Islay Victoria Cross soldier honoured

The unveiling of the memorial stone in Portnahaven.

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The bravery of a Portnahaven officer, in a 1918 First World War battle,  was commemorated in the village last week.

During four days of heavy fighting, between August 24 and 27 1918 Temporary Lieutenant David Lowe Macintyre, of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 1/6 Battalion Highland Light Infantry inspired his men and single-handed rushed a machine-gun post.

Last week a Portnahaven ceremony marked the hundredth anniversary of the actions at Henin and Fontaine-Les-Croisilles, France and the award of the Victoria Cross to T/Lt.  Macintyre.

A commemorative stone was unveiled, marking T/Lt. Macintyre’s actions and prayers were said remembering those killed or wounded in the war.

T/Lt. Macintyre survived the war and when he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1949 he had become the under secretary for Scotland in the ministry of works.

His Victoria Cross is on permanent display at the National War Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle.

The ceremony was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute Patrick Stewart, Argyll and Bute Council’s armed forces champion, Councillor Barbara Morgan and the convener of the cross-party group in the Scottish parliament on armed forces and the veterans’ community MSP Maurice Corry.

The dignitaries also visited the Museum of Islay Life.

There they saw the replica Stars and Stripes U.S. flag, produced overnight on the island, so that the American soldiers, who died after the sinking of the SS Tuscania, could be buried with full military honours.

The flag was sent to President Woodrow Wilson and is in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington.

Councillor Alastair Redman said: ‘A huge thanks to all of the organizers, volunteers and everyone else who attended and made this ceremony possible.

‘It is so important that we never forget the sacrifice of these young men, who died so that we may continue to enjoy the freedoms we take for granted.’

The unveiling of the memorial stone in Portnahaven. NO_c35Firstworldwar01 All photographs by Alastair Redman.

MSP Maurice Corry, Councillor Barbara Morgan and Councillor Alastair Redman in the Museum of Islay Life. NO_c35Firstworldwar03

The memorial to T/Lt.Macintyre. NO_c35Firstworldwar02