John Frederick MacKay

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John Frederick MacKay
John Frederick MacKay VC.png
Born 6 June 1873
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 9 January 1930(1930-01-09) (aged 56)
Nice, France
Buried Cimitiere De Caucade, Nice
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Lieutenant-Colonel
Unit Gordon Highlanders
West African Frontier Force
Hampshire Regiment
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Battles/wars Tirah Campaign
Second Boer War
World War I
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross

Lieutenant-Colonel John Frederick MacKay VC (6 June 1873 – 9 January 1930) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.


He was 26 years old, and a lance-corporal in the 1st Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, British Army during the Second Boer War when the following deed took place at Crow's Nest Hill, Johannesburg, for which he was awarded the VC.

On the 29th May, 1900, during the action on Crow's Nest Hill, near Johannesburg, Corporal McKay repeatedly rushed forward, under a withering fire at short ranges, to attend to wounded comrades, dressing their wounds whilst he himself was without shelter, and in one instance carrying a wounded man from the open, under a heavy fire, to the shelter of a boulder.[1]

Further service[edit]

Mackay was commissioned into the King's Own Scottish Borderers as a second lieutenant on 27 July 1901, while still in South Africa. Following the end of the Second Boer War in June 1902, he left Durban for England on the SS Nubia in August 1902.[2] One year later, he was promoted to lacting ieutenant while serving with the West African Frontier Force (WAFF). This rank was confirmed in 1905. He transferred to the Hampshire Regiment as a captain in 1907 and to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1908, still attached to the WAFF. He served with the Argylls for the rest of his career, although attached to other regiments. From November 1908 to 1912 he served as adjutant of the 7th (Volunteer) Battalion, Royal Scots. In November 1914 he became adjutant of the Indian Volunteers, but later moved to the 21st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (2nd Tyneside Scottish). In 1915 he was promoted Major. In August 1916 he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel commanding a battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. He retired in 1921.

The medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen, Scotland.


  1. ^ "No. 27219". The London Gazette. 10 August 1900. p. 4944. 
  2. ^ "The Army in South Africa - Return of Troops". The Times (36844). London. 12 August 1902. p. 10. 

External links[edit]