- Name: Thomas Joseph CREAN
- D.O.B: 19th April, 1873
- D.O.A: 18th December, 1901
- D.O.D: 25th March, 1923
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Surgeon Captain, 1st Imperial Light Horse (Natal)
Tiger Kloof Spruit, Orange Free State, South Africa 18 December 1901
18 December 1901
The Second Boer War 1899 - 1902
In the east of the Orange Free State a number of British columns were trying to contain General Christiaan de Wet and his forces. Brigadier General Sir J G Dartnell’s column was based at Harrismith, near the border with Natal. On 17 December 1901 Dartnell’s force had marched west through Bethlehem and the next day prepared to make its way back the fifty or so miles to Harrismith. At 11am the column reached the Tiger Kloof Spruit, about fifteen miles east of Bethlehem. Here de Wet lay in wait. The Boers had the advantage of surprise but were unable fully to capitalize on it. At 3pm de Wet broke off the engagement and withdrew. During the action Surgeon Captain T J Crean attended the wounded on the battlefield and was shot through the arm. While he was binding the wound of Lieutenant J O’Hara, he was shot through the stomach. The British casualties were one dead and fourteen wounded.
During the action with De Wet at Tygerskloof, on the 18th December, 1901, this Officer continued to attend to the wounded in the firing line, under a heavy fire at only 150 yards range, after he had himself been wounded, and only desisted when he was hit a second time, and, as it was at first thought, mortally wounded.