Major General A.J.McCulloch
Born on 14th July 1876, he bore the name of Andrew Jameson, son of a Scottish judge, he, possibly for inheritance purposes, adopted the name McCulloch in 1892. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy, then St Andrews University and finally New College Oxford. Obtaining his BA he became a Barrister of Law, called later to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1905, an unusual start for a soldier.
During the South African War he served as a ranker in the City Imperial Volunteers Mounted Infantry and was awarded the DCM. On August 4th 1900 he was commissioned from the ranks in to the Highland Light Infantry, and was also attached to the 12th Mounted Infantry. This commision was recommended by the Field Marshall, Commander in Chief South Africa. Whist in Africa he saw service in actions at Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill and Wittebergen. As well as the Distinguished Conduct Medal, he was also mentioned in despatches for service in South Africa.
On July 11th 1911 some time after passing from the staff college he is gazetted a Captain in the 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards. It is not unremarkable that an officer attends the college as a leftnant though it was more normal for them to have obtained the rank of captain proir to passing out! It is a rank that McCulloch will hold as his regimental rank until 1920. Two years later he is seconded to the Cavalry Staff on the 18th November 1913, and then attached to the staff in India as Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, during 1913-1914.
At the outbreak of the war McCulloch seems to be attached to the Artillery Staff as Captain but this is followed on the 5th August until the 12th October with temporary Majority and a position as D.A.A.G. This is followed by some service on the Adjutant-General and Quartermaster-Generals staff from the 8th May 1915 as the deputy assistant adjutant and quartermaster general at the war office. On 15th September 1915 he is once again given the rank of Acting Major and command of the 7th battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a territorial unit. In 1916 he was assigned to the Cavalry Corps staff. McCulloch it seems was not one to stay long in one place!
Following on from here he commanded the 9th battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry from October 1917 until July 1918. Winning in the process a DSO (2) and then a bar for bravery and leadership under fire. On the second occasion he was gassed but stayed in the line leading his battalion for a couple of days.
The citation reads...
'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. At a most critical time he handled his battalion with great skill and gallantry, and blocked the enemy's advance. While making a valuable reconnaissance he was gassed and wounded, but continued his command of the battalion for another two days until the situation was righted. He showed fine leadership and determination'.
He was promoted to command of 64th Brigade on 28th July 1918 A notable action fought was the taking of Grandcourt during 19th -27th August 1918. Once more wounded, he recounts in his own words that he felt it better to be returned to the rear as the wound was limiting his ability to command and would hamper the advance. It was a thigh wound and was bleeding greatly. Some captured Germans returned him to the safety of the British lines. Once at the hospital he asked for news of his brigades attack and was told it had been a great success.
He was awarded another bar to his DSO for...
‘On a pitch dark night he penetrated 4500 yards into the enemy lines, occupied his objective and captured between 300-400 prisoners and two guns, as well as a village. The advance was over the worst country, and the right flank of his brigade was uncovered throughout. Success was entirely due to his magnificent leadership, moving at the head of his brigade'.
Three DSO’s and wounded three times. Andrew McCulloch was certainly no 'Donkey' (3) . After the end of the war in 1919 he returned to service when recovered from his wound to command the 62nd brigade, taking over from George Gater who returned home. During the War he was also awarded the Legion d' Honneur and Coix de Chevalier and mentioned three times in despatches.
His time in charge of 62nd was short lived as he was promoted to chief instructor at the staff college Quetta in India and shortly after this appointment he was finally promoted to Major this time in the 14th Hussars. It is of some note that since his passing of the staff college in 1909/10 he had risen up the command ladder yet was still by 1920 only a Captain, all his other ranks being brevet, temporary or acting! The Gazette shows on the 30-1-1920 that... 14th Hrs (one assumes 14th Hussars).—Capt. & Bt. Lt.-Col. (temp. Brig.-Gen.) A. J. McCulloch, D.S.O., D.C.M., from 7th D. Gds., to be Maj. 31st Jan. 1920.
Colonel of the Highland Light Infantry Regiment from 1936-46.