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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Very Scant Information


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Hi all

I would very much like to find service information on my family in WW1. I know certain limited info on a few individuals, some more than others. My Mum's side is better recorded than my Dad's, mainly due to being better hoarders ! My Dad's side suffered from grabby hands following funeral feeding frenzies and the relatives concerned probably threw out what they didn't want.

Apart from published unit and divisional info such as on Long, Long Trail website, it's hard for me to find out what my relatives did as individuals through various times in their service, where they were etc. It may be that for instance while their battalion was in the thick of battle, maybe the individual was on a course somewhere else or in sick bay.

I would therefore appreciate any information, even the tiniest snippets, which may help me form more of a picture of my relatives and what they did during their service as individuals, where they were etc. Unfortunately, service numbers are thin on the ground here as are DOB's ! But I will list what I know. What may be a small snippet to you will be a big help to me very much appreciated !

My Dad's side (pat = Gow, mat = Weir)


Granddad - James Gow born Dalnaspidal, Perthshire Pte 6th Batt Black Watch, 51st Highland Division, then Cpl Royal Scots Fusiliers. May have transferred to RSF's possibly after May 1918, as he recalled being present when the friendly-fire incident occurred in May 1918 where the 51st mistakenly fired on panicking Portuguese allies, fleeing across the 51st's positions and line of fire. Also, there used to be a photo at home of an American soldier he made friends with, dressed in Doughboy hat, shirt and tie and breeches (I can't remember if leggings or puttees). I presumed they became acquainted in France in 1918, but it's a tantalizing mystery.

William Younger Gow M.C. James' brother. Served as subaltern in 1/8th Royal Warwickshires.

I believe there were other Gow brothers but I don't know their service, though one may have been in the Scottish Horse. One brother though, Donald, was in the Hong Kong and Shangahi Bank and died in Shanghai in 1920 (buried in Bubbling Wells Cemetery, Shanghai).


Neil Weir born Glendaruel, Cowal, Argyll. Served in 8th Batt Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 51st Highland Division, then Cpl (?) Royal Scots Fusiliers. I believe he and my Granddad became friends in same RSF's battalion and Granddad later married Neil's sister, Margaret Ann Weir.

Donald Weir presumably born Glendaruel, Cowal, Argyll. From what I was told, he served in 8th Batt Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 51st Highland Division.

My Mum's side (pat = Montgomery, mat = Robertson)


Granddad Peter Montgomery born Pathhead Ford, Midlothian 1889. 300822 (revised number) Pte 2/7th Royal Scots, 65th (2nd Lowland) Division. Joined Dec 1914. Battalion piper. Served in Scotland, England, Ireland 1917. I have a thread on 2/7th RS with photos. Finished service with 4th (Reserve) Batt, Royal Scots as "Police".

John Montgomery brother (?) born Pathhead Ford (?). Pte Royal Scots. (2/7th ?)


David Elder Robertson born Musselburgh. L/Cpl S9365, 8th Batt Black Watch, 9th Scottish Division. KIA 3rd May 1917. Remembered on Arras Memorial. I have a thread on Gt Uncle David. Though I have some info, including letters, there are still many gaps for me, especially in his peacetime occupation, signing up date, his DOB and certain service details.

George Robertson brother of David. 86531 Pte RAMC (he may have served in RA at some stage as a photo seems to show).

Tom Robertson - brother of David. Pte Royal Engineers.


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Experience on the forum has taught me that you would be better making a separate thread for each man.

You have put a lot of information on your post about 4 (or more) men.

I would suggest that you then "feed" the separate men into the forum at about a weeks gap between each.

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For David Elder Robertson, there is 1 match on Scotlands People for a birth date of 1889 in Musselburgh (use full name and date of 1889 in that town) so it must be him.

So if you pay 7 pounds you can look that record up and a few others that you have listed above.

I presume you have these-



note the extra information on CWGC



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The service file of William Younger Gow M.C. is still held by the Ministry of Defence and should be accessible by next of kin (a direct descendant is best). His entry in the WO338 Index to the WO339 series of officers papers states "Gow, William Younger, Royal Warwickshire Regiment (6th of Foot), Second Lieutenant, Long number 163408 and P/125419/1. The P/ number denotes that the file has not been released into the Public Dimain due to post- WW1 service.

His MIlitary Cross was awarded in the King's Birthday Honours of 1919:

2nd Lt. William Younger Gow, R. War. R., attd. l/8th Bn., T.F.


Citations were not published for these awards.

His later service was in WW2 in the Royal Army Service Corps:

London Gazette 10-5-1940


The undermentioned to be 2nd Lts.: —

3rd Apr. 1940: —

Lt. William Younger Gow, M.C. (125419), late R. War. R.


Other listings:

London Gazette 26-11-1919

R. War. R.

Temp. 2nd Lt. H. L. Morgan to be temp. Lt. 1 Feb. 1919, with precedence next below W. Y. Gow, M.C.


(Although I can't find the specific Gazette entry this suggests that WIlliam Gow was also promoted to Lieutenant effective from 1st February 1919).

London Gazette 22-11-1921

War Office,

22nd November, 1921.



Service Battalions.

The undermentioned relinquish their commissions on completion of service: —

1 Sept. 1921.

Warwick. R.

Temp. Lts., and retain the rank of Lt.: —

W. Y. Gow, M.C.

C. S.. Lamb.

F. N. Lawrence, M.C.

C. J. Mansell, M.C.


I don't know whether you have realised already but you seem to be related to Forum member "Malcolm" by William Gow.




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Thank you all for the efforts you put in for me.

As you say, it's probably best to enquire one by one, but the detail so far, esp on details of Willie Gow, is much appreciated.

Thanks again.

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