THE CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM IN OTTAWA HAS ACQUIRED THE VICTORIA CROSS GROUP AWARDED TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL HARCUS STRACHAN, FORT GARRY HORSE, CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.
28 November 2017


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel Harcus Strachan,
Fort Garry Horse, Canadian Expeditionary Force

  • Victoria Cross
  • Military Cross ( MC )
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • Canadian Volunteer Service Medal ( 1939-45 )
    • "Maple Leaf" clasp
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
  • Canadian Centennial Medal ( 1967 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ( 1977 )


The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa has acquired the Victoria Cross group awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Harcus Strachan, Fort Garry Horse, Canadian Expeditionary Force.

The acquisition of the Strachan VC was made possible through the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Movable Cultural Property Program; the Museum's National Collection Fund; and generous support of two private donors - Hon Colonel ( ret'd ) Brian Hastings and Hon Colonel Robert Williams, both of the Fort Garry Horse.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 18 December 1917 ], Masnieres, France, 20 November 1917, Lieutenant Harcus Strachan, Fort Garry Horse, CEF.

For most conspicuous bravery and leadership during operations ( Masnieres, France ).

He took command of the squadron of his regiment when the squadron leader, approaching the front line of the enemy at a gallop, was killed.

Lieutenant Strachan led the squadron through the enemy line of machine-gun posts, and then, with the surviving men, led the charge on the enemy battery, killing seven of the gunners with his sword. All the gunners having been killed and the battery silenced, he rallied his men and fought his way back at night through the enemy’s line, bringing all unwounded men safely in, together with 15 prisoners.

The operation – which resulted in the silencing of an enemy battery, the killing of the whole battery personnel and many infantry, and the cutting of three main lines of telephone communication two miles in rear of the enemy’s front line – was only rendered possible by the outstanding gallantry and fearless leading of this officer.

Harcus Strachan was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 16 January 1918.


For the award of the Military Cross

[ London Gazette, 16 August 1917 ], South of St Quentin, France, May 1917, Lieutenant Harcus Strachan, Fort Garry Horse, CEF.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. In command of a part which attacked the enemy's outposts ( South of St Quentin ). He handled his men with great ability and dash, capturing eight prisoners and killed many more. The operation was carried out without a single casualty to the party.


Harcus Strachan died, at 97 years of age, in Vancouver and was cremated in the North Vancouver Crematorium.


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Iain Stewart, 28 November 2017