Arthur Martin-Leake VC*

Arthur Martin-Leake (04/04/1874 – 22/06/1953) is one of three men who were awarded the Victoria Cross twice. 

While attached to the 5th Field Ambulance during the Second Boer War on 8 February 1902,  he was awarded his first VC for his actions at Vlakfontein,

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27433, Page: 3176, reads:

“South African Constabulary, Surgeon-Captain A. Martin-Leake.

During the action at Vlakfonteiu, on the 8th February, 1902, Surgeon-Captain Martin-Leake went up to a wounded man, and attended to him under a heavy fire from about 40 Boers at 100 yards range. He then went to the assistance of a wounded Officer, and, whilst trying to place him in a comfortable position, was shot three times, but would not give in till he rolled over thoroughly exhausted. All the eight men at this point were wounded, and while they were lying on the Veldt, Surgeon-Captain Martin-Leake refused water till every one else had been served. “

He returned to service as a lieutenant with the 5th Field Ambulance when the First World War broke out.

He was awarded his second Victoria Cross during the period 29 October to 8 November 1914 near Zonnebeke, Belgium, whilst serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29074, Page: 1700 reads: 

“Lieutenant Arthur Martin Leake, Royal Army Medical Corps, who was awarded the Victoria Cross on 13th May, 1902, is granted, a Clasp for conspicuous bravery in the present, campaign: — For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty throughout the campaign, especially during the period 29th October to 8th November 1914, near Zonnebeke, in rescuing, whilst exposed to constant fire, a large number of the wounded who were lying close to the enemy’s trenches.”

He retired from the army after the war and resumed his employment in India until he retired to England in 1937.  He died, aged 79, at High Cross, Hertfordshire and was buried in St John’s Church, High Cross. 

Commemoration plaque at the National Memorial Arboretum

There is a Memorial to Arthur Martin-Leake VC  and Cmdnt Gert Martinus Claassen at the farm Syferfontein. 

The Image of the Syferfontein monuments by user “Valhotel”, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Martin-Leake.  created 11/09/2013, (CC BY-SA 4.0)  

Cropped Image of the Syferfontein image by user “Valhotel”, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Martin-Leake.  created 11/09/2013, (CC BY-SA 4.0) 

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 07/06/2017. Taddy cigarette by Card Promotions, © 1997, first issued 1902. Gallaher cigarette card by Card Promotions © 2001, first issued 1915. 

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