MILITARY MEDAL, G.V.R. ‘S-3817 L.CPL J. MCILROY. 11/ A.& S. HDRS.’, 1914-15 STAR ‘S-3817, PTE. J. MC ILROY, A.& S. HIGHRS.’, BRITISH WAR AND VICTORY MEDALS ‘S-3817 SJT. J. MCILROY, A.& S. HIGHRS.’
M.M. London Gazette 9 December 1916.
Bar London Gazette 12 March 1917.
James McIlroy a 23 year old Miner from, Bellshill, Glasgow, enlisted into the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on 5 September 1914. Having been posted to the 11th Battalion, he entered the French Theatre of War on the 9 July 1915 and would have taken part in the battle of Loos in September/October. Appointed Lance Corporal (unpaid) on 14 January 1916 and was confirmed to that rank on 25 May that year. His battalion forming part of the 45th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division, though not part of the great attack on the Somme on 1 July 1916, he would have served through the Battle of Pozières; 23 July – 3 September 1916. McIlroy was wounded in action on 15 September 1916, during the first day of the battle of Flers-Courcelette, a battle notable for being the first in which tanks were deployed in action and his Brigade were heavily engaged in the capture of Martinpuich. Suffering a gunshot wound to arm, McIlroy was treated in hospital and was promoted Corporal on 21 October 1916 before returning to his “B” company of his battalion two days later. Awarded the Military Medal on, 9 December 1916, given the date and location of his wounding, it is highly likely his award was for this date also. Corporal McIlroy was additionally Awarded a bar to his Military Medal on 12 March 1917, though its less clear what this would have been for.
Spending much of April 1917 at the Base Depot, he was promoted Sergeant on 24 April 1917 and rejoined “B” Company on 1 May. Taking part in the latter phases of the battle of Arras. On the evening of the 9 July 1917, “A” and “B” companies of the 11th battalion were moving up the communication trenches to the firing line (Ypres salient) at exactly the same time the Germans launched a raid. The two companies were caught in the barrage, loosing 1 Officer and 19 OR’s killed, 2 Officers and 54 OR’s wounded. Sergeant McIlroy was one of those killed. Note; Commonwealth Graves gives date killed as 10 July 1917, however service papers confirm 9/10 July 1917.
Condition GVF, original ribbons, entitled to Victory medal. Sold with copy service papers, MIC and War Diary extracts on CD.