Trooper Herman Albrecht

Imperial Light Horse

6th January 1900
Herman Albrecht VC

Waggon Hill Ladysmith.

    Ian Hamilton, Miller-Wallnutt, Capt. Fitzgerald, Sergt. Lindsay, and Trooper Albrecht, I.L.H., Gunner Sims, RN., and others threw themselves against, the stream of panic-stricken men and checked their flight. Then they sprang forward to the crest. A dozen Boers had leapt on to the summit But in the teeth of a hail of bullets from the Imperial Light Horse fort, 200 yards away, all but three hung back. The three, De Villiers, De Jager and Gert Wessels, rushed forward. There was a wild race for the gun-pits. Hamilton reached the 4.7 emplacement first, and, leaning his arm on the sandbag parapet, fired his revolver at the nearest Boer. Almost immediately Albrecht fired from outside the pit, while, at the same moment, from the other gun pit rose the head and shoulders of Digby Jones and of Corpl. Hockaday, R.E., each firing at his man. De Villiers and De Jager fell dead against the wall of the 4.7 gun-pit, Wessels at the lower emplacement. Miller-Wallnutt fell, shot through the head, as lie reached the 4.7 gun-pit : the brave Albrecht a second later.

    Sir A. Conan Doyle says, in his " Great Boer War (page 228) : " There has been no better fighting in our time than that upon Waggon Hill on that January morning, and no better fighters than the Imperial Light Horsemen who joined the centre of the defence. Here, as at Elandslaagte, they proved themselves worthy to stand in line with the crack regiments of the British Army."

     Trooper Albrecht was awarded the Victoria Cross by King Edward. for which he would have been recommended had he lived. London Gazette, 8 Aug. 1902:  Robert James Thomas Digby Jones, Lieutenant Royal Engineers, and No. 459, Trooper H. Albrecht, Imperial Light Horse. Would have been recommended for the Victoria Cross had they survived, on account of their having during the attack on Waggon Hill (Ladysmith) on 6 Jan. 1900, displayed conspicuous bravery and gallant conduct in leading the force which reoccupied the top of the hill at a critical moment just as the three foremost attacking Boers reached it, the leader being shot by Lieut. Jones and the two others by Albrecht." The Victoria Cross was given to Sergt. Albrecht's representatives in accordance with the regulations of 8 Aug. 1902.

Boer War VC index page

Site Home Page