Pri­vate’s brav­ery saved so many lives

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page -

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.”

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