14 November 1998

News comes of a new dedication for a previously "forgotten" VC recipient. Private David McKay earned his Victoria Cross as a 93rd Highlander during the Indian Mutiny when he captured an enemy colour.

Invalided out of the army because of his wounds, and unable to work, McKay sold his medals to buy food for his wife and 5 children, dying at the early age of 48, in 1880. He was buried in an unmarked plot in Lesmahagow Cemetery, Lanarkshire, but on the 14th November, 1998, his regiment erected a headstone to mark his burial spot.

For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 24 December 1858 ]. Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, India, 16 November 1857, Private David McKay, 93rd Regiment.

"On 16 November 1857 at Lucknow, India, Private McKay showed great pesonal gallantry in capturing an enemy's Colour after a most obstinate resistance at the Secundra Bagh. He was severely wounded afterwards at the capture of the Shah Nujjiff." ( Elected by the Regiment )
David McKay was invested with his Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace on the 8th June 1859.

Private McKay had previously served with the 93rd in the Crimea. On 24 October 1854 the 93rd Regiment drawn up in line two deep, instead of the usual square, routed the Russian Cavalry charge at Balaklava, earning themselves the nickname "The thin red line". The term was first penned by the famous Times reporter W.H.Russell who standing on the hills above could clearly see that nothing stood between the Russian Cavalry and the defenceless British base, but the "thin red streak tipped with a line of steel" of the 93rd, condensed almost immediately to "the thin red line".


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pain tin Iain Stewart, 5 February 1999