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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

3/3 Scottish Highlanders, 8th Blackwatch & 1/4 Gordon Highlanders


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I have been searching my Great Grandfathers WW1 service.

I have amazingly found his Service Record on Ancestry.com

He originally enlisted in June 1916 and was signed up to the 3/3 Scottish Horse.

He embarked in October 1917 and is listed as being of the 8s BN Black Watch,

he was then transferred at the 18 I.B. Depot to the 1/4th Battalion Highlanders.

He was then Killed in Action on the 21/11/1917.

Does anybody have any information about these units around these times?

Is there a war diary for the 1/4th Gordron Highlanders for October - November 1917?

Id apprecaite any help



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1/4 Gordons (Territorials) were involved at Menin Road in late September 1917 and Bourlon Wood in late November 1917 as part of the 51st Highland Division. Details are here on the Long,Long Trail-


Bourlon Wood seems to coincide with your Great Grandfathers date of death.

One of the forum members (4thGordons) may be able to help you more with the war diaries. His website on the 4th Gordons is here-


Others may be able to help you more if you could provide his name and regimental number.

Scottish Horse were Yeomanry and I think (could be wrong) 3/3 would be home service- someone may correct me on that.

Hope that helps,


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Until the real experts arrive, I can help a little. The 8th Btn, Black Watch, ( Royal Highlanders) was in 26th Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division. 12 October 1917 was the action of St Julien, part of IIIYpres. 4th Gordons was 51st Div. A mainly TF division. 21/11/17 was a week or so after the end of IIIYpres and I have no information on where 51st Div were then.

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Thanks for the info guys.

I have managed to get hold of Chris from the 4th Gordons website and have had a look at the Battalions war diaries...very interesting!

Hope to hear more about the battalions.

His name was George Watson Stewart

S-23373 & S-41655

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Whilst this does not help directly,it is from the History of the 8th Royal Scots,Pioneer Battalion to the 51st(Highland)Division.

First Battle of Cambrai.

For the two weeks prior to the Battle of Cambrai,on 19th November 1917,the Battalion was engaged in the secret work of reconstructing the Village of Metz-en-Coutre,so as to make it capable of holding the Division,to allow them to concentrate for the attack.This was successfully achieved under the very eyes of the enemy without their knowledge.The Division entered the village in anticipation of the usual uncomfortable night before an attack,but so delighted were they with their homes,that they expressed the wish that there might be an attack more oftener.


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Hi Toby

The 51st Divisional History records the following for the 4th Gordons on 21 November 1917;

The 4th Gordon Highlanders advanced towards Cantaing Trench at 10.30am they came under machine gun and light trench mortar fire from the village which held up the advance until noon. Then ten tanks arrived and were followed by B Company, 4th Gordons who entered Cantaing and after a little street fighting 300 prisoners were taken.

At the south eastern end of the village the enemy were still holding out and D Company, 4th Gordons forced their way through the wire to a position on the Cantaing-Flesquieres Roadbut could make no more progress. The pocket of resistance was only mopped up at 3pm when a tank arrived. B and D Companies consolidated the line north and north east of the village and A and C Companies connected them to the 29th Division on their right flank in Nine Wood.

Subsequently 3 Squadrons of the Queens Bays and the 9th Cavalry Brigade Machine Gun Squadron arrived and consolidated the 4th Gordons position. The 4th Gordons were then relieved by the 9th Royal Scots. When the Highland Division was relieved on the night of 23/24th November they had advanced 5 miles from their start position on 20 November.

Hope this helps a bit


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