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Remembered Today:

Pte Francis Bremner, Royal Scots Fusiliers


sgmcgregor

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Hello everyone,

I have a newspaper article, from the John O'Groat Journal, regarding a Private Francis Bremner, serving with the Royal Scots Fusiliers. In the article, dated 24th November 1916, it is reported that Francis is a prisoner in Germany. He is the brother-in-law of three Miller brothers who were all serving with the Canadian Forces. All of the men were native to Thrumster, Wick, Caithness, Scotland.

There was an article printed three days earlier in another newspaper, the Northern Ensign, issue dated 21st November 1916, which gave a bit more detail. It says that the family in Thrumster receives a postcard weekly from "Dulmen", which lets the family know that Francis is "doing well".

Is there any way to try and research Francis Bremner, and what happened to him? Where were the Scots Fusiliers serving during the war, and how may Francis have been captured? Is it more likely that he was taken prisoner during a British attack on German lines; in an attack by the Germans on British Lines; or maybe if Francis had been on patrol, or in an advanced sentry post?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Steven

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Hi Steven

The best place to start is LLT with the link above

From - http://www.1914-1918.net/rsfus.htm

Do you know which battalion he was in?

Do you have his service number?

I can only find 2 MIC's on National Archives - http://www.nationala...pe=1=*

No Francis in the RS Fusiliers- http://www.nationala...rst%5Fdate+desc

Also some war diaries are online-

http://www.nationala...pe=1=*

They will tell you what happened the day he was captured

Here is a bit on POW's-

http://www.1914-1918...grandad/pow.htm

If you can get his service details the Red Cross should have a record on him - see link on that page

http://www.1914-1918...andad/camps.htm

Hope this gives you a start

regards

Robert

Robert,

Thanks for the information, and the comprehensive set of links. I'll get down to some reading soon. I see that "Dulmen" which was mentioned in one article appears on the list of POW camps, so that confirms the story that was printed.

I may also try going back to earlier newspapers to see if I can find other references to Francis in earlier issues. It may help firm up some other details, but I won't hold my breath.

I'll also try the National Archives website and go through the Bremner matches for service records to see if I can find anything that may be him.

Regards,

Steven

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An additional query here,

I read through the page for the Royal Scots Fusiliers, but there is no mention of "16th Royal Scots", or did I miss it?

I have found a marriage record for Francis Bremner in Edinburgh in 1915, and it states his profession as a gardener, but then also notes below "Private 16th Royal Scots". Is the reference to "16th" the Battalion's number, or could it denote something else?

I think I will take a chance on the Francis R Bremner medal card on the National Archives website just to see if it could be the same man. Would it note on there if he had been taken prisoner? I imagine that would be the only way to know for sure if it is the same man.

>>>ADDED>>> Sorry, my mistake, it is 6th Royal Scots. There was a mark on the record and I thought it said 16th!!!

Regards,

Steven

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An additional query here,

I read through the page for the Royal Scots Fusiliers, but there is no mention of "16th Royal Scots", or did I miss it?

I have found a marriage record for Francis Bremner in Edinburgh in 1915, and it states his profession as a gardener, but then also notes below "Private 16th Royal Scots". Is the reference to "16th" the Battalion's number, or could it denote something else?

I think I will take a chance on the Francis R Bremner medal card on the National Archives website just to see if it could be the same man. Would it note on there if he had been taken prisoner? I imagine that would be the only way to know for sure if it is the same man.

>>>ADDED>>> Sorry, my mistake, it is 6th Royal Scots. There was a mark on the record and I thought it said 16th!!!

Regards,

Steven

Stephen -beware of confusing the Royal Scots with the Royal Scots Fusiliers - they are two seperate regiments.

This confusion is nothing new - newspapers of the time frequently mistakenly put men from one into the other. And just to complicate matters the regiments (at least the Regular Army battalions of the two regiments) were on very good terms with each other, and frequently lent each other officers and you'll find plenty of medal cards of men who served in both regiments.

William

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If Francis Bremner was indeed in the Royal Scots Fusiliers, then his name doesn't appear in "Soldiers who died in the GW" for any of the battalions of that regiment, so at least you know he survived the war.

But if he was a Royal Scot then I can't help you. :whistle:

William

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William,

Thank you for that new piece of information. I had assumed that "Royal Scots" and "Royal Scots Fusiliers" were indeed one and the same.

I know that I often abbreviate things, and I know people often shorten words or phrases, or names, and the shortened version becomes common usage. I simlpy thought that the newspaper articles were referring to Royal Scots Fusiliers as there are articles that state he was "Royal Scots", and another that states he was "Scots Fusiliers". So did the newspaper get it wrong, or confused? Is the marriage record which sated "Royal Scots" more liely to be correct? Well, that is why it is always worth asking so many questions - and i ask more questions than I answer.:blush:

As I have so little knowledge when it comes to military matters, I have tried to repay the favour on this forum. I was, and still am, researching a soldier of the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders, and have offered to do look-ups for people in the War Diary for this Battalion, which I own. It is the only way I feel that I am able to contribute meaningfully to this wonderful forum. Answering a question helps make up for all of the questions I keep asking!:w00t:

Well, this is something to try and figure out - Royal Scots; or Royal Scots Fusiliers. As a matter of interest, were the recruiting areas similar? At the time of marriage, Francis Bremner has two addresses recorded for his home - 1) 111 George Square, Edinburgh, and 2) 12 Lower Granton Road, Leith. The second address was in brackets, as was the mention of 6th Royal Scots, so maybe the second address is related to the military occupation?

Kind Regards,

Steven

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The MIC for Pte 25183 Francis R Bremner Royal Scots holds very little additional information only that of his medal entitlement and roll numbers. I would have thought he would have a TF number if he was with the 6th Bn,

Jon

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Thanks Jon,

I guess that the record doesn't help identify whether this is the same man. I have looked on the NA website, as suggested by earlier links. I know a lot of WW1 records were destroyed, but do all of the MIC cards still exist, or were some of those lost too?

There don't seem to be any other matches for this Francis Bremner in the catalogue, so if all of the MIC records are intact, then it must be him. Yes?

I haven't yet gone back to the newspapers, so will have another trawl through the stories to see if anything else comes up that may be of help.

Regards,

Steven

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I think there's a strong posibility that this is your man and I'm lead to believe that the MICs are intact. Ancestry.co.uk have pension papers for a Francis Bremner of Wick, Caithness dated 1909 but this Francis served with the Seaforths' and was discharged with a SWB in 1917.

Since there is no date of entry on the MIC this would suggest that he didn't arrive overseas until after 31st December 1915. The newspaper article would also suggest that he had been a PoW for several weeks. Once we can establish for sure which battalion he served with a search of that units war diary may reveal when he was taken PoW - it could be a check of the actual medal rolls at the NA to confirm this,

Jon

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Jon,

Thanks yet again. You've been very helpful.

I'll keep looking into this and hopefully find some more detail which will allow me to progress further.

Regards,

Steven

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Well, this is something to try and figure out - Royal Scots; or Royal Scots Fusiliers. As a matter of interest, were the recruiting areas similar? At the time of marriage, Francis Bremner has two addresses recorded for his home - 1) 111 George Square, Edinburgh, and 2) 12 Lower Granton Road, Leith. The second address was in brackets, as was the mention of 6th Royal Scots, so maybe the second address is related to the military occupation.

Steven

Don't worry, the Royal Scots/Royal Scots Fusiliers confusion does, always has and always will, trip people up.:blush:

As a rule of thumb, Royal Scots (1st Regiment of Foot) recruited from Edinburgh, Lothian and Fife. The Royal Scots Fusiliers (21st Regiment of Foot) from Ayr, Ayrshire and Glasgow. The Royal Scots are the more famous of the two, and a rather bigger regiment with more battalions.

But the Regular battalions of both regiments had plenty of Englishmen, and Scots from all over Scotland; the Territorial and New-Army battalions of both regiments had Scots from West, East and North Scotland (but far fewer Englishmen).

So a central Edinburgh/Leith man would be far more likely to be recruited into the Royal Scots than the RSF.

William

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Thanks William,

The military research has all been a steep learning curve. Hopefully some of it will stick the more I look into the family background.

Regards,

Steven

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Steven,

As far as we can ascertain, only those taken prisoner who were entitled to the 1914 or 1914/5 star have PoW on their MICs. That does not mean that all PoWs who were entitled to those medals have PoW on their MICs but those who were not entitled to them do not.

Doug

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  • 4 months later...

Doug,

One of my Great Uncles was with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, he was reported missing but managed to get a mention in The Scotsman in December 1916 "Previously reported missing, now reported as Prisoners of War in German Hands -

Royal Scots Fusiliers - Allan - 43085 - J Dumfries" there were other guys on the list but I cut it short as I was only interested in James (how selfish!). I wasn't able to get his service record as it looks as though it may have been burnt. I am sure that The Scotsman offers access to their archives every now and then, this may be a possible avenue to explore.

James was in the Royal Scots 1/10th Cyclists but jumped the dyke to the Fusiliers in June 1916 as the Cyclists weren't going abroad they were on coastal defence duties.

Hope this gives you a start.

Swally Article From the Scotsman.doc

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