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    A party of 8 men, accompanied by Mr Godson of the Intelligence Department, were sent to a farmhouse to bring in two women. Two sentries were posted on arrival at the farm but, when a number of Boers suddenly attacked, the sentries bolted without giving any alarm. The remaining six men were compelled to surrender.

    Corporal Feast made a gallant but futile attempt to get away with Mr Godson. At the subsequent Court of Enquiry, the seven men were exonerated, and the Court drew attention to Corporal Feast’s gallant m conduct. 
    “SA Surrenders” WO 108-372.


    DCM (Vic): 3517 Cpl R.W. Feast. 5th Dragoon Gds. 2-8-00; 
    QSA, 2 clasps Natal, Tvl: 3517 Corpl. R.W. Feast. 5th Dragoon Gds; 
    KSA, 2 clasps SA’01, SA’02: 3517 Corpl R.W. Feast. 7th Dragoon Gds; 
    BWM & AVM: 9092 F. Sgt. R.W. Feast R.A.F.; 
    RAF MSM (Geo V): 9092 F/Sjt. R.W. Feast R.A.F.;
    Metropolitan Police Coronation Medal 1911: P.S. R. Feast

    Robert William Feast was born in St. Pancras in London and attested for the 5th Dragoon Guards at Oxford on 9 March 1891. He served with the Regiment in South Africa, 8 February 1900 – 31 December  1900, and 26 November 1901 – 1 August 1902.


    He was awarded the DCM for the abovementioned incident where he was taken prisoner and subsequently released. The Regimental History gives the following additional details:


    “The regiment continued to be employed on lines of communication till 1st May 1901, being kept most of the time split up in small detachments of half a squadron or even less. Patrolling was constantly carried out, so that there were daily some twenty patrols in constant touch with the Boers. 

    On 2nd August one such patrol was sent with a guide to a farm near Wakkerstroom. It was attacked by the Boers, and the guide was wounded. Corporal Feast, who was in charge of the patrol, could have got away, but he went back to assist the guide, and they were both captured.


    Cpl Feast was afterwards awarded the DCM for his conduct on this occasion.”
    Feast’s DCM must have been awarded as a direct result of the Court of Enquiry’s comment. Although he was mentioned in Army Order 163 of July 1901, he was never officially mentioned in the London Gazette.


    In addition, it is one of the very few Boer War DCM’s where the date of the act of gallantry was impressed as part of the naming. Cpl Feast transferred to the 7th Dragoon Guards on 31 March 1902. He was discharged in March 1903 and joined the Metropolitan Police. He advanced to Sergeant (Mounted Police), before enlisting in the Royal Flying Corps on 31 August 1915.


    He served as a Flight Sergeant with the 8th Brigade, Royal Air Force, in the French theatre of war 22 May 1918 - 9 January 1919. Primarily a bomber formation, it became part of the Independent Air Force June 1918. He was discharged 30 April 1920. 

    D.C.M. London Gazette 19 April 1901. M.S.M. London Gazette 3 June 1919. 
    Provenance: Elson Collection: Part 1, Glendining & Co, February 1963; Lovell Collection, Sotheby, 
    November 1978; Donald Hall Catalogue, January 1984; Buckland Dix Wood, October 1993; Dix Noonan Webb, December 2016


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