Blantyre’s D.C.M, 1916

Screenshot 2020-07-12 at 11.55.38This is a WW1 photograph of Private G. McGill of the 7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, a Blantyre lad who was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty at Fosse 8 in battle on mainland Europe.

In March 1916, when his officer, Captain Farmer, a man in his regiment, was wounded. Private McGill dressed his wound under fire out on the field, and even shot two Germans who attempted to take the officer prisoner. He then lay over his officer for two hours to protect him from shrapnel bullets. Later, realising they were both pinned down, still under a hot fire, he dragged Captain Farmer from the trench, with a bullet going right through his kilt whilst doing so.

The parents of Private McGill lived in Merry’s Bows, Blantyre and were exceptionally proud to hear that he won a DCM. Before soldiering, he was a miner, and was working in Fife at the outbreak the war. Private McGill went through a brief spell in recovery in April 1916 after this event.

Now, I have to admit, I have many more questions about this brave man. I will come back to this detail in due course. What was his first name? Did he survive the war, for he’s not on the WW1 Blantyre memorial? If you know more, please do get in touch and I’ll add in more details. Thanks.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

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