Laird, James MacGrouther

201419 Sergeant James MacGrouther “Scottie” Laird, MM was born 10 February 1887 in Scotland, son of James Laird and Jane Dick. It’s likely he immigrated to Canada after 1901 without his parents.

He married Elizabeth and had two daughters: Agnes and Jessie.

He enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 21 October 1915 with the 95th Battalion (perpetuated by The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.)

On 9 December 1916, Constable (518) James MacGrouther “Scottie” Laird of the Toronto Police Force performed actions of great valour during the First World War.

Scottie Laird was now serving with the 3rd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force near Arras, France. After relieving fellow troops in a new section of trenches, his unit put together a small raiding force to attack and reconnoitre the enemy trenches opposite them. His Military Medal recommendation tells the rest of the story:

“For conspicuous gallantry during a raid on the enemy trenches on the 9th Dec 1916. Pte Laird acted as bayonet man, was the first man into the enemy trench, and led his party to their final objective, bayonetting two men on the way. His bravery and fierce fighting qualities drove the enemy ahead of him. At one point in the trench, a big German came at him with a club. Pte Laird drove his bayonet and the muzzle of his rifle clean into the German. This stopped a small rush and enabled the section to put in a block which was held until the signal to retire was given. Pte Laird has served 10 months in France and has always proved an excellent fighter.”

On 17 December 1916, Laird received a gunshot wound to his left leg.

He was discharged on demobilization on 8 February 1919.

He died at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto on 5 December 1961.

Source: Most of this information is based on the great research done by the Khaki and Blue Project.


"In Pace Paratus – In Peace Prepared"

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