Private’s bravery saved so many lives
Private Hugh McIver swapped the dangers of the coal mine for the frontline.
The 24-year-old abandoned life in the pit to enlist in the Royal Scots.
He was shipped to France to fight, despite standing at just 5ft 4ins and weighing under 10 stones.
Hugh was born in Linwood and was described as“scrappy”and “strong-willed”– owing to his upbringing with seven siblings.
He had already proved his mettle when he was caught up in fighting at Courcelles-le-Comte.
As Company-runner, he was tasked with running the trenches to carry vital information back to officers.
On August 21, 1918, he chased down an enemy scout before taking on six enemy troops.
He captured 20 prisoners and weapons.
He later stopped a tank which was mistakenly aiming for its own troops.
But just nine days later, Hugh was killed in action near the village of Noreuil.
He perished alongside 26 others after being ambushed by enemy troops.
Hugh was buried in the Vraucourt Copse Cemetery with full military honours.
Parents Hugh and Mary travelled to Buckingham Palace to be presented with his Victoria Cross by the King.
His commendation read:“For acting with most conspicuous bravery and devotion whilst employed as a runner.
“He carried messages regardless of his own safety.
“He followed an enemy scout into a machine-gun post, and single-handed, having killed six of the garrison, captured 20 more prisoners along with two machine guns. This action enabled the company to further advance unimpeded.
“At a later time, at great personal risk, he succeeded in stopping the deadly fire from a British tank which had been incorrectly directed at very close range.
“This very gallant action, without doubt, saved many unnecessary British soldiers from death.”