Sudan (3073 [sic] Sgt. J. Ferguson. 1/Sea. Hrs.);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (3075 Sejt. J. Ferguson. 2: Sea: Highrs:);
KSA (2) (3075 Serjt: J. Ferguson. Seaforth Highrs.);
Khedive's Sudan (2) The Atbara, Khartoum (3075 Sergt. J. Ferguson. Seath. Highrs.);
Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal (Successful) (Sergt. John Ferguson, 11th. July, 1897.).
RHS Bronze Medal Case No. 29,071: 'Sergeants John Evans and John Ferguson, 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, at great personal risk, rescued Sergeant A. McLeod from drowning at Candia, Crete, on the 11th July 1897.'
John Ferguson was born during 1871 and earned his R.H.S. Bronze Medal during the Cretan Intervention. Although one Company of the Seaforths landed at Canea on the 24 March 1897, the bulk of the Battalion proceeded to Candia, landing on 26 March. In Canea the Seaforths initially shared accommodation with the French 8th Regiment Marine Infantry in the Nazimen Barracks, but eventually moved out to tented accommodation in Halepa. In Candia, the Battalion was supposed to be housed in barracks but because of the unexpected arrival of Italian troops and ‘objections to the various sanitary features in the proposed quarters’, they moved to tents and then huts on the town walls.
Whilst returning from the Island of Standici in an open boat, McLeod went overboard into some 60-70 fathoms of open, windy, rough sea. Ferguson and Evans sprang after him and held him afloat until a boat came to rescue the party. Their case was reported to the Officer Commanding Troops at Malta. The Medals were sent to the War Office in November 1897.
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen (2338 Pte G. Mc'Kay, 2: Sea: Highrs:);
KSA (2) (2338 Pte G. McKay. Seaforth Highrs:);
British War and Victory Medals (P-9566 L. Cpl. G. Mackay. M.F.P.).
George Alexander McKay was born at Lossiemouth, Elginshire on 2 November 1886 1870, the son of Alexander and Annie McKenzie, his mother later remarried Alexander Makenzie of 249 High Street Same House, Elgin. Working as a Painter prior to enlisting with the Seaforth Highlanders on 2 November 1886, McKay was posted to India with 2nd Battalion on 20 September 1889. He served through the Second Anglo-Boer War with this unit before transferring to the Army Reserve on 7 June 1902.
Re-enlisting with the Seaforth Highlanders on 20 May 1915, McKay remained in Britain with the training reserve, joining the Highland Light Infantry, 1st Garrison Battalion on 20 September 1916. Transferring to the Military Foot Police at Aldershot he entered the war in France on 27 April 1917 with this unit. McKay served there until 17 February 1919 when he returned to Britain, being discharged to the 'Z' Class Reserve on 20 March 1919.