13 November 2017Fettes College Preparatory School

Two Old Fettesian Victoria Crosses loaned to Fettes

At this time of Remembrance, we had a very special History lesson at Fettes Prep School.

The entire Prep School had the enormous privilege of viewing not one but two Victoria Crosses, both awarded posthumously to Old Fettesians. The crosses are on temporary loan to Fettes from Lord Ashcroft, whose Victoria Cross collection can be seen in the Imperial War Museum, London. Since the inception of the award in 1854, just 1,357 Victoria Crosses have been awarded to 1,354 individual recipients. The Fettes VCs were awarded to Hector Maclean and Bertie Anderson.

Following action in 1897, Hector's courage was initially noted in the London Gazette at a time when it was not permitted to be awarded the VC posthumously. It  was subsequently awarded in 1907 after an amendment of the rules. Bertie Anderson's VC was awarded in 1918 for 'most conspicuous bravery, determination, and gallant leading of his command'. Bertie was the youngest of four Old Fettesians and the last of the brothers to lose their lives in the First World War.