Bell not the only professional footballer to win the VC

09 September 2010 08:49
Willie Argus of Celtic won the VC In an earlier article it was claimed that Donny Bell was the only professional footballer to win the Victoria Cross in the Great War, but he wasn't William (Willie) Argus also won the VC and became the first Scottish soldier of the Territorial Force to win the highest award for bravery. Argus signed professional papers with Glasgow Celtic in 1911 the before joining the 8th Battalion Highland Light Infantry. On June 12th 1915 Argus won his VC by rescuing his platoon officer lieutenant James Martin who had been badly wounded while on a trench raid. When Argus heard of his officer's injury he volunteered to attempt a rescue nd in doing so received serious multiple wounds. Before leaving the safety of his own trenches, Argus tied a rope around his waist so he could be pulled back to his trenches by his colleagues should he be wounded. He was wounded but still sheltered Lt Martin with his own body, before carrying the injured officer back to his trench in full view of the enemy. Argus was hit several more times and eventually fell and had to be pulled back by the rope. Angus’s citation read: “For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Givenchy, on 12th June 1915, in voluntarily leaving his trench under very heavy fire and rescuing an officer who was lying within a few yards of the enemy position. Lance Corporal Angus had no chance of escaping the enemy’s fire when undertaking this very gallant action, and in effecting the rescue he sustained about forty wounds from bombs, some of them being very serious.”  Donny Bell won his VC the following year on July 5th 1916.