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  • Christina Drummond

Captain Cameron Lamb, D.S.O., 2nd Battallion, The Border Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Captain Cameron Lamb, D.S.O., 2nd Battalion, the Border Regiment, died from wounds received ten days earlier as he led his company in an attack on the German trenches a few miles outside of Lille.

The son of Sir John Cameron Lamb, C.B., C.M.G. (known for his involvement in the development of the British Post Office, especially in the direction of telegraphy), he was educated at Blackheath Proprietary School, Oxford University and Guy’s Hospital Medical School. Gazetted into the Durham Light Infantry in 1900, he took part in operations in Cape Colony and the Orange River Colony during the South African War, for which he received the Queen’s Medal with four clasps. Three years later he was gazetted to the Border Regiment and served in South Africa, India and Burma. Before the outbreak of the Great War he studied the Franco-Belgian frontier at great length, sure that he would be called upon to serve there. After the outbreak of the war he was promoted to Captain and was awarded the D.S.O. which he personally received from His Majesty the King - the award was for “repeated gallantry and exceptionally good work, executing daily in and amongst the enemy’s lines.” He went out every morning and night, watching for snipers, discovering the enemy’s positions and rounding up their patrols. On finding a wounded British officer, he insisting on carrying him by himself for three-quarters of a mile to safety. He was known for standing on top of the trench and telling his men to show the Germans what the British were made of, and shouting encouragement as he led them forward.

After being shot, he whistled as he was carried away on a stretcher, refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of his wounds. He died in hospital ten days later, before he could be transported back to England. A soldier in the Artists Rifles commented that his was “a magnificent death.” Captain Lamb’s colonel wrote to his parents: “I must just write you a line to say how well your son has done during the war. He was one of the bravest young officers I know, and absolutely fearless. He has been invaluable to me. The battalion has lost a very gallant officer. He was so brave and full of spirit all the time, even when things looked blackest, and as you know he was beloved by all, officers, NCOs, men, and on the field admired by all.” He is buried in the Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Cameron, from Old Charlton in Kent, was 35 years old.

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