Glasgow & West Scotland

Memorial stone laid to WW1 officer Donald Mackintosh in Glasgow

Donald Mackintosh
Image caption Lt Mackintosh was 21 years old when he was killed at Arras

A memorial stone has been laid in Glasgow to honour a World War One officer who led a successful advance while so badly wounded he could not stand.

Lt Donald Mackintosh, who served with the Seaforth Highlanders, died in the Battle of Arras in 1917.

His actions led to the posthumous award of a Victoria Cross.

Arras was fought from 9 April to 16 May 1917 and marked the beginning of the spring offensive on the Western Front.

An unusually high number of Scottish soldiers took part in the battle and 18,000 of them were killed.

Image caption The unveiling of the memorial stone marks the centenary of Donald Mackintosh's death

The official citation marking Donald Mackintosh's VC reads:

"For most conspicuous bravery and resolution in the face of intense machine gun fire.

"During the initial advance he was shot through the right leg, but though crippled he continued to lead his men and captured the trench.

"In the captured trench Lt. Mackintosh collected men of another company who had lost their leader, and drove back a counterattack.

"He was again wounded, and although unable to stand, he continued, nevertheless, to control the situation.

"With only fifteen men left, he ordered his party to be ready to advance to the final objective, and with great difficulty got out of the trench and encouraged his men to advance.

"He was again wounded and fell.

"The gallantry and devotion to duty of this officer were beyond all praise."


Image caption The Battle of Arras involved 44 Scottish battalions and was the start of the Spring offensive on the Western Front

Lt Mackintosh was just 21 when he was killed.

British artillery had attacked German lines with heavy shells in preparation for the advance at Arras.

But many German machine-gun positions remained intact.

British units, including The Seaforths, suffered massive losses as they attacked.

In many cases, more junior officers like Mackintosh were expected to rally soldiers whose company commanders had already fallen.

By the time the Battle of Arras ended, the Allies had suffered 159,000 casualties, 46,000 of them Scots.

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