Corporal Joseph Farmer (1854-1930)
Awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry during the First Boer War.
Joseph John Farmer was a Provisional Lance-Corporal in the Army Hospital Corps (Royal Army Medical Corps). He was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award in the British honours system, after the Battle of Majuba Hills in 1881. This was the decisive final clash of the First Boer War in South Africa.
Joseph received his medal ‘for conspicuous bravery during the engagement with the Boers at the Majuba Mountain, on the 27th February, 1881, when he showed a spirit of self-abnegation and an example of cool courage which cannot be too highly commended. While The Boers closed with the British troops near the wells, Corporal Farmer held a white flag over the wounded, and when the arm holding the flag was shot through, he called out that he had "another". He then raised the flag with the other arm, and continued to do so until that also was pierced with a bullet’.
Joseph was just 26 years old when he was wounded at Majuba. He had to leave the army as a result, and later became a house painter. He is one of twelve Victoria Cross holders buried at Brompton Cemetery.