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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Gordon Highlanders


KILTY

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Loving the photos of the Black Watch Battalions. Would appreciate something similar featuring the Gordon Highlanders. Can any Pals oblige.

John.

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Loving the photos of the Black Watch Battalions. Would appreciate something similar featuring the Gordon Highlanders. Can any Pals oblige.

John.

Chris

EDIT: I have removed the link to my pictures as since it has been up some of them appear to have been used elsewhere (in a for profit context) without my permission.

Edited by 4thGordons
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Nice photos Chris. I don't suppose you have one of L/Cpl S/41599 Murdoch Urquhart, do you?

Mike

Not to my knowledge - sorry. I have over a hundred now I think but very few are identified. I have a couple Id'd as 4th Bn so he may be on those as they mostly predate Nov 1917

I do have a description of the action in which I believe he was killed, you may have seen it before but in case you have not: (my uncorrected transcription)

NOVEMBER 21st

Assembled in position along RAILWAY LINE and remained there till 8am when information was received that FLESQUIERS had fallen and we could advance.

Arranged with O.C> 7th A & S Highrs to state at 8:30 am Advance commenced in Artillery formation of Platoons and was continued till 300 yards short of SUNKEN ROAD from GRAINCOURT to MARCOING where 5th Seaforth Highlanders and 8th A. & S. Highrs were holding outposts.

Good touch was kept with 7th A & S Highrs on left who had met opposition from ANNEUX and had extended. No troops advanced on our right. No Opposition as yet on Battalion Front. Outposts of the 5th Seaforth Highrs and 8th A & S Highrs reported that the enemy held CANTAING

Heavy Rifle and Machine Gun fire was going on on 7th A & S Highrs Front and their line was not forward on the left. Reconnaissance of CANTAING was made and reports confirmed that the village was held by enemy who seemed reluctant to fire and allowed a good inspection to be made. Wire and trenches both were much more formidable than expected.

No casualties or no shelling up to this stage.

Battalion H.Qrs was still marching between two REAR Coys.

Attack was ordered for 10.30am in accordance with scheme pre-arranged.

At 10.5 am message arrived stating tanks would assist and arrive at 10 am, none were in sight at 10.17am. Two guns of C Battery 70th Brigade RFA arrived and took up position at 10.15am at L.8.c.80.80opened fire at 10.45 and did very good executions.

At 10.30 am no tanks in sight the attack commenced.

Enemy withheld fire till waves were well on move and then joined with 4 or 5 MDs in trench and two in high buildings.

Fire was also opened from Light Trench Mortars

A sharp encounter started.

“C’ Company which was to work around RIGHT of the village was the only Company to get any way ahead,,

“D” Company was completely held up. Heavy casualties were incurred here. CAPTAIN SKAKLE and LIEUT. GIBSEON were both killed.

“A” and “B” Coys were in support and ordered not to become involved in the fight. Sniping from building was very accurate RFA Guns worked splendidly MGC and TM battery were kept in reserve.

Tanks appeared in sight from PREMY CHAPEL and entered EAST end of Village at 12:35pm followed by infantry. A Coy was ordered to follow the tanks.

Heavy fighting then took place in the streets but village was all cleared by 2 pm except a strong pocket on CAINTAING ROAD to L.3.a.5.9 which held out to 3pm. They were in both systems of trenches and prevented any advance on NORTH OF ROAD CANTAING-FLESQUIERS. The road itself, being sunken, was passable to small parties.

Trench Mortars were then ordered up but did not manage to clear up the pocket. This was eventually done by a tank.

The three companies involved in the fight had, by the time the village was cleared, become disorganized The advance was proceeded with but soon became disjointed, especially as the two LEFT companies could not advance past pocket. Touch could not be established despite their being little resistance on the RIGHT flank, the forward movement came to a standstill with two Coys WEST of CANTAING VILLAGE and two Coys holding line from NINE WOOD to F.38 d.5.9. There was no touch with 7th A & S Highrs and their progress was unknown.

Village was shelled immediately we occupied it

Three Squadrons of cavalry arrived which I took command of and posted round the village.

In all about 300 prisoners were captured

I then saw the e Commanding Officer of the 9th Royal Scots who said he was ordered not to go through my Battalion and as I could not hope to hold out against any counter attack I asked for relief. The Battalion was then re-organised and took up a line roughly from F.37 central through F38 a. 9.8 , F36 D Central to L.10 Central where touch was established with the 39th Division.

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Thanks Chris, Very good Photos.

do you have any photos of Lt Stitt. Pl Comd during the Great War,he when on to command a Bn of Gordons in WW2?

also a Pte Center who was a POW in the Great War?

Many Thanks

Joe

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