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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Pte. John Kane, 17th Royal Scots


BottsGreys
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I just wanted honor this young man who would never see his 23rd birthday. See photo below and the reverse on following post. Photo does not appear to be from life, but instead a copy photo the father had made for family members (see reverse inscription). The spot on his face is "in the image," so therefore it either was on the negative, or most likely on the original "from life" image the father took to the photo lab.

Chris

Name: KANE, JOHN
Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment: Royal Scots
Unit Text: 17th Bn.
Age: 22
Date of Death: 17/05/1916
Service No: 24795
Additional information: Son of Peter Kane, of 533, Great Northern Rd., Aberdeen.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: III. F. 16.
Cemetery: LE TOURET MILITARY CEMETERY, RICHEBOURG-L'AVOUE

post-1-1084754703.jpg

post-1571-0-56541500-1392943474_thumb.jp

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  • 9 years later...

Hi,

Just picked up your post. I am a relative of John Kane from Aberdeen. John was my fathers uncle and I have been trying to find out about him for many years now. I do have some information on his battalion etc as you have noted below.

I do not have any photographs of any kind.

It would be great to hear if you have any further information that you could share with me.

Thank you

Colin Barclay.

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Hi Colin:

Welcome to the Forum. Tonight, I will re-load the missing pics into the posts above (they were lost during a Forum upgrade a while back). DONE
Once you have 5 posts to your name, you can use the Forum's Personal Messager (PM). If you want, you can then send me a PM with your email address (not a good idea to post it openly here for the whole world to see), and I will send you a higher- resolution scan of the photo.

In the meantime, perhaps some of the Forum's knowledgable Scottish researchers can add something regarding John Kane or the action in which he was killed.

Chris

Edited by BottsGreys
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Below is the pic with a little contrast manipulation. A Forum pal is kindly trying to alleviate the dark spot in the center of his face.

Chris

post-1571-0-14192600-1392944087_thumb.jp

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Bar5760:

In your inquiry of Feb. 20th, you stated that you have no pics of your relative John Kane; therefore, I rescanned and reposted the images in this thread. In addition, a Forum pal (while on a business trip, no less) kindly reworked the image to remove the spot in the center of the face--a higher-resolution pic which I was going to email you. Regrettably, you have chosen not to follow-up on your inquiry despite having visited the Forum on at least two occasions after my posts. Disappointing to say the least, which leads me to wash my hands of you.

Chris

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Thank you for your arrogant reply. In the meantime I have done some research of my own and have found the original postcard with the handwritten message to his family which I was going to put on the site. I also have another postcard with a photo of his batallion coming into Selkirk, Scotland, with another message to his family. I also have in my possession his war bible with clear indication of what would appear to be blood stains on it. My family and I have also visited his grave and laid a wreath of heather for him. I am sorry you feel the need to be so rude. I have a career and family to provide for and cannot spend a lot of time on the forum. Please feel free to contact me again, in a polite manner, if you wish me to pass on the detail on the postcards. Your interest in a member of my family is intriguing and somewhat puzzling. Do you have a connection to Johnny?

Regards

Colin

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  • 3 months later...

Hello Colin and Chris

I cannot tell you how delighted I was to come across your posts, while doing a search for information on my Great Uncle, John Kane. To see a photo of him, too, is amazing.

Colin, it would be great to compare the family information we have and my Mum has a lovely picture of our Great-Grandma, Jane, Johnny's Mum, which you may like to see?

Kind regards

Elaine Rennie

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I think the 17/RS was a BANTAM Bn in the 35th Divn. They weren't overseas very long before he was killed. He would have been awarded a British War Medal & Victory Medal for his service.

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Hi Second Lieutenant

Thank you very much for this information. Do you know where they were sent so I can try to establish at which battle he was killed?

Thank you again

Elaine

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Elaine

The 17th Battalion the Royal Scots were in France an on 17th May 1916 were in the front line near Ferme du Bois near Festubert. This was during day-to-day trench warfare rather than a large battle.

On that day the battalion war diary reported: 'Heavy shelling with 77mm on right of our front line and on Rope C.Trench [communication trench] . Very hot. 10 killed and died of wounds, 2 wounded.'

John was presumably killed by this German 77mm artillery fire in either the front line or in the area of Rope Trench which can be identified on trench maps if you wish to visit the area in the future.

Kind regards

Colin

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Hi Elaine:

I'm happy you found this thread--it's always a pleasure to hear from a relative of a soldier being researched. It's nice that this thread has come back to life after 10 years. I have sent you a personal message via the Forum. Hopefully, you will receive it and if you reply to it with your email address, I will send you a b/w scan of the photo in which a Forum member has removed much of the spot on John's face.

Chris

CWT:

Thanks for providing the 17th R. Scots war diary information regarding the day of John Kane's death--very much appreciated.

Chris

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Hi Elaine,

If you did not know, the BANTAM units were made up of men who were shorter than average height but were eager to serve. A full Divison was raised of them, 35th Bantam Divn. As time progressed & they were in combat the losses could not be made up with men who were of the vertically challenged group. So needs of war had men of average height sent to the units & i thinkl by end of war they were "Bantam" in name only. They had a reputation as ferocious fighters & came into their element as trench raiders too. I've read that when behind the lines & before shipping overseas, the were often quite unruly in pubs & establishments & many run ins with MPs! But top notch soldiers in battle.

There is a book some yrs ago called THE BANTAMS by Sydney Alanson I think it is that tells the story of this Divn & many anecdotes & accounts of the fighting they took part in.

You're fortunate to have a photo of him to treasure & pass on to future generations. Good luck in your search.

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Hi Colin

Thank you very much for this information on the location where John was killed and for taking the trouble to include the battalion war dairy information for the day. I will certainly be researching this further, out of respect for my Great Uncle and the sacrifice he made and I will add all the information I have been given to our family tree.

Thank you again for all your help.

Thank you very much to all contributors - it it fantastic that you are all giving your time to remember and honour these brave souls. It is astonishing to see a photo of my Great Uncle, with a handwritten message from my Great Grandfather and find out so much about him, nearly 100 years after his death.

Kindest regards

Elaine

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Hi Second Lieutenant

Thank you very much for this most interesting information about the battalion and for taking the time to pass this information to me, I really appreciate.

Kindest regards

Elaine

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You're very welcome Elaine. I can't recall where I read this but when those units of bantams took over trenches from other units there was a problem at times. Seems the trenches were too deep for the shorter men to man them so the fire steps had to built up or the parapets shortened so they could use them. When other units moved in again they had to redo them to once more be deeper! Makes sense unless relieved by other bantam units then no problem but if relieved by another divn it was needed to be done. Hope you can find that book I mentioned & read it, very good in my opinion.

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Regarding John Kane being in a Bantam unit. Today I went into my collection to retrieve the original postcard, and in his file, I found 9 pages of his service record that I forget that I found on Ancestry.com and printed off several years ago. His enlistment forms show John Kane was five feet, two and one quarter inches tall. I believe the regulation height for enlistment was five feet, three inches, but had been adjusted downward by 24/5/1915 when John enlisted.

Chris

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just to round this out, I am happy to say the original photo postcard shown above is now in Elaine"s possession, she being the great niece of Pte. John Kane. My thanks to all who have contributed to this thread.

Chris

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