Lieutenant Duncan Gilbert Scott McMurtrie

Service Number 253192


World War 2



KIA Aged 20.
Buried at Anzio War Cemetery, Italy, Plot IV, G, 6
Son of Donald Scott Anderson McMurtrie and Margaret Isobel Stratton McMurtrie, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Exhibitioner, Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
Duncan Gilbert Scott McMurtrie was born 16 December 1923, the elder son of Donald Scott Anderson McMurtrie of St Ibbs Bush, Hitchen, Hertfordshire and Margaret Isabel Stratton McMurtrie, the daughter of Major HGM Amos.

He came to Winchester College from Pinewood School in the summer of 1937 and was in I House, Turner's under Malcolm Robertson. He was a member of the Debating Society and was keen on literature, writing a good deal of poetry. He also loved gardening and the countryside, and oversaw 'House Agriculture' during in his last few years at Winchester.

Duncan left Winchester in December 1941 after gaining a Classical Exhibition at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was young enough to stay for 5 terms and it was hoped he would do so, taking the first part of the Law Tripos. However, he left in June 1942 for Sandhurst, where he came very close to winning the Belt of Honour, and was commissioned into the Scots Guards in December.

Soon after his 20th birthday he went from North Africa to Italy, landing with 1st Scots Guards at Anzio on 22 January 1944. At daybreak on the morning of 4 February 1944 a battalion of the German 65th Infantry Division, supported by tanks and self-propelled guns broke through the Irish Guards who were holding the salient created on the Carroceto to Campoleone road and reached the Campoleone-Nettuno railway. Fierce fighting followed during the course of that day and it was at some point that day that McMurtrie died of wounds received whilst out on a patrol which got caught in a German counter attack.

Of his debt to Winchester McMurtrie wrote in his last letter: 'Maybe one day I shall be one of those lucky ones who are able to repay it, at least in part'. Aged 20 when he was killed, he rests in grave IV.G.6 of the Anzio War Cemetery.

Anzio was an expensive battle for Wykehamists and four died in 1st Scots Guards alone. Lieutenant-Colonel David Scrymgeour Wedderburn DSO (K 1925-1930) died of wounds on 1 March 1944; two days before that – 28 February 1944 – Major Adrian John Anthony Weir MC (B 1933-1939) was killed in action; and on 8 February 1944 Captain John Henry Lund Sinclair (I 1934-1939) was killed in action.


Country Location Name of Memorial Campaign Names Date(s)
England St Ippollitts Church Ashbrook Ln St Ippollitts North Hertfordshire Hertfordshire SG4 7PB St Ippollitts War Memorial World War 2
Duncan McMurtrie 4-2-1944 View
England Winchester College College Street Winchester SO23 9NA Winchester College WW1 and WW2 World War 1
World War 2
Duncan McMurtrie 4-2-1944 View

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