First World War – Western Front

Battalion Paymaster Lead the Charge at Kitchener`s Wood

And what of Captain Herrick McGregor? As battalion paymaster, he was expected to stay well back of the battleground. That he did not. Before the first assault on the German line, McGregor was conspicuously lending moral support to the troops. Urquhart described the scene in his 1932 History of the 16th Battalion (p 60):

Between three and four hundred men from both battalions were being organized along the hedge by Lieut.-Colonel Leckie and Captain Rae of the 16th and Major McLaren of the 10th. The task was a difficult one, as the enemy kept the position under continuous rifle fire. Lieut.-Colonel Boyle of the 10th, to whom McLaren was Second in Command, had been mortally wounded, at the right flank, a short time previously, and many men were dropping all along the line. The only person unaffected by the danger was Captain J. H. McGregor, the Paymaster of the 16th, who strolled around with a cane under his arm, seemingly ignorant of the fact that a war was being fought around him. Read the full story here from the Oak Bay Chronicles in Victoria, BC.