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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Can this soldier be identified?


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I came came across this grave in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery.


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If it was me,with only a passing knowledge of SDGW,which I have been told can be interrogated on a PC,I would see if it was possible to list all the HLI Sergeants who are shown as died in the Great War and shorten the list down to those missing or unknown graves etc,reducing it further by keeping those who served in the Ypres area. A big job,I suspect !

I hope to learn something from my statement myself,as there is bound to be an expert here who will say what CAN be done !

Best wishes


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Seven HLI serjeants are reported as missing on the Menin Gate. I haven't researched Tyne Cot. Perhaps that is not required but hopefully someone will keep me right on that one!

Those on Menin Gate are :-

Britten J - 2bn - died 23/10/1914

McShane B -2bn - died 14/11/1914

Keenan T -1bn - died 27/04/1915

Milroy J - 11bn - died 19/12/1915

Lunn W - 12bn - died 28/07/1915

McAndrew P - 10/11th - died 31/07/1915

Ramage A - 12th - died 1/08/1917 [DCM, MM & bar]

Thanks Sotonmate, I've got a bit of research done tonight which I will gradually upload.

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There are approximately 25 HLI burials in YRC plus this one.

This man is buried in plot 6 (roman numerals) grave ref 6D39.

Also in plot 6 are 9 HLI men, 8 of whom died mid November/early December 1915. They are all 10/11 bn.

5 men are adjacent to 6D39.

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Hi Unitedsound

The possibilitly of identifing a unknown grave is small.

The first question you need to ask is are you 100 percent certain that this

grave is a sergeant of the Highland Light Infantry.

Misidentification did occur and quite often.

Secondly as you know many Regiments raised twenty, sometimes

thirty battalions and many of these went to France and Flanders and fought

over the same areas of ground with some Divisions almost exclusively

made from the same regiment.The 36th (Ulster)Division was one.

In Poelcapelle there is a grave of a unidentified Captain of the 14th

Canadian Battalion and if we except the identification it almost certainly

has to be Captain R Steacie k.i.a on the 22nd of April 1915 but is it him.

Based just on that information the MOD will not except it.

Do look into it ,I,ve found it a great education but beware its a minefield.

All the best Mick

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It occurred to me last night after I had closed down that you could look a few hundred metres away from the YRC on the Menin Gate for a short list,but.................... !

Another angle might be a read of the War Diary(ies) of HLI units around. The 10 and 11 Battalion Diaries might give up a name.

WO95/1775 covers both 10 and 11 from May 1915 to May 1916.

WO95/1952 covers 11 from May 1916 to May 1918.


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Also into the equation you need to add all Corporals as men also acted in rank.

Also men were attached to other battalions and this doesn,t always show

up on the CWGC website so he may be commemorated on another memorial.

Even now names are being added to memorials so also included the small possibility

that his name may not be on any of them.

It becomes more and more complex.


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Thanks Sotonmate and Mick.

My guess is that this is the grave of John Milroy, but as you say, we'll probably never know for sure.

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