b. 30/01/1873 Edinburgh, Scotland. d. 12/05/1954 Ermelo, South Africa.
William Anderson Bloomfield (1873-1954) was born (Broomfield) in Edinburgh, Scotland on 30th January 1873. He was the youngest son of James Broomfield, a Master Mason, and Jane Cargill Broomfield, of Garvald, East Lothian. The family emigrated to South Africa in 1878. His siblings were Mary, James, Jane, Alexander and Agnes.
During the Boer War, Bloomfield fought on the side of the Boers, and would later become the only man to fight for the Boers against the British, and then be awarded the Victoria Cross for fighting for the British and Allied forces in the Great War.
On the outbreak of the Great War, Bloomfield was a Captain in the 2nd South African Mounted Brigade which saw action against the Germans in German East Africa. On 24th August 1916, at Mlali, German East Africa, Finding that, after being heavily attacked in an advanced and isolated position, the enemy were working round his flanks, Captain Bloomfield evacuated his wounded, and subsequently withdrew his command to a new position, he himself being amongst the last to retire. On arrival at the new position he found that one of the wounded - No. 2475 Corporal D M P Bowker -had been left behind. Owing to very heavy fire he experienced difficulties in having the wounded Corporal brought in. Rescue meant passing over some 400 yards of open ground, swept by heavy fire, in full view of the enemy. This task Captain Bloomfield determined to face himself, and, unmindful of personal danger, he succeeded in reaching Corporal Bowker and carrying him back, subjected throughout the double journey to heavy machine gun and rifle fire.
He was gazetted for the Victoria Cross on 30th December 1916, and received the medal from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 20th October 1917. On 8th February 1917 Captain Bloomfield was Mentioned in Despatches. After most of the South African troops had been repatriated from East Africa in 1917 because of poor health, Captain Bloomfield volunteered to serve in France where he was promoted to Major. He died on 12th May 1954 and is buried at Ermelo, South Africa. In The War in Africa and Palestine room in the Delville Wood Museum, Longueval, France there is a photograph of Captain W A Bloomfield, VC, with an abbreviated citation. His Victoria Cross was displayed at the National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg and is now kept by his family.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: ERMELO CEMETERY, ERMELO, SOUTH AFRICA.
War Illustrated, 31st March 1917
Edinburgh (Thomas Stewart)
Freemasons Memorial, London (Brian Drummond)