Monday 18 June 2007 by Robyn Van-Dyk. 2 comments
Exhibitions, Lawrence of Arabia and the Light Horse, The Light Horse

Among the literature and sources of the Palestine campaign appear two prominent and highly decorated Light Horse officers by the name of Donald Cameron: Lieutenant Colonel Sir Donald Charles Cameron of the 5th Light Horse Regiment and Lieutenant Colonel Donald Cameron of the 12th Light Horse Regiment.

Hailing from rural backgrounds, the two men had similar military career paths. They were both veterans of the Boer War. Donald Charles Cameron saw service in the South African War with the Queensland Imperial Bushmen and Donald Cameron served with the 1st Australian Horse.

The men enlisted early in the First World War and fought at Gallipoli where Donald Charles was wounded. Serving in the Middle East, both were promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1917. In October 1917 they led their units in the battle of Beersheba. Donald Cameron of the 12th led his unit in the charge and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order “For the conspicuously able and determined manner in which he directed the attack by his Regiment . . . on the defences of Beersheba”. He earned a Bar to his Distinguished Service Order on 30 September 1918, when at Kaukab he attacked the enemy’s cavalry driving them in “disorder towards Damascus”. Donald Charles Cameron was awarded a Distinguished Service Order at Gaza on 26 March 1917 where he led his Squadron in a bayonet charge against enemy held trenches. Donald Charles is also well known as the commanding officer at Ziza where he arranged for the surrender and protection of retreating Turks on 29 September 1918.

At the end of the First World War the two Light Horsemen returned to their properties but continued to maintain strong connections with their Light Horse Associations and veterans groups.

Honours and awards: Lieutenant Colonel Sir Donald Charles Cameron of the 5th Light Horse Regiment

  • Mentioned in Despatches South African War 1901
  • Mentioned in Despatches First World War (3 times)
  • Distinguished Service Order, 1917. View: Recommendation and medal in the Memorial's collection.
  • Companion of the Order of St Michael & St George, awarded 1919. View: medal
  • Egyptian Order of the Nile - 3rd Class awarded 1920. View: medal
  • View: Personal Service Record

Honours and awards: Lieutenant Colonel Donald Cameron of the 12th Light Horse Regiment


Geoff Harrison

Thank you Robyn for this topic. I have been searching for LC Donald Cameron's (12thALH)war records without success untill now.He was my g'fathers brother. His story is v assignedery interesting & is still unfolding.I have 2 unconfirmed stories-you may be able to help me. 1.The Scone Advocate of 13.10.1950 reporting on the death of Don, has a report that during the Boer War, Don was the Aust officer assigned to capture Field Marshall Smuts. He did not succeed. What a story it could be! 2.There is a family story that Don was involved in the court marshall of Lawrence after the war.I can find no evidence of a court marshall. Perhaps it was some sort of military enquiry into Lawrence's activities with the Arabs. Both stories seem doubtful to me. Geoff Harrison

Kay Adams

Hello Robyn and Geoff I have a photograph of Donald Cameron with his two brothers, Mac and Kenneth. I believe it was taken on their return from the Palestine campaign I don't know where the photo was taken. It is a formal picture of the three brothers in military uniform Kenneth Cameron was my paternal grandfather. My mother Audrey Trevillian (nee Cameron), who died in 1998 aged 77, had the photograph with some of her dad Kenneth's other war memorabilia, his pay book and some casual photographs taken in front of the pyramids I'm happy to donate a copy of the photo to the Australian War Memorial. How would I go about this? With thanks Kay Adams