Personal info

  • Name: John DOOGAN
  • D.O.B: 1st Mar, 1857
  • D.O.A: 28th Jan, 1881
  • D.O.D: 24th Jan, 1940
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 1st (The King’s) Dragoon Guards
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 1
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Laing’s Nek, South Africa 28 January 1881

28 January 1881

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Though reinforcements had not yet arrived from England, Sir George Pomeroy Colley, Governor of Natal and High Commissioner for South East Africa, was convinced of the need for speedy action to restore British authority, deter a Boer invasion of Natal and relieve the besieged garrisons. On 24 January 1881 he advanced twenty miles from Newcastle towards the Transvaal with a force of 1,200 men. At Laing’s Nek, just inside the Natal border, his way was blocked by a thousand Boers under P F Joubert. On 28 January 1881 Colley attempted to force a way through. Colley’s attack was repulsed and his force suffered heavy casualties. Fearing that his lines of communication into Natal were threatened Colley then led a force back towards Newcastle but only narrowly escaped defeat at Schuins Hoogte near the Ingogo river on 7 February 1881 when he again suffered heavy casualties.


 For gallant conduct during the action of Laing’s Nek on the 28th January, 1881. During the charge of the mounted men Private Doogan, servant to Major Brownlow, 1st Dragoon Guards, seeing that officer (whose horse had been shot) dismounted and among the Boers, rode up and (though himself severely wounded) dismounted and pressed Major Brownlow to take his horse, receiving another wound while trying to induce him to accept it. 

The London Gazette of 14 March 1882, Numb. 25084, p. 1130

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