William Angus VC (28 February 1888 – 14 June 1959), also known as Willie Angus, was a Scottish 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.
Angus was born at Polkemmet Rows, Cappers, Armadale. After leaving school he was employed as a miner, but was able to find himself a place as a professional footballer at Carluke Rovers, before moving to Celtic, although he never played for the first team. Angus made two Scottish League appearances on loan to Vale of Leven in 1912. Released in 1914, he joined Wishaw Thistle, the club he was captaining when war was declared in August. As a member of local Territorial battalion of the Highland Light Infantry, he was mobilised immediately.
First World War
Early in 1915 his company, from 8th Bn HLI, was transferred to the 8th Royal Scots, the first Territorial battalion to join the Expeditionary Force. 8th Royal Scots had suffered a great many casualties and were in urgent need of replacements. He was serving as a lance-corporal in this battalion when the following deed took … Read the rest
Lieutenant Colonel Bernard William Vann, VC, MC & Bar (9 July 1887 – 3 October 1918) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Vann was born on 9 July 1887 in Rushden, in Northamptonshire, where his parents, Alfred George Collins Vann and Hannah Elizabeth Vann were teachers. He attended Chichele College, Higham Ferrers, where his father was headmaster.
Vann was a keen footballer who played for amateur teams at Hugglescote United, Irthlingborough, and Northampton Town. During the 1906/1907 season, he played for Burton United, then a League club. He made five appearances that season and then joined Derby County, making the first of his three league appearances for the club on 23 March 1907. Later that year, he played for Leicester Fosse, playing in two non-league games for the club.
From 1907 to 1910, Vann was a student at Jesus College, Cambridge, reading History. While at the University of Cambridge, Bernard served in the Officers’ Training Corps as a sergeant. During this time, he played for Mansfield Wesley. In 1910, … Read the rest
Second Lieutenant Donald Simpson Bell, VC (3 December 1890 – 10 July 1916) was an English school teacher and professional footballer. During World War I he was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for actions during the Battle of the Somme in mid-1916.
Bell was born on 3 December 1890 to Smith and Annie Bell, who resided in Queen’s Road, Harrogate. He attended St Peter’s Church of England Primary School and Harrogate Grammar School before going to Westminster College, London, to train as a teacher. A noted sportsman at college, he played as an amateur with Crystal Palace and later for Newcastle United. He returned to Harrogate and became a schoolteacher at Starbeck Council School (now Starbeck Primary School) and a member of the National Union of Teachers. To supplement his salary, in 1912 he signed professional forms with Bradford (Park Avenue). He played 6 games for the club as a defender or midfielder between 1912–14.
World War I
When World War I broke out, he became the first professional footballer to enlist into the British Army – joining the West Yorkshire Regiment in 1915. He was promoted to Lance Corporal and then commissioned into the 9th … Read the rest
Colonel Edmund Baron Hartley VC CMG (6 May 1847 – 20 March 1919) was a 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.
Hartley was born in Ivybridge, Devon, England, on 6 May 1847. Hartley arrived in Basutoland from Cape Town in 1875, becoming the first district surgeon in the colony. He was based in Maseru, but frequently traveled across the colony to treat patients. Following the outbreak of the 1879 Morosi’s Revolt he served as the principal medical officer of the Cape Colonial Forces. During the course of the campaign he organised his principal hospital at Fort Hartley on the Orange River. He distinguished himself during the campaign earning the Victoria Cross (VC) for his actions. Which bore the following citation:
On 5 June 1879 in South Africa, Surgeon Major Hartley attended the wounded under fire at the unsuccessful attack at Morosi’s Mountain. From an exposed position, on open ground, he carried in his arms a wounded corporal of the Cape Mounted Riflemen. The surgeon major then returned under severe enemy fire in order … Read the rest
John Frederick McCrea VC (2 April 1854 – 16 July 1894) was an English-born South African soldier and 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.
McCrea was born on 2 April 1854 at Saint Peter Port, Guernsey to Captain Herbert Taylor McCrea and Elizabeth Dobree Carey. Following his parents’ deaths in 1855, he was brought up by his aunt Charlotte in Guernsey and educated at Elizabeth College. He then studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital, qualifying in 1878 as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Edinburgh.
In 1879 he went to South Africa, where he did duty at the Military Hospital in Cape Town as Civilian Surgeon to Her Majesty’s Forces. A year later he moved to Fort Beaufort, Eastern Cape to settle, but decided instead to join the 1st Regiment, Cape Mounted Yeomanry as a surgeon.
McCrea was 26 years old, and a Surgeon in the 1st Cape Mounted Yeomanry, Cape Colonial Forces during the Basuto Gun War, when he performed the following actions for which he was … Read the rest
Harry Frederick Whitchurch VC (22 September 1866 – 16 August 1907) was an English 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.
Whitchurch was 28 years old, and a surgeon captain in the Indian Medical Service, Indian Army during the Chitral Expedition of 1895 of 1895 when, on 3 March, the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
During the sortie from Chitral Fort of the 3rd March last, at the commencement of the siege, Surgeon-Captain Whitchurch went to the assistance of Captain Baird, 24th Bengal Infantry, who was mortally wounded, and brought him back to the fort under a heavy fire from the enemy. Captain Baird was on the right of the fighting line, and had only a small party of Gurkhas and men of the 4th Kashmir Rifles. He was wounded on the heights ‘at a distance of a mile and a half from the fort. When Surgeon-Captain Whitchurch proceeded to his rescue, the enemy, in great strength, had broken through the fighting line’; darkness had set in and Captain Baird, … Read the rest
Major General Sir Neville Reginald Howse, VC, KCB, KCMG, FRCS (26 October 1863 – 19 September 1930) was an Australian Army officer, medical doctor, and politician. He was the first Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest decoration for gallantry “in the face of the enemy” that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces.
Howse was born in Somerset, England, and followed his father into the medical profession. He emigrated to Australia in 1889 and eventually settled in Orange, New South Wales. During the Boer War, Howse served with the Australian medical corps. He was awarded the VC for his rescue of a wounded man at Vredefort in July 1900, while under heavy rifle fire. During the First World War, Howse served in New Guinea, Gallipoli, and on the Western Front. He oversaw the medical services of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and finished the war with the rank of major-general. He was elected to parliament in 1922, and was subsequently appointed to cabinet by Stanley Bruce. He served as Minister for Defence (1925–1927), Health (1925–1927; 1928–1929), and Home and Territories (1928).
Francis Alexander Caron Scrimger, VC (February 10, 1880 – February 13, 1937), was a Canadian 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.
Scrimger was born in Montreal, the son of the Reverend John Scrimger, Principal of The Presbyterian College, Montreal. He was educated at the High School of Montreal and McGill University, obtaining a BA in 1901 and an MD in 1905. He was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1912.
During the Second Battle of Ypres on 25 April 1915 at Saint-Julien, Wieltje Salient, Belgium, Captain Scrimger, then serving as the medical officer of the 14th Battalion, Royal Montreal Regiment, was in charge of an advanced dressing station in a farmhouse near Wieltje on the St. Julien-Ypres Road. The advancing enemy were bombarding the area with an intense shelling. The German infantry were within sight. Scrimger directed the removal of the wounded under the heavy fire. Captain Scrimger and a badly wounded Captain Macdonald were the last men left at the station. Scrimger carried the wounded officer … Read the rest
Brigadier John Alexander Sinton, VC, OBE, FRS, DL (2 December 1884 – 25 March 1956) was a British medical doctor, malariologist, soldier, and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Sinton was born in Victoria, British Columbia, the third of the seven children of Walter Lyon Sinton (1860–1930) and his wife, Isabella Mary, née Pringle (1860–1924), a family of Quaker linen manufacturers from north of Ireland. On his mother’s side he was a cousin of James Pringle, and a nephew of Thomas Sinton and cousin of Ernest Walton on his father’s. In 1890 they returned to Ulster where he was educated and lived for the rest of his life. He studied at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and read medicine at the Queen’s University, Belfast, where he graduated in 1908 as first in his year. He went on to attain degrees from the University of Cambridge (1910) and the University of Liverpool (1911).
Sinton joined the Indian Medical Service in 1911, coming first in the entrance examinations, but before being posted to India was seconded as … Read the rest
Bellenden Seymour Hutcheson VC, MC (16 December 1883 – 9 April 1954) was an American-born Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC) during the First World War. The VC is the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Hutcheson was one of the seven Canadians to be awarded the Victoria Cross for their deeds on one single day, 2 September 1918, for actions across the 30 km long Drocourt-Quéant Line near Arras, France. The other six were Arthur George Knight, William Henry Metcalf, Claude Joseph Patrick Nunney, Cyrus Wesley Peck, Walter Leigh Rayfield and John Francis Young.
Hutcheson was a graduate of Northwestern University Medical School. In 1915, he renounced his United States citizenship in order to join the Canadian Army as a medical officer. He reclaimed his American citizenship after the war.
He was 34 years old, and a captain in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, Canadian Expeditionary Force, attached to 75th (Mississauga) Battalion, during the First World War. He was awarded the MC in 1918 for attended to and dressing the wounded.
On 2 September 1918 in France, Captain Hutcheson went through … Read the rest