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Gordon Highlanders

John Guthrie

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Hi can anyone help, my great uncle was killed in ww1 while serving in the !st battalion the Gordon Highlanders.

Name: Norman Guthrie

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Pvt

Regiment: Gordon Highlanders

Age: 31

Date of death: 14/12/1914

Service Number: 3/7286

Aditional Information: Son of mrs Isabella Guthrie, of 10 lytham Cottages, Church street, Newton heath, Manchester. Son of the late John Guthrie.

Casualty Type: Commenwelth war dead

Grave/memorial refrence: 11/E/17

cemetry: loker churchyard

Can anyone help find out any more info.



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The churchyard at Loker contains seven soldiers who were killed around the same time. They were all part of 3 Division's troops based in the area near Ypres. It is probable that your G/U was involved in the Battle of Wytschaete on that day,and MAY have been wounded and brought to the Casualty Clearing Station near where he was buried because that was a burial ground for the CCS. It was around 7 miles West of Ypres,so well behind our front line.

If you want to read about the events leading up to his death you can access the 1 GH War Diary at Kew,which is under WO95/1421 and runs from Aug 1914 to Oct 1915. You could pay for 10 pages which costs 8.50 from the National Archives Catalogue Digital Express service. If it was me I would pay from a couple of days after his death and then back in time until the 10 pages is reached. This might then give more details of his wounding/death.

Here a page from the Long Long Trail at top left of this page about the battle:



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Thankyou very much, i will do that.

SDGW gives: (in addition to the CWGC information you have)

Enlisted Manchester and DIED OF WOUNDS

John there is a summary of the 1st Bn Diary HERE although it does not help much with your particular dates

I am sure you are aware of the somewhat controversial history of the 1st Bn in late August 1914.

By Dec 2nd 1914 the Bn was at Locre

On the 14th the Bn was involved in some fairly heavy fighting - a series of anglo-french actions (Brit 3rd Div / 8th Bde)

"The 8th Bde attacked with the 1st Gordon Highlanders on the right against Maedelstede Farm, on the Kemmel-Wyschaete road, the 2nd Royal Scots on the left against a copse known as Petit Bois. The artillery of three divisions took part in the preliminary bombardment but, for lack of ammunition, it lasted only three-quarters of an hour. The advance began at 7.45am, was at once met by heavy rifle and machine-gun fire. Some men of one of the leading companies of the 1st Gordons were seen to jump into a trench 300yards from the British line. Then followed an eclipse of vision common in the operations of that war. No one returned with news and no one could get forward to obtain any.

At last, at 3.55pm the report came through that a line of men was lying fifty yards short of the German trench. Preparations were made fir a renewal of the attack, but finding the German wire intact the Commanding Officer , Major A W F Baird had the strength of mind to cancel the attack on his own initiative. After dark the survivors were withdrawn, including a small party found to have entered an advance trench. The 2nd Royal Scots did get in and took a number of prisoners.

The losses of the 1st Gordon Highlanders were heavy......[omit individual officers names]...Of the rank and file 51 were killed, 123 were wounded and 69 missing, a total of 253."(Cyril Falls - Life of a Regiment pp32-35)

I may have the diary for the relevant period but I will have to look when I get home.

In addition to the Bn diary if you want background on the action itself you might have a look at the 8th Bde diary also.

Hope this helps







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Thanks very much chris, much appreciated.

I've just got the 3 div, 8 infantry at the moment and when i'm done with them i'll go onto the 1st batt GH.

I'm suprised at the amount of fighting that they did in 1914 alone Le Chateau, Marne (1914, and 1918) Ypres 1914.


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