b. 12/08/1833 Christchurch, Hampshire. d. 10/06/1909 Alverstoke, Hampshire.
Aylmer Spicer Cameron (1833-1909) was born on 12th August 1833, the son of Colonel William Cameron of the Grenadier Guards, who had served in the Peninsular War and fought at the Battle of Waterloo. Whilst at Waterloo, he was severely wounded and had his right arm amputated. He was ADC to the Duke of Wellington in the battle. Aylmer’s grandfather was also a military man, General Neville Cameron of the Royal Engineers, who mostly served in India.
Aylmer, who was born in Christchurch, Hampshire, was commissioned into the 72nd Regiment of Foot (later Seaforth Highlanders) in 1852 and served throughout the Crimean Campaign of 1854-1856, including the two assaults on the Redan, receiving the Crimean War Medal with clasp and Turkish War Medal. Shortly after the end of the Crimean campaign, he was soon posted off to the Indian Mutiny which had broken out in May 1857 in Meerut.
On 30th March 1858 at Kotah, the 72nd were occupying the bastions, and began to clear the houses. Each house was taken through fierce hand to hand combat. Lieutenant Cameron then led a charge up a narrow entrance to a house, defended by a party of rebels, two of whom he killed, and was himself dangerously wounded. He sustained three wounds, and lost half his hand to a sword cut.
He was recommended for the VC and his citation appeared on 11th November 1859. He was presented with his medal by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 9th November 1860. He was also mentioned in despatches twice and promoted to Captain. In 1871, he transferred to the 25th Regiment of Foot (later King’s Own Borderers) as a Major. He then became Chief Instructor in Bengal from 1874-1876; Assistant Adjutant-General in Canada 1879-1881, before being appointed to command the King’s Own Borderers in 1882. He was created a Companion of Bath in 1886, and appointed Commandant of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, until his retirement in 1888. Cameron retired to Hampshire with his wife, Arabella Piercy Henderson (married 1869) with whom he had eight children. His five sons all served in the military in some form. Cameron died at his home, Alvara House, in Alverstoke on 10th June 1909. He was buried in St Mark’s Churchyard, Highcliffe, near Christchurch, Dorset. His medals are held by the Queen’s Own Highlanders Museum, Fort George, Scotland.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: QUEENS OWN HIGHLANDERS MUSEUM, FORT GEORGE
BURIAL PLACE: ST MARK'S CHURCHYARD. HIGHCLIFFE, DORSET.
Aylmer Cameron's medals including VC displayed at the Queens Own Highlanders Museum, Fort George, Inverness-shire, Scotland
(Picture courtesy of Thomas Stewart).
Cameron's medals in August 2015 (Thomas Stewart)