Private John McAlpine
The statue on the top of the War Memorial is John McAlpine the first man from Cambuslang killed in the First World War:- “Private John McAlpine of Hamilton Road was serving with the 1st Battalion The Black Watch Regiment” when he was killed near Ypres, Belgium on 11th November 1914.He was 37 years old and married with six children.
Private Hugh McIver, V.C., M. M. and Bar
The name of Hugh McIver, one of two Cambuslang recipients of the Victoria Cross (VC), has been added to the VC Memorial in Hamilton. The other recipient from Cambuslang is John Brown Hamilton.
Hugh McIver was born on 21 June 1890 in Linwood, Renfreshrewshire, the son of Hugh and Mary (née Flynn) McIver. At an early age, he moved with his family to Cambuslang, living at 34 Dunlop Street, Newton, Lanarkshire, off Westburn Road. He was educated at St Charle’s Roman Catholic School and was also a member of St. Charles Chapel, Newton, and in the local League of the Cross.
Hugh McIvor joined the army on 18 August 1914, the first Kitchener recruit to enrol at Hallside, serving in France with the 2nd Royal Scots from 11 May 1915. He was killed in action on 2 September 1918 and is buried in Vraucourt Copse Cemetery, near Baupaume, Pas-de-Calais, in north-western France.
Private Hugh McIvor was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award in the British honours system, awarded for gallantry “in the presence of the enemy”’. The Digest of Citation reads:
“For acting with most conspicuous bravery and devotion whilst employed as a runner on 23rd August 1918, to the east of Courcelles-de-Comte, France. 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.”
Private Hugh McIver was also awarded the Military Medal (MM) Gazetted on 19t September, 1916, followed by a Bar to the Military Medal, Gazetted on 21 October 1918.
Further details on the Vraucourt Copse Cemetery and images of Private McIver’s headstone are here
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