Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Lieutenant Donald Mackintosh V.C., 3rd Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, Duke of Albany's), died from wounds received earlier during the fighting near Fampoux in France.
The son of the renowned Colonel Doctor Donald James Mackintosh, he was educated at Glasgow Academy, St Ninian’s School at Moffat, and Fettes College in Edinburgh. He intended to study medicine at Glasgow University, but was prevented from doing so by the outbreak of the Great War.
Lieutenant Mackintosh enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps on the 14th of August, 1914, then was commissioned into the Special Reserve of Officers, Seaforth Highlanders, in February of 1915, and arrived in France in September of that year. In March of 1916 he was shot in the left arm and shoulder, and sent to Yorkhill War Hospital in Glasgow to recuperate. He was not declared fit until November, after which he joined the 2nd Battalion and attended the XV Corps Lewis Gun School early in 1917.
On the day of his death, during the fighting north of Fampoux, Lieutenant Mackintosh was shot in the right leg, but continued to lead his men on to capture the target trench. He then drove back a counter-attack, having taken with him men from another company who had lost their leader. He was again wounded, but continued to give orders for his men to advance, being wounded yet again as he managed to get to his feet to encourage them. His men, only fifteen in number by that point, and despite heavy enemy fire, managed to break through the German wire and seize the line. They had crossed 1,600 yards, the Seaforths in total having lost twelve officers and 363 men from other ranks.
A sergeant who was a witness recalled: "As soon as we went over the top it began to rain shells and machine gun bullets. Mackintosh was hit... and the men hesitated. He shouted from where he lay: "Never mind Seaforths, keep it up". He got to his feet, reaching the enemy trench. Under his leadership the men got back their confidence, repelling repeated enemy counter-attacks." For his actions he was awarded the Victoria Cross, and is buried in Brown’s Copse Cemetery at Roeux in France.
Donald, from Glasgow, was 21 years old.