1. ITV Report

Scotland's WWI Victoria Cross medal winners

Medals belonging to Louis McGuffle from Wigtown Photo: ITV Border

Seven men, from Dumfries & Galloway and the Borders, were awarded the prestigious Victoria Cross medal for their brave actions in the First World War.

  • 25-year-old Louis McGuffle was born in Wigtown and was a sergeant in 1918. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for entering enemy dug-outs alone and taking prisoners. He was killed by a shell in Belgium, October 1918.

Find out more about Louis McGuffle below:

  • James Tait was born in Maxwelltown in Dumfries and served as a lieutenant for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He managed to lead his men forward despite being fired at heavily. He then took out a hidden enemy machine gunner who was causing many injuries to Lieutenant Tait's men. His men, inspired by Lieutenant Tait then captured 12 machine guns and 20 prisoners. He later continued to direct his men despite being injured. He died from his wounds later that day.
  • Sergeant John Brunton Daykins was born in Hawick and served with the York and Lancaster Regiment. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for hand to hand fighting with the enemy that led to him being able to secure his objective. Under fire from the enemy he went to the post and took 25 prisoners and an enemy machine-gun. His actions are said to have saved many casualties and contributed to the attack.
Piper Laidlaw played to inspire his company who had been affected by gas Credit: ITV Border

Daniel Laidlaw was a Piper born in Swinton in the Borders. His Victoria Cross Medal was awarded for going over the top to play to his company, who had been affected by gas. The company were inspired and continued to go forward and fight. Piper Laidlaw went on playing despite injuries, until the position was won. He later was promoted to sergeant-piper.

William Hew Clark-Kennedy was born in Kirkcudbrightshire and fought as a lieutenant colonel in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Despite heavy casualities, Lieutenant Colonel Clark-Kennedy encouraged his men and led them onwards, enabling the whole brigade to advance. The next day he was severly injured and although suffered from pain and blood loss, he refused to be evacuated until he could get to a position for the advance to continue. For this he received the Victoria Cross medal. He died in Canada, 1961.

It is 100 years since Britain joined WWI. Credit: PA
  • Samuel Wallace, from Thornhill, was a temporary lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery. At 25-years-old he maintained action for eight hours, despite having lost their commander and five sergeants. When the infantry support arrived he withdrew, taking the wounded with him. He later achieved the rank of captain.
  • James MacKenzie, from New Abbey in Dumfries, enlisted in the Scots Guards in 1912. He was awarded the Victoria Cross medal for his deeds in 1914 when he was a 25-year-old private in the 2nd Battalion. Under fire Private MacKenzie attempted to save a severely wounded man from the front of the German trenches. He was killed later that day trying to rescue another wounded man.

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