Personal info

  • Name: Alan Richard HILL
  • D.O.B: 12th Jul, 1859
  • D.O.A: 28th Jan, 1881
  • D.O.D: 21st Apr, 1944
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot
  • 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 at the action at Laing’s Nek on the 28th January, 1881, in having, after the retreat was ordered, remained behind and endeavoured to carry out of action Lieutenant Baillie, of the same Corps, who was lying on the ground severely wounded. Being unable to lift that officer into the saddle, he carried him in his arms until Lieutenant Baillie was shot dead. Lieutenant Hill then brought a wounded man out of action on his horse, after which he returned and rescued another. All these acts being performed under a heavy fire. 

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

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