As part of our Vancouver Island Masonic History Project, with its sections on Vancouver Island Cemeteries – Masonic Interments and Deceased Brethren, here is a page on Archibald McLagan Andrews, who is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

At present we know little of of Archibald McLagan Andrews (died April 1920, aged 46) life apart from what is mentioned on his tombstone (below). His headstone bears the Square & Compasses and indicates he was the “3rd son of the Rev. J.M. Andrews sometime Vicar of Highgate, London, Eng. Late trooper in Strathcona’s Horse

Archibald McLagan Andrews grave, Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.
Archibald McLagan Andrews grave, Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

We will do additional research and add more information to this page as we uncover it.

But when we contacted the Strathcona’s Museum to follow up the lead about his having served as a Trooper in Lord Strathcona’s Horse, we came across some interesting information. Brother McLagan served in the Strathcona’s during the Boer War and was present when 38 Strathcona’s came into contact with a larger Boer unit on 5 July 1900. In the resulting action, one of the Strathcona’s, Sgt. Arthur Hubert Lindsay Richardson, won a Victoria Cross.

Here is an account of that action which we obtained from the Strathcona’s Museum in Calgary, Alberta:

The Citation for Sgt. Richardson’s Victoria Cross read:

Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson, Sergeant, Lord Strathcona’s Horse. On the 5th July, 1900, at Wolve Spruit, about fifteen miles north of Standerton, a party of Lord Strathcona’s Corps, only thirty-eight in number, came into contact and was engaged at close quarters with a force of eighty of the enemy. When the order to retire had been given, Sergeant Richardson rode back under a very heavy cross-fire and picked up a trooper whose horse had been shot and who was wounded in two places, and rode with him out of fire. At the time when this act of gallantry was performed Sergeant Richardson was within 300 yards of the enemy, and was himself riding a wounded horse”.

A 2004 article in Canadian Legion magazine described Sgt. Richardson’s action as follows:

“The second Canadian VC of the Boer War was Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse. On July 5, 1900, at Wolve Spruit, near Standerton, a party of 38 Strathconas engaged an enemy force outnumbering them by two-to-one and forcing them to retire. During the skirmish, one of the Canadians was hit in the arm and leg, and his horse—–which was also hit—stumbled and fell on top of him. Richardson, who at the time was ill and weak with fever, wheeled around to within 30 yards of the Boers who kept up a steady fire. He dismounted and pulled the injured soldier out from under his horse. Although Richardson’s horse was also wounded he was able to remount, pull the wounded man across his saddle, and ride back to camp, thus saving the man’s life.”

(Source: Strathcona’s Museum, Calgary)

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