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Remembered Today:

1/9th Royal Scots Battle of Menin Road Ridge


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Hello all

My father passed away recently, but over the past few years he had been researching his uncle and fathers military history, he had pretty much pinned down his uncle but had only just started on his father. Ive picked up what he had and taken it a little further but Im after some help :D

Ok my grandfather joined the 1/9th Royal Scots in Manchester in Novemeber 1914, he was sent to France and was awarded the military medal for actions on the 20th/21st September 1917. At this time the Royal Scots were part of the 51st Highland Division so after a little digging I have managed to find :-

His medal record for the MM

The report in the London Gazette

After more digging I know that the 51st Highland Division were involved in the battle of Menin Road Ridge on those dates.

What I was wondering was if anyone here had access to the War Diaries of the regiment or division and if there was any mention of why my grandfather was awarded the military medal.

There is also a family story that after being wounded in France he was brought back to UK and based at Edinburgh Castle. One night whilst on guard duty a deserter escaped from the toilet and climbed down the cliff and escaped along Princess Street. The story goes that he was subjected to a Court Martial but was exonerated. I have contacted the archivist of Edinburgh castle but they had no records realting to court martials etc, is there anyway this could be traced/verified??

Many thanks , any help greatfully received.

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It may be worth changing the title of your Thread to the 1/9th Royal Scots or the Black Watch may descend upon you. :D

These extracts are from the sister Battalion,1/8th Royal Scots War Diary and give an indication of the conditions.

20th September-The attack commenced at 5.40 a.m.At this hour and up to 9.30 a.m. the weather did not promise well,a heavy drizzle of rain falling,but it cleared up early in the forenoon.Intermittent work,by the Battalion, was undertaken on the Langemark Road due to enemy shelling.The attack had been a success all objectives having been gained.

21st September-Company working on the Langemark Road made good progress until about noon when work had to be discontinued owing to shelling.Another Company had a quiet time and made good progress until they came upon a very low lying piece of ground which will take a lot of work before the formation can be made,in parts it is nothing more or less than a swamp,

Note, I have edited these extracts.

It is rare for War Diaries to record the actual deeds that led to the awards of bravery Medals,although sometimes they may record the actual day the award was granted and a little background information.

If you change the title of your Thread you may attract the interest of Colleagues who have copies of the 9th War Diary.

As an aside I have a Booklet entitled "Manchester Scottish,The story of the Manchester contingent of the 15th Battalion,Royal Scots 1914-1918 by Roger J Dowson.In addition it lists all Manchester men who joined the Royal Scots during WW1.Is this your Grandfather Sullivan Pte James 350712 9th,later 4th RS.Lived at 16 Hutton St,Hulme?

Welcome to the Forum,by the way.


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George - thank you for the reply - thread title now changed, thats what comes of trying to make a post in the early morning :D

I bought my father a copy of that very same book, and yes that is my grandfather :D You should also find my Great uncle Frank Sullivan listed in there (I think my mum gave the book away upon my fathers death, will have to track another copy down).

I know its a long shot that he might actually be mentioned by name in the war diaries, but Im hoping I might get lucky. I never knew my grandfather but am enjoying researching him.

PS I notice from trawling your old threads that you spent a lot of time in Aberdeen, looks like we swapped places, I live in Aberdeen now and you are in Macclesfield, while I was brought up in Glossop.

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You'll gather my interest lies in the 8th Royal Scots,however,if you check out Forum Colleague,John Duncan's web-site-Newbattle at War-you will find, in the Photogallery section, over 100 photos of men who served in the 9th RS.I don't know if your Grandfather appears but at least you'll "meet" some of his mates.

Glad to be of some assistance to you.


p.s. my old drinking holes were the Blue Lamp in the Gallowgate or the Spiders Web in Dyce. ;)

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