Captain James Stuart Livingstone

 

Unit : "C" Company, 7th (Galloway) Battalion The King's Own Scottish Borderers

Army No. : 207638

Awards : Military Cross

 

Captain Jim Livingstone was Second-in-Command of "C" Company, having served with the Battalion since the early days of the War. At Arnhem, on Thursday 21st September, the 7th KOSB at the White House were subjected to a particularly heavy infantry attack:

 

"They came across - running and shouting - to within about twenty yards of us before I opened fire. I killed an awful lot of Germans then, with my Sten. There was a big tree in front of me, and there was one German who was on his knees, wounded, but still preparing to fire. I remember David Clayhills, the Adjutant, who was standing by the side of the hotel, shouting, 'Kill the bastard!', and I did so. I'm a bit ashamed of it now, but I was bloody angry at the time. The rest of his party were already dead. Mind you, there was some of our dead as well. When it calmed down later I can still see David Clayhills standing near this big tree, and there were an awful lot of dead Germans lying around it - twenty or thirty at least, young men mostly."

 

"The worst thing was the snipers. You couldn't pinpoint them. You would have some men in a certain position and the next thing you knew they were gone - snipers! My batman, an elderly man by airborne standards, being in his thirties, was hit by a sniper in our slit trench and badly wounded. He stood up and said, 'Now you'll have to get your own bloody food', before leaving for treatment. Another time, I had a sergeant with me in the slit and he wouldn't wear his helmet. I told him to put it on, but he said it was too uncomfortable. It wasn't long afterwards that I found his head in my lap, the top of it shot off - killed at once."

 

For his actions at Arnhem, after being evacuated safely across the Rhine, Captain Livingstone was awarded the Military Cross. His citation reads:

 

On 23rd September, near ARNHEM, when all other officers of his Company had been killed or wounded, Captain LIVINGSTONE showed great personal gallantry and leadership in frustrating repeated German attacks on his position. When an enemy machine-gun detachment infiltrated into the fringe of the area he, along with only two men, attacked it, killing the crew and seizing the machine-gun. Later, when several of our own wounded were lying out enemy fire he went out, regardless of personal danger, and got them back to safety. Throughout a very trying period he proved an inspiration and example to his men and his conduct had a great effect on the whole operation.

 

Back to 7th King's Own Scottish Borderers

Back to Biographies Menu