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REL/06783.001
ID number REL/06783.001
Title Distinguished Service Order : Major D C Cameron, 5 Australian Light Horse Regiment, AIF
Collection Heraldry
Object type Award
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1917
Physical description
  • Enamel;
  • Silver gilt;

Description

Distinguished Service Order (Geo V). Unnamed as issued.


Summary

Donald Charles Cameron was born in Brisbane in 1879. As a young man he became a clerk at the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Co., but in 1899 set off on a tour of Europe and Asia, and was in China when the Boxer Rebellion occurred. Cameron attached himself to an American infantry regiment and accompanied it to Peking. After his return to Australia in 1901, he volunteered for service in South Africa, and was granted a commission in the 6th (Queensland Imperial Bushmen) Contingent. Arriving in the country as a Lieutenant in May 1901, Cameron spent twelve months patrolling in the Transvaal and Orange Free State, and was Mentioned in Despatches for rescuing a wounded trooper. At the end of the Boer War, he returned to Australia, and, with his brothers, managed the family property near Longreach. At the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted in the AIF, and sailed as a Captain in 5 Light Horse Regiment. The regiment landed at Gallipoli in May 1915, but he was twice wounded before the end of June, evacuated from the peninsula, and saw no further action in the campaign. Rejoining his unit in Egypt in January 1916 as a Major, Cameron fought at Romani, and at Gaza, being awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership in the first battle there. Promoted Lieutenant Colonel in October 1917, he took command of the regiment, and led it at Beersheba and in the advance on Jerusalem. During the Palestine campaign, he was three times Mentioned in Despatches, and was awarded the Order of the Nile, as well as being made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George. The citation for Cameron's DSO reads as follows: 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During an advance over difficult ground he showed great skill in keeping touch with the brigade on his left, afterwards leading his squadron in a bayonet charge against the enemy trenches, thus enabling two captured enemy guns to be removed.'