1900, Nooitgedacht

FARMER, DONALD, Sergeant, joined the Cameron Highlanders on the 29th March, 1892, and served with the 1st Battalion in the Sudan Campaign, 1898, and was present at the battles of Atbara and Khartoum (British Medal and Khedive's Medal with two clasps); served with the Mounted Infantry Company of the 1st Battalion throughout the South African War, 1900-2 (twice mentioned in Despatches, Queen's Medal with four claps and King's Medal with two clasps); awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 12 April 1901]: "Donald Farmer, Sergeant, 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders. Date of Act of Bravery: 13 December 1900. During the attack on General Clements' camp at Nooitgedacht, on the 13th December 1900, Lieutenant Sandilands, Cameron Highlanders, with fifteen men, went to the assistance of a picquet which was heavily engaged, most of the men having been killed or wounded. The enemy, who were hidden by trees, opened fire on the party at a range of about twenty yards, killing two and wounding five, including Lieutenant Sandilands. Sergeant Farmer at once went to the officer, who was perfectly helpless, and carried him away under a very heavy and close fire to a place of comparative safety, after which he returned to the firing line, and was eventually taken prisoner". "In the first moments of the Boer attack Lieutenant Murdoch was killed. He had previously been wounded at Vredefort, and throughout the campaign had displayed singular courage and devotion to duty. Lieutenant Sandilands was also dangerously wounded. In this helpless condition he was assisted off the field by Sergeant Donald Farmer, who, displaying the greatest bravery under a heavy fire at close range, earned for himself the distinction of being the first Cameron Highlander to win the Victoria Cross". (Records of the Cameron Highlanders, page 358). "On the 14th September (1901) the (1st) Battalion (Cameron Highlanders) once more returned to Pretoria. During its absence two officers (Lieutenant A B Robertson and 2nd Lieutenant Lord James Stewart-Murray) and fifty men of the Commander-in-Chief's escort had accompanied Lord Kitchener in his journey to Natal to meet Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York, who were visiting South Africa. This detachment was present on parade at Pietermaritzburg on 15 August, when the Duke of York presented fifty VC's and DSO's to officers, non-commissioned officers and men who had distinguished themselves during the war. Amongst the recipients of the VC upon this occasion was Sergeant Donald Farmer". (Records of the Cameron Highlanders, page 366). He became Colour-Sergeant 22 February 1905, and he was promoted to Lieutenant.

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