Victoria Coolege, Jersey
History
Captain McReady Diarmid
Middlesex Regiment During the Boer War
Middlesex Regiment During the Boer War
Captain Allastair Malcolm Cluny McReady-Diarmid (formerly known as Arthur Mcready-Drew) was born in Southgate, London on the 21st of March 1888. He was first educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar Preparatory school in Barnet before joining Victoria College in the summer term of 1904. During his first year at college, it was noted that McReady was a keen cricketer as well as being an animal lover alike, it was said that he knew the note of every wild bird.

His parents wished him to go to Cambridge and take holy orders but his mind was made to travel abroad. After he had left school there were various projects for carrying out this determination. None of them however would materialize when the advent of war resolved all doubts. On the outbreak of the Great War he joined the London University O.T.C. and before long received a commission in the Middlesex Regiment, here he left behind a wife, Hilda and daughter Allison.

“In November 1917 during the battle of Cambrai, when the enemy penetrated some distance into our position and the situation was extremely critical, Captain Mcready Diarmid at once led his company forward through a heavy barrage. He immediately engaged the enemy with such success that he drove them back at least 300 yards, causing numerous casualties and capturing 27 prisoners. The following the day the enemy again attacked and drove back another company which had lost all of is officers. The gallant officer at once called for volunteers and attacked. He drove them back again for 500 yards with heavy casualties. Throughout his attack, Captain McReady Diarmid led the way himself, and it was absolutely and entirely due to his marvellous throwing of bombs that the ground was regained. This most gallant officer was eventually killed by a bomb when the enemy had been driven right back to their original staring point.” It was also stated by another soldier that “Apart from his brilliant soldiering ability, he was a most charming companion in the mess. Cheery and full of humour, he was always keeping our spirits up” Due to this series of events Captain McReady Diarmid was awarded the Victoria Cross which is held by the national army museum in Chelsea. It was due to this bravery and courage that the college recently decided to name a new fifth house after this man as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations.
British Tank in Cambrai during the fighting
British Tank in Cambrai during the fighting