Matthew Barrie – Distinguished Service Medal

Here’s a story of true Blantyre heroism and bravery.

On Sunday, 2nd February 1919, Private. Matthew Barrie, son of Mr and Mrs Barrie, of 75 Auchinraith Road, was presented on parade with his Distinguished Conduct Medal by Colonel Vandeleur. The act which brought Pte, Barrie the D.C.M. was a particularly brave and meritorious one during a bombing raid.

He had been engaged throwing bombs when all of a sudden a great clash burst in the German trench, killing an R.E. officer and seriously wounding Pte. Barrie’s officer.

He was sitting beside the wounded officer when three Germans with fixed bayonets jumped across the trench! Pte Barrie although slightly wounded, fired his revolver point blank and killed them.

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He next sought to get his officer back to their own trench 200 yards across open ground strewn with barbed wire and dull of shell holes. When halfway across a machine gun started to play on them. They had to take cover by lying flat on the ground. He ultimately gained their own trench, but just at that moment two shells burst on top of it, burying them with earth. When the officer got to the advanced dressing station he was very weak from loss of blood.

Pvt. Barrie was out in France for three years and six months. At the time of the article, he was home, demobilised.

His bravery is remembered here.

For illustration an unrelated restored and colourised photo of WW1 showing the actual moment when a soldier pulled out his relieved officer from a trench which had been blown up.

Ref. Hamilton Advertiser. 8/2/1919 page 5, shared by Wilma Bolton.

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