John Frederick McCrea VC

Name: John Frederick McCrea

Conflict: Transvaal War

Gazetted: June 28, 1881

Service: South African Forces

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John Frederick McCrea VC
John Frederick McCrea Medals
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Place/date of birth:  St Peter Port, Guernsey/April 2, 1854

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Surgeon (later Surgeon Major)

Date of bravery: January 14, 1881

London Gazette citation:

1st Regiment Cape Mounted Yeomanry. Surgeon John Frederick McCrea.

For his conspicuous bravery during the severely contested engagement with the Basutos on the 14th January, 1881, at Tweefontein, near Thaba Tsen, when, after the enemy had charged the Burghers in the most determined manner, forcing them to retire with a loss of sixteen killed and twenty-one wounded, Surgeon McCrea went out for some distance, under a heavy fire, and, with the assistance of Captain Buxton of the Mafeteng Contingent, conveyed a wounded Burgher named Aircamp to the shelter of a large ant-heap, and having placed him in a position of safety returned to the Ambulance for a stretcher. Whilst on his way thither Surgeon McCrea was severely wounded in the right breast by a bullet, notwithstanding which, he continued to perform his duties at the Ambulance, and again assisted to bring in several wounded men, continuing afterwards to attend the wounded during the remainder of the day, and scarcely taking time to dress his own wound, which he was obliged to do himself, there being no other Medical Officer in the Field.

Had it not been for this gallantry and devotion to his duty on the part of Surgeon McCrea, the sufferings of the wounded would undoubtedly have been much aggravated, and greater loss of life might very probably have ensued.

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Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death:  Kokstad, East Griqualand, South Africa/July 16, 1894

Grave/memorials: Kokstad Cemetery, East Griqualand, South Africa

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2001

Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum