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A  LIST  OF  ELEVEN BRAVE
MACGREGORS AWARDED THE
VICTORIA CROSS

Victoria.jpg (15655 bytes)


The Victoria Cross is by far the world's most coveted medal for bravery.  The VC is the most democratic of all medals, open to the private soldier as well as his commanding officer.  It is officially the highest award for bravery  under combat that can possibly be  attained in the entire British Commonwealth.  The bronze material in the medal has always been cast from the cannons seized at  Sebastopol during the "Charge of the Light Brigade." The VC retains a mystique that no other decoration has ever achieved.   From its inception by Queen Victoria in 1855,  it has been awarded only 1,350 times.

No other family can claim to have won this medal more times than the Clan Gregor. The following list may be incomplete, but it is the best I can do at present.   This list comprises 11 of the bravest soldiers in the world, and they are all recognized as MacGregors..



COMBE, Robert Grierson (MacGregor pseudonym)- Lieutenant Manitoba Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force.  On 3 May 1917, south of Acheville, France. Lieutenant Combe steadied his company under intense fire and leading them through enemy barrage reached the objective with only five men.  He proceeded to grenade the enemy, inflicting heavy casualties and then, collecting small groups of men, succeeded in capturing the objective, together with 80 prisoners.  He repeatedly charged the enemy, driving them before him, but while personally leading his men, he was killed by a sniper.




  GREGG, Milton Fowler (MacGregor pseudonym) - Lieutenant, Royal Canadian Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force.  During the period 27 September to 1 October 1918 near Cambrai, France. Lieutenant Gregg showed most conspicuous bravery and initiative.  Although wounded twice, he led his men against enemy trenches in which he personally killed or wounded 11 Germans, took 25 prisoners and captured 12 machine-guns.  In spite of his wounds he stayed with his company and a few days later led his men in another attack until severely wounded for the third time.



GREGG, William (MacGregor pseudonym)- Sergeant, The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) British Army.  On 6 May 1918 at Bucquoy, France.  When all the officers of Sergeant Gregg's company had been wounded during an attack, he took command, rushing two enemy posts, killing some of the gun teams, taking prisoners and capturing a machine-gun.  He then started to consolidate his position until driven back by a counter-attack, but as reinforcements had by now come up, he led a charge, personally grenaded a machine-gun position, killed the crew and captured the gun.  When driven back again, he led another successful attack and held on to his position until ordered to withdraw.



 MacGREGOR, David Stuart- Lieutenant, the Royal Scots .  On 22 October 1918, near Hoogemolen, Belgium, Lieutenant MacGregor concealed his guns on a limber under the bank of a sunken road, but immediately as the troops advanced they were subjected to such intense machine-gun fire that he realized it was impossible to get the guns carried forward without great delay.  Having ordered the teams to take a safer route, he lay flat on the limber, the driver then galloped forward under the heaviest machine-gun fire to cover beyond, the guns were put into action and the advance resumed. Lieutenant MacGregor continued directing the fire until he was killed.  Buried somewhere in Belgium.



  MacGREGOR, John- Captain, Canadian Expeditionary Force.  He was hospitalized with pleurisy in May of 1918 and sent to the UK to recuperate.  During the period of 29 September/ 03 October 1918, while serving in the 2nd CMR near Cambrai in France, Captain MacGregor acted with most conspicuous bravery and leadership.  He led his company under intense fire, and although wounded, he located and put out of action enemy machine-guns which were checking progress, killing four and taking eight prisoners.  He then reorganized his command under heavy fire and in the face of stubborn resistance continued the advance.

Later, after a personal daylight reconnaissance under heavy fire, he established his company in Neuville Saint Remy, thereby greatly assisting the advance into Tilloy. He later assumed the rank of full Colonel.  The Scottish-born John MacGregor had served in the Canadian Army in both the First and Second World Wars.  In WWI he was awarded the Victoria Cross, and three other decorations for bravery. He is the most decorated soldier in the Canadian Army, and perhaps within the clan.  He is buried at Cranberry Lake Cemetery, Powell River, B.C.

For more information on this genuine Canadian hero contact:

  www.members.shaw.ca/airforce



  MacGREGOR, Roderick- Private, the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) British Army.  On 22nd April 1855 at the Quarries, Crimea, a bandsman going to fetch water from a well in front of the advanced trench, was killed.  A number of men at once rushed out determined to drive the Russian riflemen from the pits which they occupied.  Private MacGregor and two others were the first to reach the Russians, whom they drove out, killing some.  Later in July, Private MacGregor was employed as a sniper in the advance trenches before Sebastopol.   He crossed an open space under fire and, taking cover under a rock, dislodged two Russians who were occupying a rifle-pit.  Buried at St. Mary's Churchyard, Drumnadrochit near Urquhart, Scotland.



  MacIVER, Hugh - (MacGregor Pseudonym) Private, the Royal Scots (The Lothian Regiment), British Army.  On 23 August1918 east of Courcelle-le-Compte, France.  Private MacIVER was employed as a company-runner and under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire carried messages regardless of his own safety.  Single-handed he pursued an enemy scout into a machine-gun post and having killed six of the enemy, captured 20 prisoners and two machine-guns.  Later, he succeeded , at great personal risk, in stopping the fire of a British tank which was directed in error against our own troops.  He was killed in action 10 days later.  Buried somewhere in France.



    MacNESS, Frederick - (MacGregor Pseudonym) Lance-Sergeant, Scots Guards, British Army.  On 15 September 1916 near Ginchy, France.  during a period of severe fighting, Lance-Sergeant MacNess led his men with great dash in the face of  heavy shell and machine-gun fire.  When the first line of enemy trenches was reached, it was found that the left flank was exposed and that the enemy were throwing grenades down the trench.  Sergeant MacNess thereupon organized and led a counter-attack and although he was very severely wounded in the neck and jaw, did not give up.  Finally he established a "block" and continued encouraging his men and throwing grenades until he was exhausted by loss of blood.



  SKINNER, John Kendrick (MacGregor pseudonym) - Sergeant-Major, the King's Own Scottish Regiment, British Army.  On 18 August 1918 at Wijdendrift, Belgium, when his company was held up by machine-gun fire, Company Sergeant Major Skinner, although wounded in the head, collected six men and with great courage and determination worked around the left flank of three blockhouses from which the machine-gun fire was coming, and succeeded in grenading and taking the first blockhouse single-handedly.  Then leading his six men towards the other two block-houses he cleared them, taking 60 prisoners, three machine-guns and two trench mortars. Buried in Vlamertinghe, Belgium.



  STRINGER, George (MacGregor pseudonym) - Private, Manchester Regiment, British Army. On 9 March 1916 at Es Sinn, Mesopotamia, after the capture of an enemy position, Private Stringer was posted on the extreme right flank of his battalion to guard against any hostile attack.  His battalion was subsequently forced back by an enemy counter-attack, but Private Stringer held his ground single-handedly and kept back the enemy until all his grenades were gone.  His gallant stand saved the flank of his battalion and made a steady withdrawal possible.



WHITE, George Stuart (MacGregor pseudonym) - Major, 92nd Regiment (later The Gordon Highlanders), British Army.  On 6 October 1879 at Charasiah, Afghanistan, Major White led an attack on a strongly fortified hill where the enemy force outnumbered the major's by about eight to one.  When his men became exhausted and immediate action seemed necessary, he took a rifle and running forward alone, shot the enemy leader.  This decided the issue and the enemy fled.  Again, at the battle of Kandahar Major White led the final charge and personally captured one of the two artillery pieces held by the enemy, immediately after which the latter retired.

Later, Sir George White, commanded the garrison at the Siege of Ladysmith (1899-1900).  He later achieved the rank of Field Marshall.



Author's note:  I have been super careful to ensure that the above VC winners who held MacGregor pseudonym surnames were in fact MacGregors.  There are several other VC winners with similar names but they are either listed as English or can not be identified as being either Scottish or Canadian.  Please forgive any omissions and please advise me if I have missed anyone you are aware of at the following email url: rioghal@allstream.net

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