Major William Babtie

Royal Army Medical Corps

15th December 1899
Major William Babtie VC

     On December 15, 1899, at the battle of Colenso, the wounded of the 14th and 66th Batteries R.F.A. were without medical assistance. They had been carried to a donga in rear of the guns, which, as detailed in the account of Captain Congreve (V.C.), had suffered so fearfully from the enemy's shell and rifle fire. On assistance being sent for, Major Babtie, Staff Officer to P.M.O. Natal Army, rode across the open ground, his pony being hit three times, and attended to the sufferers under fire which was directed on any one exposing himself. This he was obliged to do in passing from one wounded man to another. Later on he went out and assisted Captain Congreve when that officer heroically brought in the late Hon. F. H. S. Roberts (V.C.)

    Born on May 7, 1859, Lieutenant-Colonel Babtie is the son of Mr. John Babtie, J.P., of Dunbarton. Educated at Glasgow University (M.B. 1880), he entered the Army Medical Service on July 30, 1881, and was promoted Major from July 30, 1893. Served in Crete, 1897-98, as Senior Medical Officer, and for his services during the International Occupation was created C.M.G. In South Africa he took part in all the actions for the relief of Ladysmith, and subsequent operations in Natal and the Eastern Transvaal (despatches, London Gazette). Promoted Lieut.-Colonel November 29, 1900. Queen's medal with five clasps. Has served as Assistant Director-General A.M.S. on the Headquarters Staff of the Army since June 1, 1901. Is a Knight of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England. Presented with the Victoria Cross by Earl Roberts at Pretoria in October, 1900.  



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