1899, Battle of Colenso

REED, HAMILTON LYSTER, Captain was born on the 23rd of May 1869, son of Sir Andrew Reed, KCB, CVO, Inspector General, Royal Irish Constabulary, and of Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Hamilton Lyster, of Croghan, Parsonstown. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was gazetted into the Royal Field Artillery, 13 February 1888, becoming Captain, in 1808. In the South African War of 1899-1902, he was at first Captain, 7th Battery, RFA, later Adjutant, RFA, and DAAG on the Staff of the GOC, Orange River Colony. He took part in the operations in Natal (1899), was at the relief of Ladysmith, and the action at Colenso (where he gained the Victoria Cross, and was slightly wounded); operations of 17-24 January 1900 and action at Spion Kop; operations of 5-7 February 1900, and actions at Vaal Krantz; and during operations on Tugela Heights (14-24 February 1900), and action at Pieter's Hill. In Natal, March to June, 1900, including actions at Laing's Nek (6-9 June). In the Transvaal, east of Pretoria, July to October 1900, including actions at Belfast (26 and 27 August) and Lydenburg (5-8 September). Also during the operations in Orange River Colony (30 November 1900, to 31 May, 1902). For his services in this campaign he was three times mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 26 January 1900, 8 February and 10 September 1901]. He received the Queen's Medal with six clasps, the King's Medal with two clasps, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 2 February 1900]: "Hamilton Lyster Reed, Captain, 7th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Date of Act of Bravery: 15 December 1899. Captain Reed, who had heard of the difficulty, shortly afterwards brought down three teams from his battery to see if he could be of any use. He was wounded, as were five of the thirteen men who rode with him. One was killed, and thirteen (including his own) out of twenty-one horses were killed before he got half-way to the guns, and he was obliged to retire". Captain Reed's Victoria Cross was presented to him by Sir Redvers Buller at Ladysmith on 4 March, 1900. He was promoted to Major 1904; passed the Staff College in 1905; was on the General Staff, Army Headquarters, from 1906 to 1910, and from 1910 to 1911 was Staff Officer to the Inspector General, Overseas Force. In 1911 he married Marjorie Eleanor, younger daughter of A Theodore Olive, of The Cedars, Datchet, and they had one son and two daughters. He was additional Military Attache with Turkish Army, 1912 to 1913, during the Balkan War. Colonel Reed served in the European War from 1914; was mentioned in Despatches 7 times; created a CMG 10 April 1916; was wounded; Brevet Colonel 13 May, 1916; CB 1 January 1918; appointed Temporary Brigadier General June 1915, and Temporary Major-General whilst in command of a division October 1917; promoted Major General 3 June 1919. Reed died in London on 7 March 1931 at the age of 61. Reed's only son, Andrew Patrick, served in the Royal Ulster Rifles and became a flying officer in the RAF. He was killed in action in May 1940 aged 26.

VC, CB, CMG, QSA (6), KSA (2), 1914-15 Star, BWM, VM + MID, 1911 Coronation Medal, 1937 Coronation Medal, France Croix de Guerre.

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