A plaque commemorating a former Dundee pupil, lauded as a hero of the First World War, has seemingly gone missing.
The sign, in honour of former Rosebank Primary pupil Hugh McKenzie, had been on display for almost 100 years at the school’s various incarnations.
McKenzie was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system, after his death in 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele, near Belgium.
It was erected in the original school in 1922 by McKenzie’s daughter Elizabeth before being moved to the new building on Rosebank Road.
It is unclear whether it was moved to the new Coldside shared campus on Ann Street, which welcomed its first pupils last August.
A source with connections to the school said the plaque had not been seen since the move.
Lord Provost and councillor Ian Borthwick, who is Scotland’s longest-serving councillor, said he is investigating the situation.
He said: “We are not yet clear on what has happened to this plaque.
“It’s not easy at the minute to establish the circumstances while the schools are off.
“The hunt is on. We are making enquiries to locate it and ascertain what has happened to it.
“I think it’s right that such a sacrifice to the nation is recognised publicly. I can’t see anybody taking it away.
“From discussions so far, we don’t know whether it has been moved somewhere for storage or whether it has been lost.”
He added: “In the event that it cannot be located, we must replace it.
“I give my commitment to making sure he continues to be honoured for giving his life to this country.”
Lieutenant McKenzie – an amateur wrestler – was in charge of a section of four machine guns accompanying the infantry in an attack.
Many were being killed and others were hesitating before a nest of enemy machine guns.
Hugh rallied the men around him and led the attack, capturing the first objective and, when a second pill-box was seen, he called out “come on, boys, we’ll take it”.
As they rushed forward Hugh was shot in the head and died instantly. Inspired by his words, the men around him succeeded in clearing the enemy position.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.
He also received the French Croix de Guerre for his actions.
McKenzie, who moved to Canada as an adult, was born in Liverpool, where a commemorative paving stone was unveiled in his honour in 2017.
The plaque reads: “Sacred to the memory of Lieutenant Hugh McKenzie VC DCM Croix de Guerre, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, attached Canadian Machine Gun Corps. A former pupil of this school. Killed in action in Flanders, near Passchendaele in the Great War, on October 30 1917.”
A spokesperson for Dundee City Council said: “We are looking into this.”