David Lowe MacIntyre VC CB

b. 18/06/1895 Portnahavan, Islay, Scotland. d. 31/07/1967 Edinburgh, Scotland.

David Lowe MacIntyre (1895-1967) was born at Portnahaven, Islay, Argyll on 18th June 1895. He was the second son of Archibald MacIntyre, a United Free Church Minister, and Elizabeth MacIntyre, of 25 Downie Terrace, Corstorphine. His siblings were Alexander, George and Robert. He attended George Watson’s College from 1907 to 1914. He had enrolled in the University of Edinburgh to pursue the ministry when World War I broke out and he joined The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was gazetted as a 2nd lieutenant.

David L MacIntyre VC CB

In January 1916 he was attached to the 1/6th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry and was sent to the Middle East and saw action at Gallipoli, Turkey and in Palestine. Following the capture of Jerusalem in December 1917, he was sent to the Western Front in France four months later where he would earn the Victoria Cross for gallantry.

He was a temporary lieutenant in The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princes Louise’s) that was attached to the 1/6 Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry, British Army, on 24th and 27th August, 1918 near Henin Fontaine and Croiselles, France respectively during the Hundred Days Offensive when he was involved in the incidents which would lead to the VC.

He was acting as Adjutant to the Battalion, he was constantly in evidence in the firing line, and by his coolness under most heavy shell and machine-gun fire inspired the confidence of all ranks. Three days later he was in command of the firing line during an attack, and showed throughout most courageous and skilful leading in face of heavy machine-gun fire. When barbed wire was encountered, he personally reconnoitred it before leading his men forward. On one occasion, when extra strong entanglements were reached, he organised and took forward a party of men. and under heavy machine-gun fire supervised the making of gaps. Later, when the greater part of our line was definitely held up, Lt. Maclntyre rallied a small party, pushed forward through the enemy barrage in pursuit of an enemy machine-gun detachment, and ran them to earth in a “pill-box” a short distance ahead, killing three and capturing an officer, ten other ranks and five machine guns. In this redoubt he and his party raided three “pill-boxes” and disposed of the occupants, thus enabling the battalion to capture the redoubt. When the battalion was ordered to take up a defensive position, Lt. Maclntyre, after he had been relieved of command of the firing line, reconnoitred the right flank which was exposed. When doing this an enemy machine gun opened fire close to him. Without any hesitation he rushed it singlehanded, put the team to flight and brought in the gun. On returning to the redoubt he continued to show splendid spirit while supervising consolidation.

After he was gazetted for the VC on 26th October 1918, he personally received his medal from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 13th December 1918. Following the war, he became a British Civil Service employee in the Office of Works, eventually rising to the post of Undersecretary of Scotland in the Ministry of Works, and retired in that position in 1959. He died in Edinburgh, Scotland at the age of 72. He was cremated at Warriston Crematorium, Edinburgh and his ashes were scattered, and is named on a family grave in Portnahaven.

In addition to the Victoria Cross, he received the Companion of the Order of the Bath (Civil Division), the British War Medal (1914-20), the Victory Medal (1914-19), the King George VI Coronation Medal (1937, and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953). His Victoria Cross and other medals are on display at the Scottish National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland.





Andy Wright – Image of the MacIntyre VC Medal Group at the National War Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.