McMurtrie, Duncan Gilbert Scott
He was the elder son of Donald Scott Anderson McMurtrie of St Ibbs Bush, Hitchen, Hertfordshire and Margaret Isabel Stratton McMurtrie, the daughter of Major H G M Amos DSO. He came to Hopper’s from Pinewood School. He was keen on literature, writing a good deal of poetry, the country and gardening, looking after “House Agriculture”.
He 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.
He came back to Winchester in 1943 to help judge Drill Cup.
Soon after his 20th birthday he went from North Africa to Italy, landing with 1st Scots Guards at Anzio on 22nd January 1944.
At daybreak on the morning of 4th 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 1925- 1930) died of wounds on March 1st 1944; two days before that – February 28th 1944 – Major Adrian John Anthony Weir MC (B1933-1939) was killed in action; and on February 8th 1944 Captain John Henry Lund Sinclair (I1934-1939) was killed in action.
- Surname: McMurtrie
- Forenames or initials: Duncan Gilbert Scott
- House: I
- Years in School: 1937-1941
- Rank: Lieutenant
- Regiment: Scots Guards
- Date of Birth: 16th December 1923
- Date of Death: 4th February 1944
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Inner B2
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: Anzio War Cemetery: Grave IV.G.6