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French plan monument to Scottish hero of First World War

A HERO of the First World War is to be remembered by the French.

Private Hugh McIver, 28, a Royal Scots company-runner who risked his life carrying vital messages under artillery and machinegun fire, was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his bravery in the battle to capture the towns of Albert and Bapaume in northern France.

On 23 August, 1918, east of Courcelle-le Compte, Pte McIver, from Paisley, single-handedly chased a German soldier for 150 yards. He dived after him into a machinegun post and, having killed six of the garrison, captured 20 prisoners and two machineguns.

Later, he succeeded "at great personal risk" in stopping the fire of a British tank, which was directed in error against his own troops. He was killed in action ten days later.

The Royal Scots lost contact with his relatives in the 1960s, but tales of his courage and heroism live on. Now, historians in France want to hear from Pte McIver's family and plan to erect a monument in his memory.

Phillippe Drouin, of the Somme Remembrance Association,

said: "We are trying to figure out exactly where McIver's action that won him the VC happened, but it is not easy. We would like to hear from any relatives of this brave man, no matter how distant."

Pte McIver is buried in Vraucourt Copse military cemetery, north-east of Bapaume. His parents, Hugh and Mary, lived in Newton Hallside, Glasgow, at the time of his death.

His VC, on display at the Royal Scots Museum at Edinburgh Castle, was one of six won by the regiment during the First World War.

 
 
 

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