Alex McColl had been a key member of the Wellington College First XV in 1909 and was a talented all-round sportsman. Like many of his school mates he was quick to enlist when the war broke out. He led a platoon at a landing in Gallipoli in 1915, participating in much of the heavy fighting there. He was wounded but returned to active service and was present at the evacuation in December 1915.
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This transcript is from a letter sent on 18 August 1917 by Major W.H. Cunningham, – Leslie Andrew's commanding officer, – to Colonel R. Hughes in Wanganui on 18 August 1917. The letter includes the following endorsement of Andrew being awarded the Victoria Cross: