John MacLaren Erskine

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John MacLaren Erskine
John MacLaren Erskine VC.jpg
Born 13 January 1894
Dunfermline, Fife
Died 14 April 1917
Arras, France
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Serjeant
Unit The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Battles/wars World War I 
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross

John MacLaren Erskine VC (13 January 1894 – 14 April 1917) 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.

Erskine was born in 1894 to William and Elizabeth Erskine.[1] He was 22 years old, and a serjeant in the 5th Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), British Army during the First World War, when he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 22 June 1916 at Givenchy, France.


For most conspicuous bravery. Whilst the near lip of a crater, caused by the explosion of a large enemy mine, was being consolidated, Actg. Serjt. Erskine rushed out under continuous fire with utter disregard of danger and rescued a wounded serjeant and a private. Later, seeing his officer, who was believed to be dead, show signs of movement, he ran out to him, bandaged his head, and remained with him for fully an hour, though repeatedly fired at, whilst a shallow trench was being dug to them. He then assisted in bringing in his officer, shielding him with his own body in order to lessen the chance of his being hit again.

— London Gazette, 4 August 1916[2]

He was killed in action at Arras, France, on 14 April 1917 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.[1]

The Medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Cameronians Regimental Museum, in Hamilton Low Parks Museum, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.


  1. ^ a b Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  2. ^ "No. 29695". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 August 1916. p. 7744. 

External links[edit]