Over the next week, No Stone Left Alone will be honouring seven veterans across seven provinces who earned the Victoria Cross for their services during the Hundred Days Campaign.
Though born in Scotland, John MacGregor (VC) holds the honour of being one of Canada’s most decorated veterans. Serving in both the First and Second World Wars, MacGregor epitomized the idea of the “Fighting Canuck”.
After emigrating from Scotland, MacGregor worked westward, eventually settling in the deep backwoods of Northern British Columbia. In the winter of 1914, informed of the ongoing war by a passing trapper, John set out on foot for a 7 day journey through the British Columbian interior. He enlisted in Vancouver, joining up with the 11th Canadian Mountain Rifles as a Private. Through the course of their training, the decision was made to combine mounted units with the infantry, and John was shifted into the 2nd Division.
John’s unit arrived in the front lines outside Ypres on the 26th September, 1915, shifting around the lines until August 1916, when they were called to the Somme. Following the offensive, MacGregor’s unit had suffered so many casualties that Pvt. MacGregor was promoted immediately to Sergeant – where he would lead his men to victory at Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, and throughout the Last Hundred Days of the War, where MacGregor would be awarded the Victoria Cross at Cambrai.
Much more could be written about the life of John MacGregor, including his voluntary re-enlistment during the Second World War, acting as a Lieutenant Colonel with the 2nd Canadian Scottish Regiment. John passed away in his adopted home of Powell River, British Columbia.
For more information on Canada's veterans and the No Stone Left Alone campaign, please visit nostoneleftalone.ca
John’s Medal Bar:
Victoria Cross, Military Cross and Bar, Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-18 Star, British War Medal 1914-18, The Victory Medal, 1939-45 Star, Voluntary Service Medal Canada and Clasp, 1939-45 War Medal, King George VI Coronation Medal 1937, Territorial Force Efficiency Decoration