21 June 1890 – 2 September 1918:-
Hugh was born in Renfrewshire, moving to Lanarkshire as a child. Following in the footsteps of his father, he became a miner. He served in a number of regiments before enlisting in the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) in August 1914.
On 21 September 1916 he was awarded his first Military Medal, the second highest award for bravery in the ranks, and later received a bar to this medal.
On 23rd August 1918 east of Courcelle-le Compte, France, he was employed as a company-runner and under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire carried messages regardless of his own safety. Single-handed he pursued an enemy scout into a machine-gun post and having killed six of the garrison, captured 20 prisoners and two machine-guns. Later he succeeded, at great personal risk, in stopping the fire of a British tank which was directed in error against our own troops.
On 2 September 1918, nine days after Hugh was involved in the above act of gallantry, he was killed in action during an attack near the village of Noreuil. He was buried in Vraucourt Copse Cemetery with full military honours. His VC was presented to his parents. Tragically, his father was killed less than a month later in a pit accident.
His medal is held at The Royal Scots Museum, Edinburgh Castle.