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Queen's Own cameron Highlanders


ianmccallum
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Hi there

Just to add, he died at the 1/1st South Midland Casualty Clearing Station in Dernancourt. The 6th Camerons were put into the line at Le Sars on 23 December and spent Christmas in the front line. They were under heavy mortar and gas attacks for their week long tour. The casualties were as follows: 1 killed and 1 wounded on 24 December; 1 wounded on 26 December; 1 wounded on 27 December; and 2 wounded on 28 December. He must have been one of these.

Hope this helps

Patrick

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Patrick,

Referencing your information about 200662 William Scales and adding some of my research I've come to the following possible scenario (it hangs on assumptions and needs verification):

William was in the 4th Camerons when they were disbanded in early 1916 (nr. 3311). Transferred to the 1st Entrenching Battalion 12th March 1916.

This is where it gets cloudy........... renumbered to 200662 in March 1917 , injured late 1917, ends up in 1st Camerons early 1918, KIA 25 October 1918.

Okay, now, he could have stayed in the 1st Entrenching Battalion until he was wounded, then transfered to 1st Camerons after convalescence.

Where the 1st Entrenching Battalion was I have no idea, i can't find any information over the battalion at all (just Commonwealth versions with the same number).

If he was in fact injured at Paschendaele (3rd Ypres) in October 1917 then he could have certainly been with the 5th Camerons, 26th Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division, 5th Army, under Gough. Injured any earlier than October would put him with the 6th Camerons, 44th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division, also under Gough.

............... and thats if he wasn't still with the 1st Entrenching Battalion (or is it "Number One Entrenching Battalion", what's the official name ?) !!!!!!!!!!

I can get hold of the War Diaries for the 5th and 6th Camerons, but whats the score on the 1st Entrenching Battalion???

Need some help on this one !!

Dave.

Edited by Wingerdave
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Hi Dave

As far as I know it was called Number One Entrenching Battalion. It was part of a series of, I think, informal units made up of men without a front line battalion in which to serve. I don't think there are any official records about it. I think the entrenching battalions were 'reorganised' in 1918 and then numbered as 1st Entrenching Battalion etc but these are different units to the 1916 incarnation. What I do know is that from March 1916 Number One EB was based in Poperinghe near Ypres, and I presume remained there until it was absorbed into some other entrenching battalion in 1917. They were employed in building trenches and were sufficiently close to the front line to have about 30 men killed and wounded from the 4th Camerons between March and July 1916.

Officers were sent either direct from the 4th Camerons to the 1st Camerons and drafts of men were sent from No1 EB on 8 May 1916 (47 men), 2 June (70 men), 12 June (58 men), and 9 September (190 men). Official figures differ slightly (making it a bit more men but not by many) but these are all I could piece together from the Battalion Roll Book. Still, this makes a total of some 365-400 men. Taken into account the 30 odd casualties this is still some way short of the 550 men from the 4th Camerons sent to No1 EB in March 1916. So, either the men remained there or there was 20 odd% sick rate in No1 EB - not outwith the realms of possibilities on this one.

As William Scales appeared in the wounded list in the October list of the 79th News he was definitely wounded well before then - it took ages for news to filter through. His allocation of a Territorial Force service number in March 1917 means he was either with the EB or at the Base Depot and not with any of the service battalions. However, realistically he could have gone to any of the 5th, 6th or 7th Camerons and wounded in either Third Ypres with the 6th or 7th, or Arras with the 5th. Very difficult to say which. Certainly all the 4th Camerons men in the same wounded list were wounded on 31 July (Third Ypres) and that suggests the 6th or 7th both with the 15th Division and I think this is more likely, but it could easily be the 5th. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason behind the postings.

As Scales' wound was described as 'severe' in the casualty list I think he probably was out for a while, meaning he may only have arrived with 1st Camerons shortly before his death in October 1918.

Sorry not to have better news!

All the best

Patrick

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Patrick,

Thanks, and not a problem. A pity the Germans destroyed the service records during the Blitz. I'm sure there was some really good information lost.

Anyway..... it fills some holes so i'm not too depressed :-)

All the best,

Dave.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All

I have been researching my Great Grandfather John Asher who served with the 5th Battalion QOCH but have hit a wall. What I know is:

1. Enlisted 9/11/1914 in Inverness

2. His Service Number was recorded as S40849. Another number 5598 is also listed on his MIC which I think, but am not sure, is a Territorial number so maybe he was in another unit prior to the Camerons.

3. He was not entitled to the 1914-15 Star which indicates he did not go to France until after 1915. This is a puzzle for me as the 5th Camerons deployed to France in May 1915 so I don't know why John didn't go with them at that time.

4. He received the Silver War Badge number B300490, the 'B' prefix indicating it was issued between Sept 1918 and Dec 1919. Reason was no longer fit for war service.

5. The SWB roll confirms he did serve overseas at some point.

6. From family history I know he was wounded in France and repatriated back to England. The SWB roll indicates he was in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at the time of discharge.

What I frustratingly don't know is anything about his service in France. i.e. When did he go over if not in May 1915 with the rest of his unit? Which actions did he participate in and in which one was he wounded?

Any suggestions anyone has that may help me fill the gaps would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mike

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Hi Mike

Here goes...

Enlisted 9 November 1914 into the Lovat Scouts with an unknown service number

Transferred into the 4th Cameron Highlanders in July 1916 as part of a large batch of Lovat Scouts who went (I think about 500). His 4th Camerons service number was 5598.

Posted to the 19th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples on 29 August 1916 and allocated the service number S/40849

Posted to the 5th Cameron Highlanders on 30 October 1916

Discharged from the service 5 July 1919 SWB

The 5598 number was an administrative one. The 4th Camerons had ceased to exist as a fighting force by March 1916 but men who were Territorial Force soldiers could only be posted to a Territorial Force battalion. The Lovat Scouts were a TF battalion and when their overspill of men were sent to the Cameron Highlanders they could only be posted to the 4th Camerons, the only TF unit of the regiment, albeit only for administrative purposes. Those men, along with others from the reserve 4th Cameron Highlanders were sent to France in batches in July and August 1916 and were sent to either the 1st, 5th, 6th or 7th Camerons as drafts of reinforcements for casualties of the Somme battles.

The Cameron Highlanders produced a regimental journal which published lists of casualties in the various Cameron Highlanders battalions. You could check them to see if he appears. I imagine since he was discharged as late as July 1919 that he was wounded in 1918. He may also appear on the Scotsman newspaper lists (available online). There is a good divisional history by Ewing which will tell you what the 9th Division was up to from October 1916 until the end of the war. Also, the Historical Records of the Cameron Highlanders (Vol.4?) should cover the service battalions, of which the 5th Camerons was one. It will give you a narrative account of the battalion history. If you want a more technical viewpoint then checkk out the battalion war diary which can be downloaded from the National Archives website for about £3.50.

As an aside, if he enlisted into the Lovat Scouts he might have been from up north. If he came from Nairnshire (which contributed a fair few men to the LS) he might be mentioned in Ken Nisbet's Roll of Honour. I have a copy at home but am away on business at the moment. Will check in about ten days, if you can wait that long or you might be able to get it (and the rest of the books I mentioned) at your local library or through an inter-library loan.

Hope this helps

Patrick

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Patrick

I'm speechless. Thanks ever so much for that. Where on earth did you get all that information from about the Lovat Scouts and dates of postings?

I'll certainly be following up the leads you've given me. I was aware of the Ewing divisional history but have never been able to get hold of a copy. I'm living in Australia now so access to British documentation is difficult from here. I'm more than happy to wait the 10 days for you to check the Ken Nisbet roll of honour.

Once again, thank you, i feel like my research has taken a big and frankly unexpected step forward.

Mike

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Hi Mike

I wrote a book on the 4th Cameron Highlanders called Steel & Tartan which examines that battalion from August 1914 until they were broken up in the summer of 1916, so I found a mass of information in my research for that.

Glad to help!

All the best

Patrick

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A very nice piece of research Patrick Well done!!

Aye Rob.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All

My 94 year-old Great-Aunt, whose memory is a bit hit-and-miss these days, has given me some of her recollections about her father John Ashers service in the 5th Camerons. I'm very sceptical, but what she's told me is that:

John was wounded at one of the battles of Ypres. From other timeline information that Patrick kindly gave me and some other family knowledge, it must have been the 3rd (Passchandaele) or 4th (Lys) Ypres battles.

She says he was sent to Canada to recuperate. John was Scottish and all his family was in Inverness so this seems very unlikely to me and I can't find info on the internet that suggests such a thing may have happened. I do note however that the Cameron Highlanders of Canada also fought at Passchandaele. Is it possible that the 5th Camerons and the Canadian Camerons wounded may have ended up together? It seems extremely unlikely I know.

Cheers

Mike

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Hi Mike

As far as I know the wounded of the 43rd CEF (Cameron Highlanders of Canada) would have been filtered back through the Canadian Field Ambulances and Base Hospitals and the 5th Camerons would have gone through those of the 9th (Scottish) Division so not much chance in them being mixed up and him shipped to Canada.

I imagine after his wounding he would have been sent to a base hospital and then back to the UK. His date of discharge being in July 1919 might mean his wound was in 1918 or he was wounded twice. Certainly the 79th News would confirm. I am currently out of the country but will be back in July so can check the casualty lists then.

All the best

Patrick

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Thanks again Patrick. A copy of your book arrived on Wednesday, looking forward to reading it.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi

I am doing some research on Stanley Inglis from Stockton-On-Tees who served with 5th battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. I was wondering if anyone had any information on him, or where the battalion was on the day that he died - 25/04/18.

Any think would greatly help.

Thanks

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there

The battalion war diary should be available from The National Archives website. That should tell you what the 5th Camerons were up to on that day.

All the best

Patrick

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  • 2 weeks later...

On this, the centenary of the beginning of World War 1 (for us), I thought i would share a couple of photo's i recently obtained of my great uncle Williams Scales.

The first photo is of the man himself in his "hospital blues" during his recuperation period on the south coast in 1917, with left either a nurse or his girlfriend, and right, sitting down, his sister (my grandmother)

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kz0mtlzts7b32zl/Billy Ada.jpg?dl=0

 

The second photo is of his grave in the new Highland Cemetary, taken in early 1919. The woman is the farmers wife in whose barn he was killed (HE shell)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8xjm2cloash9x7r/Billy Frenchwoman.jpg?dl=0

 

All the best,

Dave.

Edited by Wingerdave
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  • 3 months later...
Guest lindagray

Hi there

Just to add, he died at the 1/1st South Midland Casualty Clearing Station in Dernancourt. The 6th Camerons were put into the line at Le Sars on 23 December and spent Christmas in the front line. They were under heavy mortar and gas attacks for their week long tour. The casualties were as follows: 1 killed and 1 wounded on 24 December; 1 wounded on 26 December; 1 wounded on 27 December; and 2 wounded on 28 December. He must have been one of these.

Hope this helps

Patrick

It has taken me some time to get back to this forum but I wanted to thank those who found/shared the information about my father-in-law's Uncle James Alexander McNicol. He died on 30th December 1916 probably not knowing that his mother had died on 24th December 1916! It is tragic to think that his last Christmas was spent in the trenches being bombarded. His father had to deal with the death of his wife and his son in the space of a week, as did the rest of his family. We still have a Christmas card he sent to his sister (my father in law's mother) which she cherished all her life. My father in law is now nearly 101 - the McNicols live long, so James's life was hugely shortened. We visited James's grave earlier this year - a very sad place with no heather, hills or bracken - not the right place for a gamekeeper.

Thanks to all who helped me find this info.

Linda

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Trying to reach Scott Millar. He is enquiring about Pte Robert Millar 9447 Cameron Highlanders. This was my Uncle and I have the details of when & where he was wounded, his injuries, his removal to hospital and details of death. I have corresponded with Scott before but his email address has obviously changed since then and his new details are not held on this site.

Cath

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Ian

I am trying to trace any info on my great-uncle John MacRae, born 26 May 1880 in Muir of Tarradale, Urray, Ross-shire and died 22 October 1914 in France/Flanders. He was Private 4692 in 1st Battalion Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. Killed in action in Western European Theatre. I think from his date of death that he may have been involved in the First Battle of Ypres but would be grateful for any info you can offer me.

Many thanks

Heather

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  • 1 month later...

Morning Ian & Patrick,

I'm looking into an ancestor, namely Simon McLeod (Serjeant No. 7761) of the 1st Bn. Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.

Apparently died of wounds on 5th November 1914 and is buried at the Wimereux Communal Cemetery.

Service number indicates that he joined the army circa late 1906.

Can you advise whether anything is recorded regarding Simon's death?

Where was the battalion posted since the start of WW1? I'd also be interested in knowing where the battalion was posted since 1906.

Simon McLeod also had two brothers serving in the same regiment (both of whom survived WW1), namely William Urquhart McLeod (Corporal 8960) and Alexander George McLeod (Private 23747 or 23444 (?).

Alexander was in the 7th Bn. however I don't know which battalion of the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders it was that William served in.

Is there any mention in the chronicles?

Although William survived WW1 and remained in the army until his discharge in 1932 as a WOII, he re-enlisted in the army in 1940,

He (William) was apparently wounded (shot in the right foot) in 1915.

They also had another brother (Ewen McLeod) serving in the Middlesex Regiment (for some unknown reason) who was also allegedly wounded five times including being bayoneted.

Many thanks in advance.

Aye/Ron

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Hi there

It might be tricky finding out about Simon McLeod. Wimereaux where he was buried was, I think a fair way behind the lines from the battalion's position at Ypres in October and November 1914 so I imagine he was transferred to to the hospital there prior to being in a Casualty Clearing Station an local hospital closer to the front. From 14-31 October 1914 the 1st Cameron Highlanders lost 38 officers and 1000 men and their war diary is handwritten and a bit of a muddle (certainly no mention of other ranks casualties). There might be something in the 79th News magazine but I doubt it - I think just lists of the men killed and wounded without the actual dates.

William Urquhart McLeod served in the 2nd Camerons Highlander. He landed in France on 20 December 1914 and was discharged from the Labour Corps sick in March 1919.

All the best

Patrick

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Hi there

It might be tricky finding out about Simon McLeod. Wimereaux where he was buried was, I think a fair way behind the lines from the battalion's position at Ypres in October and November 1914 so I imagine he was transferred to to the hospital there prior to being in a Casualty Clearing Station an local hospital closer to the front. From 14-31 October 1914 the 1st Cameron Highlanders lost 38 officers and 1000 men and their war diary is handwritten and a bit of a muddle (certainly no mention of other ranks casualties). There might be something in the 79th News magazine but I doubt it - I think just lists of the men killed and wounded without the actual dates.

William Urquhart McLeod served in the 2nd Camerons Highlander. He landed in France on 20 December 1914 and was discharged from the Labour Corps sick in March 1919.

All the best

Patrick

Thanks Patrick. Appreciated. I'm trying to get a photo of Simon McLeod's gravestone as well and find out more about his military service since joining the army.

As for William Urquhart McLeod, he may have been discharged from the Labour Corps (I didn't previously know that...thanks) however he remained in the army and was not discharged (as a WOII) until 1932. He re-joined the army in 1940 and was commissioned as Lt. (quartermaster) in the RASC and died of natural causes in Edinburgh in 1941.

Is the 79th News available online? Thanks.

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The 79th News isn't available online, sadly. The National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh have a set, and presumably so does the regimental museum at Fort George. I would try the latter if you are anywhere out of reach of Edinburgh. I am sure they can look it up for you.

I think the 1st Cameron Highlanders were in the UK from 1906-1914 with the 2nd Camerons serving abroad. Certainly in 1911, the 1st were in Oudenaarde Barracks in Farnborough. The 2nd Camerons were in India when the war broke out hence their date of arrival on the Western Front of 20 December 1914.

All the best

Patrick

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Thanks Patrick....just a tad out of reach of Edinburgh and Fort George.....I live in Hong Kong!

But may have a look when I next get back to Edinburgh.

I managed to obtain a photograph of the gravestone online. That was a bit of a surprise.

I'm also surprised at just how many of my ancestors/relations did serve in the Camerons, during WW1 and generations before that.

Anyway, thanks very much for your help.

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  • 9 months later...

Looking for any help/information on the following

Thomas Brady s/10763 - Cameron Highlanders 5th Battalion - kia 15/7/16. I have downloaded his service records & MIC and the war diary but the month of July 1916 is missing :-)

James Boles s/14136 - Cameron Highlanders - Battalion unknown - downloaded MIC which shows transferred to MGC No 11822. 15 Star annotated MGC/C4 other medals annotated MGC/101By - entered France 8/7/15. Believed wounded resulting in transfer to MGC. Not able to find any service records.

Thanks in anticipation

Regards

John

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  • 2 weeks later...

John. The history of the 5th Cameron Highlander. It mentions the battalion taking part in a renewed attack on "Waterlot Farm" on the 15th July 1916. "As soon as it was light parties of Cameron and Seaforth dashed forward and succeeded in establishing themselves in the enemy trenches east of the farm only to be driven out again by concentrated bombardment of high explosive shells. Before noon two platoons of "C" Company supported by two companies of the 4th South African Infantry once more penetrated the enemy's position; But before the line could be consolidated a fierce counter attack drove them back to "Longueval Alley" Waterlot Farm then became neutral ground, neither side allowing the other to take complete possession". It is also mentioned that the casualties were high with upwards of one hundred casualties to be recorded among the rank and file.

Aye Rob.

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