A WAR hero from Portmahomack who won a Military Cross for gallantry has been immortalised after a Canadian valley was named in his honour.
The small valley – or coulee – has been named after the celebrated war hero Captain David McAndie, who served as a WWI soldier in the Canadian military after emigrating to North America.
The valley is near to where Capt McAndie lived in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan.
Mr McAndie was a former captain of the 10th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force and he died in France on August 15, 1918. He was killed by a stray shell miles behind the front line.
Born in 1897 on Bindal Farm, the hero left for Canada in 1911 before volunteering for the military.
Capt. McAndie was nominated for the ‘geomemorial’ by Lt Col Peter Boyle, the curator at the Calgary Highlanders Museum, which catalogues and documents the force with which McAndie served as a captain.
He earned a Distinguished Conduct Medal at the Battle of the Somme in the fall of 1916. A sergeant at the time, he took over his platoon after his officer had been killed.
On August 8, 1918, he also earned a Military Cross for "conspicuous gallantry during an attack". That day saw the greatest advance of the Canadian Corps during the war, advancing 13km and according to records the soldiers made it further than Australian or British forces that day, and inflicted several thousand German casualties.
Nearly 400 members of the 10th Battalion lost their lives in the fighting at Vimy Ridge in 1917. Capt. McAndie was noted by his superiors there for leading his troops forward. His final resting place is in the Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery in the Somme region of France.
Mr McAndie’s nephew, Mackenzie McAndie still lives in Portmahomack and he is proud that his uncle has been immortalised.
"His name is going to be there forever, it is a great honour for his family," he said. "He was one of the most decorated men in his battalion."
Capt MacAndie’s success was highlighted in the Ross-shire Journal in 1917 when he was still a Sergeant Major.
An extract from the paper said: "Sgt.-Major MacAndie was born and brought up in Portmahomack, and educated in the Tarbat Old Public School. Subsequently he emigrated to Canada, where he was doing very well.
"While belonging to the ‘Canadians’ in a military sense, the village and parish are proud of him and the honours he has won."