1914-15 Star (other ranks only)
The 1914/15 star was awarded to every soldier who entered a recognised theatre of war, after the 22nd of November and before the 1st of January, 1916.
In the three 1914/15 star medal roll books, recording those of the Black Watch to receive the medal, there are 8,724 men listed. This includes those who served abroad initially with the original 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, infantry Battalions. This does not include the officers.
The two adopted yeomanry regiments, The Scottish Horse and Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, are not included.
This also does not include those men who first served with the Black Watch, were later transferred and and are recorded on another regiments 1914/15 star medal roll.
There are two men with the same name, rank, army number and embarkation date. They are in the 6th and 7th Bns.
713 men arrived in theatre in 1914 who qualified for the 1914/15 star. Of these 5 men died before the end of 1914.
12 men arrived in France on the 31st of December,1915, the last day possible, to qualify for the star.
3 men were executed for desertion.
While Perth and Perthshire are the historical home of the Black Watch, there's no doubt Dundee was the beating heart of the regiment. Men born or residing in the city make up by far the largest contingent.
Places of birth are known for 3,342 men on the roll, of these, Dundee has by far the most, 522 (16.5%).
The first wartime enlistments for Kitcheners Army, with a S/ prefix, arrive in theatre with the initial cohort of the 8th Bn on the 10th of May, 1915.
The last enlistment period that allowed men to arrive in theatre and qualify for the star, were those who attested in late August and early September, 1915. They arrived in late December after about 3 and a half months of training.
Initial Cohort by date of arrival, minus those missing btn info on their BV&WM entry, or those listed on other regiments star lists.
24/02/1915 - 4th Bn - 644
02/05/1915 - 6th Bn - 786
02/05/1915 - 7th Bn - 782
10/05/1915 - 8th Bn - 761
14/07/1915 - 9th Bn - 736
20/09/1915 - 10th Bn - 728
Of the 8,724 other ranks listed – 3,316 died over the course of the war, or shortly afterwards.
This equates to 38% and is similar to the rate experienced by the men listed on two regular battalions on the 1914 star roll.
Initial Bn - No. of men - Dead - %
1st - 1,180 - 604 - 51.2%
2nd - 892 - 430 - 48.2%
3rd - 2 - 0 - 0.0%
4th - 1,071 - 380 - 35.4%
5th - 335 - 138 - 41.2%
6th - 891 - 306 - 34.3%
7th - 1,041 - 277 - 26.6%
8th - 1,248 - 521 - 41.7%
9th - 1,271 - 544 - 42.8%
10th - 729 - 104 - 14.2%
Deaths by Year
1914 - 5
1915 - 1,378
1916 - 1,057
1917 - 500
1918 - 364
1919 - 9
1920 - 2
1921 - 1
Deaths by year, from star qualifying date
23/11/1914 - 22/11/1915 - 1,353
23/11/1915 - 22/11/1916 - 1,062
23/11/1916 - 22/11/1917 - 506
23/11/1917 - 22/11/1918 - 377
23/11/1918 - 22/11/1919 - 15
23/11/1919 - 22/11/1920 - 2
23/11/1920 - 22/11/1921 - 1
The worst days for the men of Black Watch on the 1914/15 star roll were both in 1915, the year they arrived.
Aubers Ridge - 09/05/1915 - 250 KIA or DoW
Loos - 25-27/09/1915 - 560 KIA or DoW
No other single date had fatal casualties over 100, they next most fatal being:
30/07/1916 - 95 KIA or DoW
Once the Black Watch data listed on other regiments star medal rolls is fully collated, this will be presented again more fully.
Edited by Derek Black