Lt. Harcus “Harry” Strachan, VC MC – Dec 1917

Photograph Information

Title: Lt. Harcus “Harry” Strachan, VC MC – Dec 1917
Source: Library and Archives Canada
Source Link: Mikan #3221438
Photographer: Unknown
Date: 1917

Colourization Notes

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Lt. Harcus “Harry” Strachan, VC MC

Strachan was 33 years of age, and serving in the First World War with the Canadian Cavalry Brigade as a lieutenant in The Fort Garry Horse, when he performed the action for which he was awarded the VC. It has become traditional for the Garrys to hold a parade every year on the anniversary of Strachan’s unlikely cavalry exploit.

During the Battle of Cambrai on 20 November 1917 at Masnières, France, Lieutenant Strachan took command of a mounted squadron of Garrys when the squadron leader, approaching the German front line 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 German battery, killing seven of the gunners with his sword. When all the gunners were killed and the battery silenced, he rallied his men and fought his way back at night on foot through the enemy’s lines, bringing all unwounded men safely in, together with 15 prisoners.

Strachan, having been promoted to captain, received his VC from King George V on January 6, 1918.