Sgt Ian McKay VC: 32 years today.

Until mentioned on another site, I had missed this one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_McKay#In_the_media

The testimony of those that recovered his body needs no further comment from this c/s.

The morning after the battle....


Sgt George Duffus:
We were tasked to look for any deceased members of 3 Para. This task was allocated to us by CO; he didn’t want B Company having to pick up their own dead. It was a task that I didn’t relish asking my blokes to carry out. But it was a task given to me, and it had to be completed. We then began looking for members of the battalion that may have been missed; it was something that filled us with trepidation. We knew that we might be dealing with the bodies of people that we knew well, especially when dealing with the members of your own platoon or company. This was a duty that was required to be done with dignity. It was something I shall never forget - the discomfort we felt as we walked past the Third Bowl. I remember WO2 Sammy Doc Dougherty saying, “Who is that?” On closer inspection, I discovered it was Sgt Ian McKay. He was lying head first, half in and half out of an Argentine trench. I instantly recognised him, as one of my previous roles had been as 4 Platoon Sergeant, and Ian McKay had taken over the role from me when I left to go back to the Anti-Tank Platoon (just prior to the conflict). In the trench with Ian were three dead Argentines with obviously fatal lower limb wounds, compatible with grenades exploding at ground level in the trench. Privates Kev Darke, Pete Maddocks, Tony Bojko and I, lifted Ian out of the trench. Kev Darke removed Ian McKay’s ID Discs tags from around his neck and passed them to me. There were other people there, including CSM John Weeks, but it was getting all a bit much by this stage, as this was a very emotional time for everyone involved in the task of body recovery. We then wrapped Ian in a poncho and carried him down to the R.A.P, where we placed him alongside our other dead.

Sgt Ian McKay VC:
Initially Ian’s body had lain at the front of the Argentine bunker. However, as the night progressed that area was extensively shelled and also reoccupied by Argentine troops. We can only imagine they would have searched the bodies lying in that area, and somehow his body was either blown or placed into the bunker head first:

Pte Pete Maddocks:
When we found Sgt McKay, he was laying head first in an Argentine trench with rocks placed around the edge of it. We began to pull him out, Sgt George Duffus and Tony Bojko took hold of his legs and me and Kev Darke took the top half and slowly lifted him out, we lay him on a poncho, Kev Darke passed one of his ID discs up to George Duffus, there were three dead Argentines in the trench with him, as we were doing this, an Argentine soldier appeared from somewhere and put his hands up, he was taken away by members of B Company, then George Duffus, Tony Bojko, Kev Darke and me, carried Sgt McKay down to the R.A.P area, after this Tony Bojko and me made our way back to Full Back and see how Graham Tolson was doing.

Pte Tony Bojko:
One thing that will always stay with me was the smell of death on that hill. Unless you've been in that situation you cannot imagine what it’s like. You often see photos of death and destruction, but the smell, it stays with you. We continued with the task of helping recover some of our dead. Kev Darke, Pete Maddocks, Sgt George Duffus and I came across Sgt Ian McKay. I nearly walked past the position, but then I noticed the British camouflage uniform. Also in the trench with him were a number of dead Argentines. We cut his webbing off and Kev Darke passed his ID tags to George Duffus, we then recovered his body from the trench. Sammy Dougherty, who was also with us helped wrap him up in a poncho. I also remember seeing CSM Johnny Weeks with a tear in his eye. As I looked around there were Argentine weapons everywhere. I saw one of our blokes holding a prisoner by the neck and forcing him to go face to face with a dead British soldier, and he was saying, “Look what you've ******* done, you ******* b*st*rd!” The prisoner was crying his eyes out. But, that’s was not the way all prisoners were treated, however, some people, as in every group of people, found it hard to hold back, but the vast majority of 3 Para had seen and done enough
 
Went up Longdon whilst on FIRIC last year.
Truly a godforsaken place I wouldn't want to attack now with all our technological advances, let alone with what they had and after tabbing over the truly gopping terrain that leads up to it.
Incredible bravery by all those that participated that night regardless of capbadge, in the finest traditions of the British Army.
 
I met his Mum in 2012 at the TA Centre that bears his name. She had gone to pay her respects at the memorial there and she is a lovely lady who still holds the Army in extremely high regard after all these years.


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A Para Reg legend whose actions I've no doubt inspired generations of Para's including the likes of Budd VC and Wright GC in recent times.

I don't know if 3 PARA kept it up but they used to hold an annual 'McKay VC Inter Platoon competition' which involved some lung busting events. The one and only time I took part was as a 'volunteered' member of a scratch invitational side from 1 PARA. The experience made me glad that I hailed from a VC'less Bn.
 
I knew his Pl Comd when we were schoolboy cadets.

Pl Comd was hit in the legs, pretty much as as soon as he crossed the start line. Went down cussing about it, very volubly*.

Which left McKay with everything to do.

So, that is what he did.

Thank you for the OP. Thank you, very much.
============
* Witnesses reported him shouting "The Bastards have shot me!"
 
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A Para Reg legend whose actions I've no doubt inspired generations of Para's including the likes of Budd VC and Wright GC in recent times.

I don't know if 3 PARA kept it up but they used to hold an annual 'McKay VC Inter Platoon competition' which involved some lung busting events. The one and only time I took part was as a 'volunteered' member of a scratch invitational side from 1 PARA. The experience made me glad that I hailed from a VC'less Bn.

The McKay VC still happens and alternates depending on headshed between being a football tournament or a patrol competition.
 

Bingobongo

War Hero
Stuff of legends.
 

lostinapc

Old-Salt
I know I am a no mark never served civi. .....However, I have just read the wiki link above and also the post and find myself sitting having a coffee here in Glasgow thinking that we (civilians) will never be able to comprehend or appreciate the selflessness and bravery of certain individuals......Thank you for posting this I find it very humbling.

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I was detached to the Falklands in 1999 and visited Longdon and the other battlefields to see where this brave man and his comrades fell. Having seen the path he took in daylight can only admire him all the more for his actions that night. I share a surname with him, the family motto of Manu Forti (With a Strong Hand) is very appropriate for the man.

For some reason the name of Ian Scrivens from the memorial there has stuck in my memory, probably because he was only 17 when he died on Longdon. I visited all the battlefields during my four months on the Falklands but for some reason Longdon is forefront in the memory. A particularly uninviting place.
 
Anniversary tonight of the decisive fights for Mt Tumbledown and Wirelss Ridge, and the Argentine surrender the following morning.

Hats off to them all.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
Anniversary tonight of the decisive fights for Mt Tumbledown and Wirelss Ridge, and the Argentine surrender the following morning.

Hats off to them all.
And you know what, I haven't heard any reference to it on any of the news channels. I like thousands of others was serving at the time, and I myself in The Grenadiers, we had just finished a tour of Berlin and as relatively young lads were chomping at the bit to go. The Welsh and Scots Guards went and we ended up staying in Hounslow.
Yet now thirty two years later and a lot more mature I hate to admit it but especially after last weeks D Day celebrations I suppose we were the lucky ones not going, reading the above post on Sgt McKay brings it home to you that war is indeed a terrible thing.

To all the lads that went I will as Bravo Bravo said regarding D Day be raising a glass or two over the coming weeks and thinking about the lads who didn't come home. God bless and RIP.
 
And you know what, I haven't heard any reference to it on any of the news channels. I like thousands of others was serving at the time, and I myself in The Grenadiers, we had just finished a tour of Berlin and as relatively young lads were chomping at the bit to go. The Welsh and Scots Guards went and we ended up staying in Hounslow.
Yet now thirty two years later and a lot more mature I hate to admit it but especially after last weeks D Day celebrations I suppose we were the lucky ones not going, reading the above post on Sgt McKay brings it home to you that war is indeed a terrible thing.

To all the lads that went I will as Bravo Bravo said regarding D Day be raising a glass or two over the coming weeks and thinking about the lads who didn't come home. God bless and RIP.
Berlin Grenadier, eh?

You were my next door neighbour.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
Happy days er? Berlin the city of Sin......
Berlin the city where, during the Falklands War, Polo Week went ahead with all it's posh parties and piss-ups, and the Brit Army played host to at least one Argentinian polo team.

I still find that perplexing
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
@Stonker, well I never knew that, words fail me, they kept that quiet didn't they, I take it you were there during that period?
 
@Stonker, well I never knew that, words fail me, they kept that quiet didn't they, I take it you were there during that period?
Arrived on St George's Day 1981. Our band were on the runway playing British Grenadiers when we de-planed.

Did 2 years.

Loved all of it, except the bullshit foisted on us by Guards wooperts.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
Arrived on St George's Day 1981. Our band were on the runway playing British Grenadiers when we de-planed.

Did 2 years.

Loved all of it, except the bullshit foisted on us by Guards wooperts.
Never mind, put it down to character building, I think we went back to England and merry Hounslow early ish Spring time of 82 not long before The Falklands kicked off.
 
I know I am a no mark never served civi. .....However, I have just read the wiki link above and also the post and find myself sitting having a coffee here in Glasgow thinking that we (civilians) will never be able to comprehend or appreciate the selflessness and bravery of certain individuals......Thank you for posting this I find it very humbling.

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As another no-mark, never served civvy, those are my thoughts too.
 
Some great storys from you lads the site is fantastic I am new and old (81)and it is hard to find my way round the site but it is great well done all regards urostar ex gunner 48th fld ra
 
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