Sergeant Horace Robert Martineau

Protectorate Regiment

26th December 1899
Horace Robert Martaineau VC
    The gallant defence of Mafeking, during a long and weary siege of seven months, will ever stand out as one of the bright episodes of the Great Boer War. Many a sortie was made during the early days of the siege, and many a stubborn fight strained the resources of the hard-pressed little garrison far away on the limitless African veldt.
    In the action at Game Tree, on December 26, 1899, the " retire " had been sounded, but Sergeant Martineau remained behind, and took up Corporal Le Camp, whom he saw had been shot, close in front of the Boer trenches. While trying to get him under shelter, half dragging, half carrying him, Martineau received a wound in the side, but, such was his devotion to his fellow-soldier, that he paid no attention to his own condition and suffering, but proceeded to attend to his friend's wounds, after which he helped him, little by little, towards cover, until he himself was again wounded. Thoroughly exhausted by the strain of carrying his friend, the second wound prevented any further action on his part, and he sank down, powerless to proceed further. He was, altogether, wounded three times, once so seriously that it resulted in his left arm having to be amputated.

    Horace Robert Martineau, son of Mr. William Martineau, of Hornsey, was born on October 31, 1874, in Bayswater, London. Educated chiefly at University College School, after which he went to South Africa. On the out-break of the Matabele Rebellion, accompanied Major-General Baden-Powell in his successful campaign to subdue them. In 1889, when the war clouds began to gather and Kruger grew more obstinate, Martineau volunteered into the Protectorate Regiment from Cape Town, his services prior to that time having been with the Cape Police. He has now given up soldiering, and holds a very good position in the African Boating Company, a large and influential concern at Durban.


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