#100DaysofVimy – January 16, 2017

Each Monday, we will share a brief biography of a soldier of the First World War with a Vimy connection. Today we honour George McLean, DCM.

George McLean, DCM, was a member of the Head of the Lake Band  from the Okanagan district in British Columbia, where he lived as a rancher. George’s father, Allan McLean, was one of the four members of the Kamloops Outlaws, hanged for murder in 1881. Ironically, George listed himself as a “cowboy” on his attestation papers for service in the Second South African War of 1899 – 1902, with the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles. At the age of 44, McLean re-enlisted in October 1916 with the 54th Battalion (Kootenay), and had arrived in France by December.

During the battle of Vimy Ridge, McLean went forward with Mills bombs and single-handedly captured 19 prisoners, while disposing of numerous machine-gun posts. For his actions George McLean was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

 

George McLean, standing at the right, labelled himself a "cowboy" in his attestation papers for service in the Second South African War of 1899 - 1902. Photo: Library and Archives Canada
George McLean, standing at the right, labelled himself a “cowboy” in his attestation papers for service in the Second South African War of 1899 – 1902. Photo: Library and Archives Canada

 

George McLean's attestation papers with the Canadian Mounted Rifles - note line 6 where George labels his Trade as a "Cowboy". Photo: Library and Archives Canada
George McLean’s attestation papers with the Canadian Mounted Rifles – note line 6 where George labels his Trade as a “Cowboy”. Photo: Library and Archives Canada
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