As the US had not entered the war yet, he came to Canada, enlisted and was sent off to England and, in short order, to France where he served in the Canadian Medical Corps. They in turn had him attached to the 75th Battalion, now known as the Toronto Scottish Regiment. The very regiment I proudly served with for over a decade in the late 1960's and 70's before moving on to 2 other regiments before leaving the military.
Doctor Hutcheson, who had already received promotions to Lieutenant and Captain, would be awarded for bravery, and as important, humanitarian service, about 80 miles north of Paris during very heavy enemy bombings.
As this was going on, they were under the watchful eye of the enemy in balloons above. From there, the enemy would direct artillery fire. So when the first shell was dropped, the balloon would redirect German artillery by giving better target information.
Within minutes.. while Hutcheson and others were dressing the wounded, a handful of more shells would drop and any soldier within about 15-30 yards of that landing point was probably yet another casualty needing immediate attention by the medics.
Captain Hutcheson's actions on that day and many others saw him repeatedly in the field under direct fire and still providing care to those in need.
Within days of the Quesnel bombings Hutcheson and others in the immediate area also came across an abandoned enemy medical tent. Inside were about 100 wounded German soldiers, abandoned by their comrades. Hutcheson's crew would never-the-less also provide medical attention to these soldiers and take steps to also evacuate them to further recovery stations and aid as required.
His battalion learned on 7 October that these actions had resulted in Captain Bellenden Hutcheson being awarded the Military Cross. Here is the formal announcement of 29 November in the London Gazette.
About 3 weeks later Captain Hutcheson would again be crawling out under heavy enemy fire to rescue the wounded. This time, it would be about 80 miles north east of Le Quesnel, as shown in map below.
That 2 December action is highlighted in the London Gazette's 14 December 1918 announcement of the Hutcheson award of the Victoria Cross. This issue of the Gazette noted that some 30 Victoria Crosses had been awarded. Five coming to Canadians. Here is the portion dealing with the Hutcheson award ...
About 6 months later this hero would sail from Liverpool, back to Halifax and to a new posting of about 5 months at Quebec City. He was then off to Toronto and demobilized with the end of the war, the one that was said to end all wars.
Next Sunday I will conclude with updates on further acknowledgements of his military and civilian dedication to those he took an oath to serve.