20th September 1915
Private 17324 Francis George Miles V.C.. 1/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.
Francis Miles first crossed to France as a private with the 9th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, leaving Folkestone on the 20th September 1915. Francis was wounded and sent back to England to recover. After his recovery he was posted to the 1/5th Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment. Francis served with the battalion in Italy. In September 1918 the 1/5th Battalion left the 48th Division in Italy and joined the 25th Division on the Western Front. It was here on the 23rd October 1918 Private F. G. Miles took part in the action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The citation as recorded in, “The 25th Division in France and Flanders” by Lieut-Col. M. Kincaid-Smith, page 391 reads.
The courage, initiative and entire disregard of personal safety shown by this very gallant private soldier, was entirely instrumental in enabling his company to advance at a time when any delay would have seriously jeopardised the whole operation in which it was engaged.
Tuesday 21st September 1915
Private 16331 Percival Absolon, 11th (Service) Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment.
Percival attested in September 1914 crossing to France just over a year later. In 1916 he embarked from France to Salonica were he would be wounded in action. Percival survived the war.17
Wednesday 22nd September 1915
Captain John Macgregor V.C., M.C and Bar. D.C.M.
2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles
Born in Cawdor, in Nairnshire Scotland John Macgregor would have made a worthy thane. His mother still lived at Newlands of Murchang, Cawdor, when John served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Prior to the war He had emigrated to Canada where he worked as a carpenter.20
Macgregor was awarded the D.C.M. For an action on the 8th April 1917 during the preliminaries to the Battle of Vimy. 21
The citation for his Distinguished Conduct Medal (awarded when John was a Sergeant) reads:
116031 Sjt. J. MacGregor, Mounted Rifles. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He single-handed captured an enemy machine gun and shot the crew, thereby undoubtedly saving his company from many casualties.
(Supplement 30204 to The London Gazette 24 July 1917 page 7663)
(Supplement 30845 to The London Gazette, 13 August 1918, page 9569.)
John was awarded his Military Cross for two reconnaissance missions on the 28th December 1917, and for his part in a trench raid on the 12th January 1918. 22
The Citation for his Military Cross reads:
Lt. John Macgregor, D.C.M., Mtd. Rif. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Whilst he was assembling his men prior to a raid, the enemy bombed the trench. He, however, changing his point of attack, led his men over the wire into the enemy’s trench, and successfully dealt with the garrison of the trench and three concrete dug-outs, himself capturing one prisoner. He then withdrew his party and his prisoner successfully to our trenches. Before the raid, he, together with a serjeant, had made several skilful and daring reconnaissance along the enemy wire, which materially assisted in the success of the enterprise.
The citation for the award of the Victoria Cross:
T./Capt. John MacGregor, M.C., D.C.M., 2nd C.M.R. Bn., 1st Central Ontario Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and self-sacrificing devotion to duty near Cambrai from 29th September to 3rd October 1918. He led his company under intense fire, and when the advance was checked by machine guns, although wounded, pushed on and located the enemy guns. He then ran forward in broad daylight, in face of heavy fire from all directions, and. with rifle and bayonet, single-handed, put the enemy crews out of action, killing four and taking eight prisoners. His prompt action saved many casualties and enabled the advance to continue. After reorganising his command under heavy fire he rendered most useful support to neighbouring troops. When the enemy were showing stubborn resistance, he went along the line regardless of danger, organised the platoons, took command of the leading waves, and continued the advance. Later, after a personal daylight reconnaissance under heavy fire, he established his company in Neuville St. Remy, thereby greatly assisting the
advance into Tilloy. Throughout the operations Capt. MacGregor displayed magnificent bravery and heroic leadership.
(The Edinburgh Gazette .10 January 1919, No. 13384 page 200) 23
The citation for the bar to his Military Cross reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and leadership from 5th to 8th November 1918, at Quievrain and Quievrechain. Through his initiative, the bridges over the Honnelle River were secured. His personal reconnoissances and the information he derived from them were of great use to his commanding officer. His prompt action in seizing the crossings over the river did much -towards the final rout of the enemy.
(Supplement 31680 to the London Gazette, 9 December 1919, page15312)
John Macgregor died in British Columbia on the 9th June 1952.
This blog is an extract from notesI am compiling about the soldiers who crossed from Folkestone to France 1915-1919.
17 Percival Absolon’s Army Pension Records.
20 John Macgregor’s Service Record.
23 The citation also appears in Supplement 31108, of the London Gazette, 3 January 1919, Page 306