Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Lieutenant-Colonel John Frederick McKay VC

John Frederick McKay won the Victoria Cross whilst serving as a Corporal with the Gordon Highlanders in South Africa, May 1900. Commissioned into the Argyll and Southern Highlanders in 1903, he served with a variety of Regiments prior to service with the Tyneside Scottish.
He served with the 21st (Service) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (2nd Battalion Tyneside Scottish) from August 1915 to August 1916.

Lieutenant-Colonel John Frederick McKay VC
(6 June 1873 - 9 January 1930)

Early Career
MACKAY, JOHN FREDERICK, University student, joined the 1st Gordon Highlanders. He served with the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders in the campaign on the North-West Frontier, India, and with the Tirah Expeditionary Force 1897—98, taking part in all the principal engagements, including Dargai, Tirah Maidan, Warran Valley, Bara River, and operations in Dwatoi country. For these services he received the Tirah Medal and the Punjab Frontier Medal with two clasps.

Service in South Africa
He served with the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders, and afterwards with the King's Own Scottish Borderers in the South African War of 1899-1901. He was present in the advance on Kimberley, 1899, including the action at Magersfontein; the operations in the Orange Free State, including the actions at Paardeberg and Zand River; the operations in the Transvaal, including the actions of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Belfast, 1900; the operations in the east of the Transvaal in 1901. For these services he received the Queen's Medal with five clasps, the King's Medal with two clasps, was twice mentioned in Despatches, and was awarded the Victoria Cross in connection with the action at Doornkop, near Johannesburg, South Africa, 28 May, 1900.

His Victoria Cross was gazetted 10 August 1900: "John Frederick MacKay, Gordon Highlanders.

Battle of Doornkop

His name was again submitted for the Victoria Cross in connection with an act of gallantry in the action at Wolverkrantz, near Krugersdorp, on 11 July, 1900.

Pre First World War Service
Mackay was commissioned into the King's Own Scottish Borderers before 1903, when he was promoted to Acting Lieutenant 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.

Captain MacKay was seconded for service May, 1903, with the Southern Nigeria Regiment.

He accompanied the expeditions to the Ime River, Cross River and Ibibio Country, 1904 and 1905. He accompanied the Bende Hinterland Expedition in 1905 and 1906. He also served with the Northern Nigeria Regiment in 1907, in command of the Ogumi Patrol. He received the West African General Service Medal with four clasps, and was twice mentioned in Despatches. He was transferred on promotion in 1907 from the King's Own Scottish Borderers to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. From November 1908 to 1912 he served as adjutant of the 7th (Volunteer) Battalion, Royal Scots.

First World War
In November 1914 he became adjutant of the Indian Volunteers, but later moved to the 21st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (2nd Tyneside Scottish).

In 1916, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, taking command of the 2/6th Battalion Highland Light Infantry, which appointment he held until the battalion was disbanded. Lieutenant Colonel MacKay was, in August 1919, serving with his regiment, the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Post First World War
Lieutenant Colonel retired in 1921.
Tyneside Scottish
Tyneside Scottish Graham Stuart / John Sheen

McKay John Frederick VC From A & SH as 2nd CO [Second in Command] 2ND TS 21st August 1915
To HLI 28TH August 1916
At the time Major McKay joined the Tyneside Scottish on 21st August 1915, they were based at Windmill Hill, under canvas on Salisbury Plain. They moved to a hutted camp at Longbridge Deverill, near Warminster, 26th September 1915.

The Story of the Tyneside Scottish Brigadier General Trevor Ternan

“It was unfortunate that about this time we were to lose the services of two very valuable officers. One of these was Major J.F. McKay, V.C. , the second in command of the 2nd Battalion, who met with a serious accident which laid him up for some considerable time, and prevented his accompanying his Battalion to France”
Medal entitlement of Lt Col JF MACKAY

• Victoria Cross

• India Medal ( 1895-1902 )
2 clasps:
o "Punjab Frontier 1897-98" - "Tirah 1897-98"

• Queen's South Africa Medal ( 1899-1902 )
5 clasps:
o "Cape Colony" - "Paardeberg" - "Driefontein
o "Johannesburg" - "Belfast"

• King's South Africa Medal ( 1901-02 )
2 clasps:
o "South Africa 1901" - "South Africa 1902"

• Africa General Service Medal ( 1902-56 )
3 clasps:
o "S Nigeria 1904" - "S Nigeria 1904-05"
o "S Nigeria 1905-06"

• 1914 - 15 Star
• British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
• Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )

Obituary – Times Friday 10th January 1930