Served in South African War with 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles for 6 months as Regimental no. 380 enlisting at Kamloops, British Columbia on April 24, 1902.
A report in the Vancouver Daily Sun on 07 October 1917, indicated that a party of returned veterans had arrived in Vancouver on the morning of Saturday October 6th. Pte. McLean, DCM, was included in this party:
Captured Company Single Handed
The most interesting figure in the party in some ways is Pte. G. McLean, D.C.M., of the 54th Kootenay battalion, in which he enlisted at Kamloops. He got his medal and made his name in military annals at Vimy Ridge, where he captured a large number of Germans single handed. During the third day of the fighting one of the officers of Pte. McLean's section was wounded. He carried him out of the melee and when he returned he foudn himself and a companion near a German dugout, containing about 60 men.
McLean was carrying a number of bombs. Just as he was about to throw his first bomb his companion was killed by his side. Then he started bombing in earnest. Pretty soon the German sergeant-major came up shouting, "Do not throw the bomb." McLean paused and the German asked how many there were in his party. McLean answered that there were 150. The German then handed over his automatic and called to his companions, who emerged with their hands up, and McLean marched them to the British lines under cover of the German automatic.
The officer of this party had lived in North Dakota for some time, hence his ability to speak English. He said that he was in Germany on a visit when he was conscripted, and that he had no desire to fight. Pte. McLean says, and in this he is borne out generally by his comrades, that they often come across Huns who are anxious to surrender.