Vil­lagers salute hero who ‘rushed the en­emy guns’

Memo­rial: Fam­ily and friends un­veil plaque to win­ner of Vic­to­ria Cross

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - LOCAL NEWS - BY JAMIE ROSS

A north-east com­mu­nity has paid trib­ute to the courage of a World War I hero.

Colin Bar­ron was one of mil­lions of young men who signed up to serve dur­ing the war, but his ex­ploits have be­come the stuff of leg­end.

And yes­ter­day, fam­ily, friends and sur­viv­ing rel­a­tives joined to­gether at Boyn­die to un­veil a memo­rial to him, 100 years af­ter he re­ceived the Vic­to­ria Cross.

Born in 1893 and raised at Bal­davie Farm in Boyn­die, Mr Bar­ron was brought up by his grand­par­ents, Joseph and Mary.

He em­i­grated to Canada in 1910 and en­listed in the Cana­dian Ex­pe­di­tionary Force in 1914.

While serv­ing as a cor­po­ral with the Cana­dian 3rd Bat­tal­ion near Pass­chen­daele, the 24-year-old was cred­ited with sav­ing the lives of the men in his unit. For his brav­ery, he was awarded the VC. The ci­ta­tion af­firm­ing the award stated: “For con­spic­u­ous brav­ery when in at­tack, his unit was held up by three ma­chine guns.

“Cpl Bar­ron opened up on them from a flank at point-blank range, rushed the en­emy guns sin­gle­handed, killed four of the crew, and cap­tured the re­main­der. He then, with re­mark­able ini­tia­tive and skill, turned one of the cap­tured guns on the re­tir­ing en­emy, caus­ing se­vere ca­su­al­ties.”

The ser­vice to com­mem­o­rate him took place yes­ter­day at Boyn­die’s visi­tor cen­tre, where rel­a­tives in­clud­ing his niece, Daisy Ogg, 83, laid flow­ers in trib­ute.

Mr Bar­ron later achieved the rank of sergeant-ma­jor in the Cana­dian armed forces. He served his coun­try again in World War II and is buried in Toronto’s vet­er­ans’ ceme­tery.

He is one of only nine north-east men to have been awarded a VC dur­ing the war. Oth­ers in­clude Ge­orge McIn­tosh of Buckie, who was hon­oured in 1917 af­ter seiz­ing an en­emy dugout dur­ing the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele, and Joseph Watt of Gar­den­stown awarded the VC for his part in a naval bat­tle at the Strait of Otranto.

IN MEM­ORY: Daisy Ogg, 83, Colin Bar­ron’s ne­ice, laid flow­ers at the memo­rial stone to her un­cle who won the Vic­to­ria Cross in WWI

Gath­er­ing at the visi­tor cen­tre for the cer­e­mony

Colin Bar­ron

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