Oswald Reid

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Oswald Reid
Oswald Austin Reid.jpg
Born 2 November 1893
Johannesburg, South Africa
Died 27 October 1920 (aged 26)
Buried at Braamfontein Cemetery, Johannesburg, South Africa (26°11′6.46″S 28°1′6.45″E / 26.1851278°S 28.0184583°E / -26.1851278; 28.0184583Coordinates: 26°11′6.46″S 28°1′6.45″E / 26.1851278°S 28.0184583°E / -26.1851278; 28.0184583)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
 Union of South Africa
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1914 - 1919
Rank Major
Unit 1st Battalion, The King's (Liverpool) Regiment
Wars World War I
Russian Civil War
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross
Silver Medal for Military Valor (Italy)

Oswald Austin Reid VC (2 November 1893 – 27 October 1920) was a South African recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Early life[edit]

He attended the Diocesan College in Cape Town and St John's College in Johannesburg before moving on to Radley College England, where he became Senior Prefect and Captain of the Football and Cricket teams.[1] [2]


He was 23 years old, and a captain in the 1st Battalion, The King's (Liverpool) Regiment, British Army, attached 6th Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 8/10 March 1917 at Dialah River, Mesopotamia, Captain Reid consolidated a small post with the advanced troops on the opposite side of the river to the main body, after his lines of communication had been cut by the sinking of the pontoons. He maintained this position for 30 hours against constant attacks by bombs, machine-guns and rifle fire, with the full knowledge that repeated attempts at relief had failed and that his ammunition was all but exhausted. It was greatly due to his tenacity that the crossing of the river was effected the next night. During the operations he was wounded.[3][4]

Reid later achieved the rank of Major. He is buried in Braamfontein Cemetery in Johannesburg.[5]

The medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg.[6]


External links[edit]