Lieutenant Colonel M. Docherty
Lord Strathcona’s Horse
We had 200 men, the Germans about 2,000. We had no artillery support, but the Huns had all kinds. But we stopped their counter-attack. Colonel Docherty fell a few feet from me, shot dead, clean through the head.
(LdSH soldier’s letter, Winnipeg Tribune, 29 Dec 1917)
Born in Scotland on 1 May, 1877, Malcolm Docherty was a Boer War veteran, marksman and polo player in Winnipeg. A prewar sergeant in the Lord Strathcona’s Horse, he went to France as a lieutenant in May 1915. Six months later, he received a promotion to captain and the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry.
He replaced Lieutenant Colonel J.A. Hesketh in command of the LdSH on 28 September 1917. He was wounded for a third time in late November but stayed on duty. Just over a week later Docherty was killed in action at the Battle of Cambrai on 1 December 1917. One trooper described the deadly fighting in a letter home:
Excuse the term, but to put it plainly, it was hell. We have had some hard work during the past month. We had quite a time in the Cambrai affair and were rather badly cut up. At another time the Bosches were massing for a counter attack. We charged and frusterated their plan. Our command (Lieut-Col. Docherty) was shot through the end and killed instantly as he led the victorious troopers.