Roll of Honour
John Hart McNicol
Military Cross, Mentioned in Despatches
John Hart McNicol was born on the 4th September 1887, and was the third son of John - a wine merchant - and Mary. The family lived at Bellfield, in Dennistoun, and John attended the High School of Glasgow. After graduating from the High School, John matriculated at the University of Glasgow, starting a degree in Medicine in 1904.
John took classes in Zoology and Chemistry in his first year, followed by Biology and Natural Philosophy in his second. Over the next three years he took classes in Pathology, Materia Medica, Anatomy, Surgery and Midwifery. He was a successful student, and graduated from the University in 1909. Having graduated, John worked as an assistant to Professors Hunter and Teacher in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
When the war broke out, John was among the first recruits. By the 10th October 1914 he had been made a temporary Lieutenant with the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving on the Western Front. Within a year he was awarded the Military Cross, for "gallantry and devotion to duty". The full citation states "On the 24th and 25th May 1915, at Ypres, with untiring energy and gallantry [John Hart McNicol] attended to wounded men under heavy rifle and shell fire, saving the lives of many men. On the night of 25th May he searched a wood near Bellegarde for the wounded, attended to them, and had them brought in. This wood was close up to the German trenches. He has shown the greatest courage in attending to the wounded in action".
In October 1915, John went to Egypt with his battalion, then on to Salonika in November. Later that year, he was honoured in Despatches by the Field-Marshall Commanding-in-Chief the British Army in France - again for gallant and distinguished service in the field. He was promoted to Captain, and then to acting Major on the 15th of March 1918.
While treating the wounded in Macedonia, Major John Hart McNicol contracted influenza and pneumonia, and died on the 10th of October 1918. He is remembered on the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, the High School of Glasgow Memorial, the Glasgow Royal Infirmary Memorial, and the City of Glasgow Roll of Honour.
Comments and Citations
Edinburgh Gazette 6th July 1915 Issue: 12826 Page: 974 (Military Cross Citation)
London Gazette, 31st December