Lieutenant Raymond Harvey Lodge Joseph de Montmorency

Raymond Harvey Lodge Joseph de Montmorency was awarded a Victoria Cross, and later served in South Africa.

Montreal, Québec


South African War

Early Life

Raymond Harvey Lodge Joseph de Montmorency was born on February 5, 1867, in Montreal, Québec, the eldest son of Raymond Harvey de Montmorency, 3rd Viscount Frankfort de Montmorency, and his wife, Rachel, the daughter of Field Marshal Sir John Michel, a major-general in the British Army. De Montmorency—the father—served in the Crimean War (1854-55), the Indian Mutiny (1857-78), and the Anglo-Abyssinian War of 1868, attaining the rank of major-general.

Education

Very little is known about de Montmorency's years in Canada. He was educated at Malborough College in Wiltshire, England, then attended the Royal Military College, from which he graduated in 1887 before joining the Lincolnshire Regiment in September of the same year. He was promoted to lieutenant with the 21st Lancers in November 1889, then appointed adjutant of the 21st Lancers in 1893.

Sudan Campaign

While still a lieutenant, de Montmorency served during the Sudan Campaign (1881-1899), and was in action during the Battle of Omdurman (also known as the Battle of Khartoum of 1898, to avoid confusion with the Battle or Siege of Khartoum of 1884-85), on September 2, 1898.

Victoria Cross citation

"At the Battle of Khartum on the 2nd September, 1898, Lieutenant de Montmorency, after the charge of the 21st Lancers, returned to assist Second Lieutenant R. G. Grenfell, who was lying surrounded by a large body of Dervishes. Lieutenant de Montmorency drove the Dervishes off, and, finding Lieutenant Grenfell dead, put the body on his horse which broke away. Captain Kenna and Corporal Swarbrick then came to his assistance, and enabled him to rejoin the Regiment, which had begun to open a heavy fire on the enemy."

Victoria Cross citation, The London Gazette, November 15, 1898.

Later career

Aside from the Victoria Cross, de Montmorency was further awarded the Khedive's Sudan Medal with clasp. He was also mentioned in despatches. In August 1898, de Montmorency was promoted to Captain. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famed British author and creator of Sherlock Holmes, called de Montmorency "one of the most promising of the younger officers of the British Army."

Death

Raymond Harvey Lodge Joseph de Montmorency was killed in action on February 23, 1900, during the Battle of Stormberg, in Dordrecht, Cape Colony, South Africa, during the South African War. He is buried in Molteno Cemetery in Dordrecht, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

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