months I have started regimental threads to record some of their recipients. The Seaforths were early into the process given the service in the years before the Boer War which makes for some wonderful combinations. I will be adding more such threads as time allows.
David and others interested
I think such Regimental threads are very interesting and can broaden the appeal of the site.
My contribution is as follows;
IGS95 (Rel.of Chitral), engraved to "3538 Pte. W.Thompson 2nd Bn, Seaforth Higlrs"
Queen's Sudan, engraved as above, unit "1/Sea.Hrs"
QSA (CC,Tv, Witte) impressed to "3538 Pte.W.Thompson, 2: Sea ; Highrs"
KSA (01/02) impressed as above but unit shown as "Seaforth Highrs"
Khedive's Sudan (The Atbara/Khartoum" named in large caps. to "3538 Pte W.Thompson, 1st Sea. Highrs".
Private William Thompson's QSA/KSA are confirmed on WO100/203-343; with margin note on KSA roll: "to AR (Army Reserve) - England 12-8-02"
His unit's service to earn the "Wittebergen" clasp was as part of the Highland Bde under Sir. A.Hunter. The 2SHldrs were ordered to effect a wide turning movement during the taking of Retrief's Nek and - in the words of the General - ".... the Seaforths advancing with quiet gallantry and seizing the ridge". Later, the Bn. operated in the Western Cape and on the railway line North of Kroonstad. Afterwards, they strengthened the columns in the Western Transvaal after Lord Methuen's disaster.
Looking at groups such as the above, IL is always reminded of a serious moment in an episode of "Dad's Army"; when Capt. Square commented to L/Cpl. Jones - "Do you realise what you have there on your chest is an illustrated history of the British Empire?".
Regards to all - and I hope other members will add their examples of medals/groups to the Seaforths for everyone's enjoyment.