1901, Tygerkloof Spruit

CREAN, THOMAS JOSEPH, Surgeon-Captain, was born in Dublin in 1873, second son of Michael Theobald Crean, Barrister, and his wife, Emma (nee Dunne); was educated at Clongowes, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, and joined the Imperial Light Horse as a trooper on the outbreak of hostilities in the Boer War, and was appointed Captain in March, 1900, but gave up Squadron Command in June, 1901, and became Surgeon-Captain. The Victoria Cross was presented to him by HM the King, in St James's Palace on 13 March, 1902, and was gazetted 11 February 1902: "Thomas Joseph Crean, Surgeon-Captain, 1st Imperial Light Horse. During the action with De Wet at Tygerskloof on the 18th December 1901, this officer continued to attend to the wounded in the firing line, under a heavy fire at only 150 yards' range, after he had himself been wounded, and only desisted when he was hit a second time, and, as it was first thought, mortally wounded". He married Victoria, daughter of Senor Don Tomas Heredia, of Malaga, and had one son and one daughter. Major Crean was well known as an athlete, and played in the Irish International Rugby Fifteen in 1894 and 1896, and was one of the English team in South Africa in 1896. In the European War he served with the 1st Cavalry Brigade in 1915, and was twice mentioned in Despatches, and created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 3 June, 1915]: "Thomas Joseph Crean, Major, Royal Army Medical Corps". In 1916 he commanded the 44th Field Ambulance, British Expeditionary Force, in France. Major Crean was Medical Officer in Charge, Hospital, Royal Enclosure, Ascot; was Clinical Assistant, Sa Manten Hospital for Women, London, and a Member of the Irish Twentieth Club. He was LRCP and SI, Hoa FRCS (Ireland), LM, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin; late Assistant Master, Lying-in Hospital, Dublin. He held the Arnott Gold Medal, 1902, and the Royal Humane Society Testimonial for saving life at sea, and was a Member of the Council of the Irish Graduate Society.

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