Lieutenant and Adjutant Gustavus Hamilton Blenkinsopp Coulson DSO

King's Own Scottish Borderers
(7th Mounted Infantry)

18th May 1901
Gustavus Hamilton Blenkinsopp Coulson VC
    On May 18, 1901, while engaged with his corps in fighting a rear-guard action, Lieutenant Coulson, who had rallied his men and saved a Maxim gun from falling into the enemy 's hands, saw that the horse of Corporal Cranmer had been shot, leaving his rider powerless to keep up with the rest of his troop, and in imminent danger of being killed by the Boers, who were rapidly approaching. Despite the heavy fire brought to bear upon him, this young  officer rode to his corporal, took him upon his own horse and rode back towards his men. Hardly had they succeeded in getting any distance before the horse was shot, and, falling, threw both men to the ground, whereupon Lieutenant Coulson ordered Cranmer to mount and ride for safety, adding that he would look after himself and do the best he could. Cranmer succeeded in mounting the horse, which had not been so severely wounded as at first appeared, and reached the column in safety. Lieutenant Coulson's position, however, was momentarily becoming more serious ; seeing which, Corporal E. Shaw, of the Lincolns (7th Mounted Infantry), rode back to him and took him upon his horse, being himself almost at once shot through the body, Lieutenant Coulson also being badly hit at the same time. Their wounds caused both men to fall from the horse, that of Lieutenant and Adjutant Coulson proving fatal. Though this gallant young soldier never lived to wear the Victoria Cross he had so nobly won, the decoration was handed to his relatives after his death.

    Lieutenant Coulson was the only son of H. J. W. Coulson, of Newbrough Hall, Northumberland, and great-grandson of Colonel Blenkinsopp Coulson, of Blenkinsopp Castle, Northumberland—one of a family of distinguished soldiers. He was born at Wimbledon, Surrey, on April I, 1879, educated at Winchester, and joined the 4th Batt. (Princess of Wales') Yorkshire Regiment, but left it when twenty years of age to enter the Scottish Borderers (July, 1899). In the following January he proceeded on active service to South Africa, gaining the medal and five clasps- and the D.S.O. On many occasions (the Gazette States) he behaved with great coolness and gallantry under fire, being mentioned in despatches by both Lords Roberts and Kitchener. The act for which the Victoria Cross was awarded him was performed under the immediate command of Major F. C. Lloyd (of the Lincolns) and Colonel T. D. Pilcher, C. B., A.D.C. (now 2nd Bedfordshire).


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