May 2008

John MacGregor died on 9th June 1952 and was buried in Cranberry Lake Cemetery, Powell River, British Columbia, a small flat marker being placed over his grave.

Recently the Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Canada Agency, carried out an inspection of the Cranberry Lake Cemetery and decided a more appropriate marker was required to commemorate John MacGregor. Therefore, a new headstone has now been erected over his grave.

For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 6 January 1919 ], Near Cambrai, France, 29 September to 3 October 1918, T / Captain John MacGregor, 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF.

For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and self-sacrificing devotion to duty near Cambrai from 29th September to 3rd October 1918.

He led his company under intense fire, and when the advance was checked by machine guns, although wounded, pushed on and located the enemy guns. He then ran forward in broad daylight, in face of heavy fire from all directions, and, with rifle and bayonet, single-handed put the enemy crews out of action, killing four and taking eight prisoners. His prompt action saved many casualties and enabled the advance to continue.

After reorganizing his command under heavy fire he rendered most useful support to neighbouring troops. When the enemy were showing stubborn resistance, he went along the line regardless of danger, organized the platoons, took command of the leading waves, and continued the advance. Later, after a personal daylight reconnaissance under heavy fire, he established his company in Neuville St. Remy, thereby greatly assisting the advance into Tilloy.

Throughout the operations Captain MacGregor displayed magnificent bravery and heroic leadership.

John MacGregor was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 26 February 1919.

[ London Gazette, 26 July 1917 ], for the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal ( DCM ), Sergeant John MacGregor, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He single-handed captured an enemy machine-gun and shot the crew, thereby undoubtedly saving his company from many casualties.

[ London Gazette, 16 August 1918 ], for the award of the Military Cross, Lieutenant John MacGregor, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Whilst he was assembling his men prior to a raid, the enemy bombed the trench. He, however, changing his point of attack led his men over the wire into the enemy trench, and successfully dealt with the garrison of the trench and three concrete dugouts himself, capturing one prisoner. He then withdrew his party and his prisoner to our trenches. Before the raid he, together with a serjeant, had made several skilful and daring reconnaissances along the enemy wire, which materially assisted in the success of the enterprise.

[ London Gazette, 10 December 1919 ], for the award of a Bar to the Military Cross, T / Captain John MacGregor, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF

For conspicuous gallantry and leadership from the 5th to 8th November 1918, at Quievrain and Quievrechain. Through his initiative the bridges over the Honnelle River were secured. His personal reconnaissances and information he derived from them were of great use to his commanding officer. His prompt action in seizing the crossings over the river did much towards the final rout of the enemy.

John MacGregor died at Powell River Hospital, British Columbia, on the 9th June 1952 after a long illness, having suffered from cancer for six years. He was buried in Cranberry Lake Cemetery, Powell River, three holders of the Victoria Cross attending his funeral - Major General George Pearkes, VC, CB, DSO, MC; Colonel Cyrus Peck VC, DSO; Sergeant Charles Train VC.

Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel John MacGregor - 2nd Mounted Rifles, CEF

  • Victoria Cross
  • Military Cross ( MC ) & Bar
  • Distinguished Conduct Medal ( DCM )
  • 1914 - 15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • 1939 - 45 Star
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • Canadian Volunteer Service Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • Efficiency Decoration ( ED )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )


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Iain Stewart, 18 June 2008