Private Charles Thomas Kennedy

1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry

22nd November 1900
Charles Thomas Kennedy VC

    On November 22, 1900, during the engagement at Dewetsdorp, one of Kennedy's comrades was so severely shot that, without the best medical assistance, it was certain he must bleed to death. Notwithstanding that from Gibraltar Hill, where he was posted, the distance to the hospital was nearly a mile, the entire ground being swept by the Boer rifle-fire, Kennedy carried him all this way on his back and succeeded in placing him in safety, where requisite attention was promptly obtained.
    Next day, an urgent and important message was required to be conveyed to the officer commanding, but, to reach him, an open space would have had to be crossed, swept by rifle-fire and almost certain death to any one attempting it. Kennedy volunteered the well-nigh impossible task, and, though he heroically started on his mission, he was unsuccessful, being shot through the body and severely wounded before he had covered twenty yards. Under the skilful treatment he received at the hands of Dr. Possnet, and the careful nursing of Sister Dempster, he recovered to wear the Victoria Cross he so well earned.

    Charles Kennedy, son of Mr. C. Kennedy, of Foss, Perthshire, was born at Edinburgh, January 6, 1876. Joined the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry on September 17, 1891, and proceeded to India in February, 1894. With the 2nd Battalion he fought on the Punjab Frontier, 1897-8, obtaining medal with clasp. In the South African War he was mentioned in Lord Roberts' despatches, and took part in six battles and several minor actions, from Modder River to Dewetsdorp, where he won his Victoria Cross, which was presented to him on December 16, 1901, at St. James' Palace by H.M. the King.


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