Photo 2: Martin-Leake memorial, Farm Syferfontein, South Africa.
Photo 4: Arthur Martin-Leake’s decorations.
Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) in 1903. He then worked as a Chief Medical Officer with the Bengal-Nagpur Railway, in India. Having an adventurous spirit, Arthur volunteered with the British Red Cross, attached to the Montenegrin Army during the 1st Balkan War (1912). He participated in the Siege of Scutari (1912–13) and at Tarabosh Mountain. He was awarded the Order of the Montenegrin Red Cross. But his military carrier was not over yet. With the outbreak of World War I, he joined again the 5th Field Ambulance as a lieutenant of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). It is said that, as he was already 40, he was afraid that he would be considered too old for active military duty. So, he travelled to France and enlisted himself at the British consulate. Again, he continuously showed self-sacrifice and devotion and he was responsible for saving many lives of British soldiers who were injured near the enemy trenches. He participated in the Western front and received his second Victoria Cross for his actions during the period from 29 October to 8 November 1914 near Zonnebeke, Belgium. Thus he became the first soldier to wear a clasp on his prestigious award for valor. His award citation 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
∑ 32 Marine Corps Brigade, Volos, Greece. ∏ St George's University, London, UK. Correspondence: Major Dimitrios GIANNOGLOU, MD, MC 424 Military Hospital of Thessaloniki Cardiology Department Periferiaki odos N. Efkarpias GR-564 29, Thessaloniki GREECE E-mail: email@example.com
near the enemy lines, under heavy enemy fire. He was injured three times before going back to safety. He was decorated by King Edward VII in an official ceremony at St James’s Palace on 2 June 1902. The award citation reads as follows: “During the action at Vlakfontein, 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.” Arthur Martin-Leake received his qualification as a Photo 3: Commemorative cover for the 150 years of the VC.
International Review of the Armed Forces Medical Services
Revue Internationale des Services de Santé des Forces Armées