At the battle of Elandslaagte, October 21,
1899, during the final and decisive advance on the Boer
position, Sergeant-Major Robertson led each successive rush of
his battalion, exposing himself fearlessly to the enemy's
artillery and rifle-fire in order to encourage the men. When the
main position had been captured, he led a small party to seize
the Boer camp, which operation was successfully carried out, and
though a deadly cross-fire was poured upon him and his men, he
continued to hold on to the position, encouraging them until he
was dangerously wounded in the body and sustained a compound
fracture of the left arm.
William Robertson, son of Mr. John
Robertson, of Dumfries, was Born at Greyfriars, Dumfriesshire,
on February 27, 1865. Enlisted in the 2nd Gordons at Devonport,
December 1, 1884, rising to warrant rank in 1895, and Quarter-master 3rd Gordons May 12, 1900.
After some years of service in India, landed in South Africa
on October 8, 1899, two days before the Boer Ultimatum to Great
Britain, proceeding immediately to Ladysmith, in the defence of
which he took part after recovery from his wounds received at
Elandslaagte, and for which he possesses a clasp to his medal as
well as those for Elandslaagte and Cape Colony.
On Christmas Day, 1900, after his return home, was presented,
in recognition of his bravery and distinguished services, with
the freedom of his native town, having, four months previously,
received the Victoria Cross from the hands of Her late Majesty
Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle.