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   Bridgeton's war hero          Pte.Henry May page 3 of 5


Henry May & family personal details  


Henry May VC


henry may.

His father, William Henry May born c.1855
    mother, Margaret (Maggie) Fyffe c.1857 in Madras, India
on 13th August 1879  in Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland. 
At the time of the 1881 census they were living at 198 Boden St. Bridgeton
At the time of the 1891 census they were living at 29 Hozier St. Bridgeton

Henry's 3 brothers:
1. Daniel         
2. Joseph
3. James  ( L/cpl James May 2nd Batt. KOSB was killed in action at Lille, France on 18th October 1914.)

Henry's 2 sisters:
1. Sarah
2. Smollet (Molly)

Henry married Christina Dewar on 5th June 1908 
They had five children  :
1. Agnes ( known as Nessie) born on 24th April 1909, who later married as Green
2. Henry born on 1st March 1911
3. Margaret, born on 12th January 1914, who later married as O'May
4. James
5. George

Please get in touch with me if you can add any details to Henry's family.
E-mail, June 2004, Digby Hamilton, Wales, UK
Dear Webmaister, No reference to #Henry May's 6th child, Paul May Hamilton on your site. 
The result of an ephemeral meeting on armistice night. No problem. Just that you were asking for any more information on Henry's family and I have some, in a box in the attic......


Service Record 

  • Enlisted on 29th August 1902 giving his age as 18 ( he was 17 ) and occupation Labourer

  • Promoted to Lance Corporal on 18th Jan 1903 and received posting order on 27th January 1903.

  • Reduced to rank of Private on 16th February 1903 for misconduct.

  • Awarded the Good Conduct Badge on 29th August 1904.

  • Posted to 2nd Cameronians in South Africa 4th March 1903 until 27th May 1904.

  • Transferred to the Reserve early and with his agreement on 31st January 1905.

  • Mobilised on 5th August 1915.

  • Won his VC near La Boutillerie, France on 22nd October 1914.

  • Wounded in the face by shrapnel on 2nd November 1914 during attacks on the town of Ypres, france. 
    Invalided home after spending a period of time in the base hospital.

  • Returned to France in January 1915.

  • Discharged at the end of 13 years service on 28th August 1915.

  • Rejoined on 4th March 1918 and was commissioned into the Army Service Corps as a T/2 Lieutenant.

  • Temporary Lieutenant on 4th Sept.1915, Demobilized in 1919.

Orders, Decorations, Medals

  • Victoria Cross

  • 1914 Star with 'Mons' bar

  • Victory Medal 1914-19

  • British War Medal 1914-20

  • GVIR Coronation Medal 1937

VC Reunions

Civilian History
1. Dalmarnock Public School, Bridgeton, Dalmarnock
2. Royal Technical College Glasgow ( now University of Strathclyde )

Pre Service Employment
Worked as a tenter with Frew, Forrest & Company, Muslin Manufacturers, Rutherglen Bridge Factory, 344 Main Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow.
 Post Office Directory 1911-12
         frew forrest
He was also employed as an inspector in a munitions factory after his discharge on 28th August 1915 until he re-enlisted in 1918.

Post Service Employment
Became a partner in the Glasgow Manufacturing Company

A member of Masonic Lodge Glasgow at Glasgow No.441

Death  see page 5 graveside photos


His VC is on display at the Cameronians Museum, Hamilton



Please get in touch with me if you can add any details to Henry's life
23rd.Feb.2003 I met Henry May's great nephew today, Jimmy Hall.
Henry May's wife Christine had a sister Marion Dewar , her daughter Helen Hall (nee Dewar) had three sons and two daughters. Jimmy Hall is one of her sons born 17 June 1939.
I met Jimmy in Walker's Bar at Bridgeton Cross and not surprisingly he knew very little about his Mothers's uncle. ( it was a long time ago) He could relate one story however which his mother told day she was walking through Bridgeton with baby Jimmy in her arms wrapped in a shawl, when they bumped into Uncle Harry ( Henry May) and he gave the baby a '*wooden threepenny bit ' at the time his mother felt this was miserly as most folk gave new babies silver money!    ( *The old threepenny coin was known as a wooden thrupenny in Glasgow )

Extract from e-mail Feb.06 Alison Wilson Johnston (nee McIntosh) Great Niece
I am the Great Niece of Henry May V.C.
My mother was Catherine Wilson McIntosh (nee May) daughter of Joseph May, Brother of Harry.
I have been gathering info on Henry for around 8 years.

I have some personal items that would have been given to my Grandfather by him. Don't get too exited they are a signed photo of Harry after winning the V.C, also wearing the medal, which I am sure is the one you are displaying on your web page. I also have a poem or song written for Harry on his return by Pte A McIntyre and lots of family Photos.

I have in the past posted details of the poem on the internet hoping someone could fill in a missing verse.

Over the years I have exchanged details with authors, enthusiasts and family.

I have been trying to trace Heather Murray (nee Green) Grand Daughter, to Harry whom my Mother and Father were close to in past years. Sadly to no avail but I have not given up. I noticed that your web page had an entry for L/Cpl Murray who should be the grandson to Heather, I have contacted Alldershot in hope they can pass on my details to him or his family.

For our Canadian relatives I would be glad to forward photos of the May's and extended family's. I remember Great Aunt Sarah well as a child, and have a photograph of her two children who died in infancy plus many more. If I can shed any light to information anyone may or may not have please do not hesitate to get in touch.    Thank you   Alison

Extract from e-mail Mar.2013, Robert Tucker
I am Robert Tucker and I am writing a book about all the Scotsmen who have won the VC. I accessed your website for Henry May VC and have gleaned a lot of information. Thanks.
On the site it asks to contact you if I knew anything more about Henry. Well, you have him with two brothers from his parents william and Margaret. I have located three brothers. The one you seem not to have is Daniel May born on the 8th May, 1881, at Bridgeton, Glasgow.   I hope this is of help.


( my thanks to Richard & Doug Arman in Australia & Iain Stewart in the UK for their help )


  Henry May


Newspaper articles

Family details Bridgeton & House of Lords Graveside




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