Lieutenant Donald Mackintosh, VC

Biography of Lieutenant Donald Mackintosh, VC

Donald Mackintosh was born on the 7th February 1896 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, and was the son of Glasgow graduate Donald James Mackintosh and Maggie F. Mackintosh of Western Infirmary House, Glasgow. His father was the Medical Superintendent at the University's teaching hospital - the Western Infirmary - and so Donald grew up just minutes from the University, along with his younger sister Anna. He was educated at St Ninian's Prep School in Moffat, followed by Glasgow Academy and Fettes College, where he was also a member of the Officers' Training Corps. When the War broke out Donald was engaged in private study and planning to attend the University; he was due to enrol at the University upon his return.

Lieutenant Donald Mackintosh enlisted in 1914 in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), and was posted to the 3rd Scottish General Hospital, where he became an acting Sergeant. He obtained his commission six months later on the 12th February 1915, and joined the Seaforth Highlanders. After a year he was promoted to a full Lieutenant.

On the 21st March 1916 he was severely wounded, and was transferred to Le Touquet Hospital before returning to Britain. By July of that year he had recovered, and so he returned to the 3rd Battalion.

At the first Battle of the Scarpe, part of the 'Arras Offensive' of April 1917, Lieutenant Mackintosh served with the 2nd Bn. Seaforth Highlanders.

On the 11th April 1917 north of Fampoux, France, during the initial advance, Lieutenant Mackintosh was shot through the right leg, but although crippled, continued to lead his men, and captured the trench. He then collected men of another company who had lost their leader and drove back a counter-attack, when he was again wounded and although unable to stand, nevertheless continued to control the situation.

With only 15 men left he ordered them to be ready to advance to the final objective and with great difficulty got out of the trench, encouraging them to advance. He was wounded yet again and fell. He is listed as being killed in action on the 11th April 1917, aged 21. Lieutenant Donald Mackintosh was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for his bravery.

His medal is now held by the Highlanders Museum at Fort George. Donald is commemorated on the University of Glasgow War Memorial. Two windows commemorating him were also unveiled in December 1925 in the Elder Chapel of the Western Infirmary.

Donald is buried in Brown's Copse Cemetery, Roeux, France.


Lieutenant Donald Mackintosh, VC
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: 2nd Bn. Seaforth Highlanders
Degree: N/A
Awards: Victoria Cross; 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
Comments: Killed in action, 11 April 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/1104, 1133
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Chapel records taken from newspaper reports.

Photograph: Photograph reproduced by kind permission of the Queens Own Highlanders (Seaforth & Camerons) Regimental Association

Wikipedia entry for Donald Mackintosh

There is also a memorial reference to Donald Mackintosh on the Channel 4 Lost Generations website

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Find War Dead

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