Dr. Francis Alexander Caron Scrimger
, VC

 In the [Roll of Honour] there is a notice: "Francis Alexander Caron Scrimger, B.A.1 1901, M.D.9 1905--Captain, Canadian Army Medical Corps-Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Awarded the Victoria Cross." As it is given to few men to win the Victoria Cross, Lieut.-Col. Scrimger's story is among the proudest of McGill's memories He won the award in the Second Battle of Ypres, in April, 1915, as Medical Officer of the 14th Battalion, Royal Montreal Regiment. In the history of the 14th -Battalion, his service is described as follows:

 "At the outbreak of the battle, Capt. F. A. G. Scrimger, the original Medical Officer of the Battalion, was in charge of an advanced dressing station at Wieltje when French coloured troops poured back from broken front line. Never before had Scrimger seen s terrible mass fear. No attempt to pacify or reassure tl individuals could be successful. Their morale was shattered [by the first German use of gas] and weeks must elapse before it could be restored. On the following day, Capt. Scrimger was reattached to the 14th Battalion and ordered to report for duty at 3rd Brigade Headquarters. That afternoon the vicinity of Headquarters was shelled and Capt. Scrimger, together with other medical officers present, was ordered to the rear. This order the M.O. of the 14th could not see his way to obey. Instead, proceeded to the G.H.Q. trenches, occupied by Nos.1, 3 and 4 Companies of his regiment, and there, under fire,dressed the wounds of five men who had been badly injured."

 Next day, amid the burning ruins of the Headquarters farmhouse and outbuildings, with the German infantry closing in and 350,000 rounds of rifle ammunition exploding nearby, Scrimger continued to serve with valour particularly in the rescue of a fellow-graduate of McGill Capt. H. F. McDonald, who was badly wounded. Describing this incident, the Regimental history states

  "Numerous wounded lay in the farm stable when shelling began and these, with the assistance of stretcher bearers, Capt. Scrimger removed to safety. Among wounded was a Staff Officer, Capt. McDonald. Supporting this officer, who was helpless, Scrimger made his way of the burning dressing station, only to run into shell fire.  Refusing to abandon the wounded man, the Mei Officer lay with him at the side of the ditch, while seventy-five 6-inch shells exploded around them. Five shells fell within fifteen feet of the lying men, who were dazed by the concussions and half smothered by flying mud. Eventually, when the shelling subsided' Scrimger staggered with his wounded companion to safety. For his valour in effecting the rescue and for great devotion to duty throughout the period from  22nd to April 25th, Capt. Scrimger was awarded Victoria Cross.He was the first Canadian officer to win this most coveted of all distinctions in the Great War”

 Appointed in the post-war years to the Chair of Surgery at McGill and to be Chief Surgeon of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Dr. Scrimger died in Montreal in 1937; his only son, Capt. Alexander Caron Scrimger (Arts, 1939- '41), 29th Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment (South Alberta Regiment), Canadian Armoured Corps, was killed in action in Holland, October 28, 1944, aged 23 years.

extract from McGill University at War, p. 29-31