John MacLaren Erskine VC

John MacLaren Erskine VC  (13/01/1894 – 14/04/1917) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on the 22nd of June 1916 at Givenchy, France.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of  4Supplement: 29695, Page: 7744,  reads:

“No. 7064 Acting Sergt. John Erskine, Sco. Bif., T.F.

For most conspicuous bravery. Whilst the near lip of a crater, caused by the explosion of a large enemy mine, was being consolidated, Actg. Sergt. Erskine rushed out under continuous fire with utter disregard of danger and rescued a wounded serjeant and a private. Later, seeing his officer, who was believed to be dead, show signs of movement, he ran out to him, bandaged his head, and remained with him for fully an hour, though repeatedly fired at, whilst a shallow trench was being dug to them. He then assisted in bringing in his officer, shielding him with his own body in order to lessen the chance of his being hit again.”

He was killed in action at Arras, France, on 14 April 1917 and has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing, France. Bay 6.

Arras Memorial to the Missing. Image courtesy of Ralph Mclean and the South African War Graves Project. 

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