“It was not Fighting, but Murder” The Battle of Aubers Ridge
Sunday, the 9th of May, 1915, saw the battle of Aubers Ridge.
This was a British offensive, supporting a larger French attack in the South at Artois. The plan being to tie down the Germans, preventing them from sending reinforcements to oppose the main attack by the French.
The British plan comprised of two attacking forces.
IV Corps on the left, in front of Laventie, 6,000 yards from the right hand co
Dundee Courier - 12th of January 1937
News of Husband after 21 years
Barnhill Woman Learns His Fate
After 21 years of uncertainty a Barnhill woman has now received definite word of her husband's fate on the battlefields of Flanders.
She is Mrs William Charles, who lives at 27 Dalhousie Road, Barnhill, Dundee.
The proof is obtained in a letter just received by Lord Provost Phin, from a former German soldier, who has in his possession a pay-book, along with a letter and photo
The following is an account of Christmas time 1914, as given by the men of the 5th (Territorial) battalion of the Black Watch.
In the early hours of November the 2nd 1914, the 5th btn landed at Le Havre, having left Southampton the night before aboard the SS Architect. They were the first Scottish Territorial battalion to arrive in France.
Allocated to the 24th brigade in the 8th Division they were employed as line of communication troops. Digging trenches under Royal Engineer supervis
First published as "With the Black Watch - The Story of the Marne" in 1917, the book has been reprinted with different titles in the years since. As "The Black Watch - A Record in Action", the abridged "The Black Watch", and the lengthy "Stand and Fall - A soldier's recollections of the "Contemptible Little Army" and the Retreat form Mons to the Marne, 1914".
Joseph Samuel Cassells Joined the Black Watch in 1905. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was a reservist, whereupon he was recalled a
The war memorial for the town of Arbroath takes the form of a cenotaph, an empty tomb, and sits on the edge of a hill overlooking the North Sea. It has 491 great war names listed upon its panels, 1 being a woman.
Like all cities, town, villages and parishes, the people of Arbroath spent time after the war in public meetings discussing the funding, design and location of the intended memorial to their war dead.
A list of names, which had to meet (now unknown) criteria, was maintained in
Arthur Douglas Guest was born on the Isle of Man in 1889, his younger brother Herbert was born 4 years later in 1893. Their father was the manager of a boot and shoe store. The family later relocated to Leeds and Huddersfield in England.
On the 10th of February, 1908, Arthur enlisted into the Black Watch aged 18. Arthur's younger brother Herbert was 18 in 1911, and he too joined the Black Watch in late July/early August 1911.
Why two brothers born and raised in the Isle of Man, then lat
James Campbell Honeyman, from Leven in Fife, enlisted into the Black Watch on the 11th of November, 1903 at the age of 18. By the time the war broke out he was a Sergeant and stationed in India with the 2nd battalion.
He lost his life on the 8th of October 1915, leaving behind his wife Catherine Ann and their three children who were living in Glasgow. Tragically Catherine Ann was to die the next year, her brother John McDonald and wife Kate took in her orphaned children.
John Burns from Forfar, enlisted into the Black Watch on the 12th of April, 1911 aged 18. He went abroad with the 1st Btn in August, 1914 and was wounded on the 15th of September.
Whilst recovering at home in October, he was interviewed by his local newspaper, who printed a copy of his diary. He was also wed to Petrina Keith at this time. His daughter Mary was born in the December.
It's unclear when he was well enough to rejoin his battalion in France, but sadly John was killed in action,
Published in 1985, shortly before his death aged 100, William Carr recorded his time as a junior officer in the Royal Field Artillery.
Carr, or Carlos as he was later nicknamed, was from an agricultural family near Stonehaven, on the north east coast of Scotland. Having gone to university in his late 20's to improve his prospects, he was older than most of his fellow officers when he went to war in June, 1917.
On arrival in France he was posted to 377 Battery of the 169th Brigade
During the war the Black Watch had 12 infantry battalions deployed in theatres of war.
These comprised of 2 regular battalions, 4 territorial first line battalions and 3 Service battalions.
Added to these was a Labour battalion, operating in France between June, 1916 and April, 1917, when it was then absorbed into the Labour Corps.
Two battalions were made up from adopting yeomanry regiments. The Fife & Forfar Yeomanry in October, 1916, then the Scottish Horse in January, 1917.
3/949 Pte.William Murray, a Special Reservist from Dundee, arrived in France on the 20th of September in a reinforcement draft. Being wounded less than a month later, on recovery he served in the 2nd battalion, finally being discharged in May, 1919. Murray died in 1960 aged 69.
23rd December 1914 Dundee Courier
Private William Murray, 1st Battalion Black Watch, has returned to his home at 36 Kirk Street, Lochee, to recover from five shrapnel wounds sustained on 10th Novem
William Trueland was Born in Edinburgh in 1885 and joined the Black Watch about the 24th of January, 1904. He was recalled as a reservist on the outbreak of war and went out in the first reinforcement draft to France in late August, 1914.
After receiving a head wound from shrapnel, he underwent an operation at Edinburgh Castle Military hospital in mid December, 1914. Probably due to this injury he was transferred to the 1st Garrison battalion of the HLI in January, 1916, then later the 1st Gar
The following is a transcription of a personal diary that appeared in the pages of the Dundee Advertiser in serial form in March, 1915. Also later published in its sister paper the People's Journal, slightly abridged, the following month.
The author, referred to a "Scout", is a reservist in the Black Watch. The diary covers the period from his return to the depot at Perth on the 5th of August, until his wounding and return to Britain on the 22nd of November 1914.
All place name spellings are
The following is the transcribed personal diary of Reuben Jackson, a regular of the 1st battalion Black Watch, who went to France with the very first of his regiment. This first year of his diary was published in his local newspaper, "The Belper News" in Derbyshire, England, in serialised form, in mid to late 1915.
This detailed and unique diary, provides insight into the events as experienced by him between mobilisation in August, 1914, and late June, 1915. There being a deficiency in offici
When the great war in Europe ended, men were returning to their families over the course of the following months. In Arbroath, Agnes Wallace had been waiting for the return of a loved one, who had been held for over four years as a prisoner of war. It was not her husband, brother, or even her father the 36 year old awaited, but her 19 year old son, Scott Oram.
Scott was born on the 14th of November, 1899, in his maternal grandparents cottage in the rural parish of Kinnettles, Forfarshire. Rec
It's been an interest of mine, when time allows, to research the men listed upon the 1914 and 1914-15 star medal roll for the Black Watch.
Here i will share the statistical breakdown of these results, so far. These will be updated as more research is done.
The 1st, 2nd and 5th battalions of the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) reached France and Belgium in the qualifying period for the awarding of the 1914 Star, between 5th August and midnight on the 22nd of No
It was the Army Council Instruction (ACI) 2414 of 1916, published on 23 December 1916, that among other things, ordered the renumbering of the men of the Territorial Force.
Previously numbered 1 - 9999, the Territorials were to be allocated a new (and in most cases) 6 digit number.
The changes were to be implemented by the 1st of March 1917.
In the case of the 5th Black Watch the number block given over to them began at 240001.
With few exceptions the renumbering followed the