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£710raised of £1,500 target by 16 supporters

Weʼre raising £1,500 to Help fund a small group of Royal Engineers and veterans attend the commemoration in France of Cpl James McPhie's action and death

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b. 18/12/1894 Edinburgh, Scotland. d. 14/10/1918 Aubencheul-au-Bac, France.

James McPhie (1894-1918) was born on 18th December 1894 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. He was the second son of David McPhie, a Butcher, and Mary McPhie, of 11 Wilkie Place, Leith. James McPhie joined the Territorial Force in 1912.

On 14 October1918, during the final Allied advance in France, McPhie was with a party of sappers maintaining a temporary cork bridge over the Canal de la Sensée near Aubencheul au Bac. At dawn, an infantry patrol which was crossing the canal started to bunch under German fire, causing the frail bridge to break up. McPhie and another man jumped into the water, holding the cork floats and timbers of the bridge together until the patrol was able to scramble across.

Realising that the safety of the patrol depended upon the bridge being repaired, James swam back and immediately set about collecting the necessary material. Undeterred by heavy fire, and rallying his men with the inspiring words "It is death or glory which must be done for the sake of our patrol on the other side", he led the way back onto the bridge to begin the vital work. He was severely wounded almost at once, falling partly into the water, and died after receiving several more wounds, but his inspiring example ensured that contact was kept with the patrol on the far bank at a critical period.

James was buried in the Naves Communal Cemetery, France with full military honours

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Alan Hume

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    19 days ago

    Alan Hume started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 10/11/2018 8:24 PM



    • Denise Binnie

      Denise Binnie

      Oct 11, 2018

      James McPhie was my great great great uncle. We are attending the unveiling of the memorial stone in Edinburgh on 28th October at 10am place to be decided. Good luck in France. X


    • Sandy Brown

      Sandy Brown

      Oct 10, 2018

      Well done Alan


    • Darren Keogh

      Darren Keogh

      Oct 6, 2018

      Alan - brilliant effort in taking this on.


    • Anonymous


      Oct 3, 2018


    • Dan Hall

      Dan Hall

      Sep 30, 2018


    • Anonymous


      Sep 30, 2018


    • Ronnie Chapman

      Ronnie Chapman

      Sep 30, 2018

      Good cause well deserved.


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