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Remembered Today:

15th Battalion Royal Scots - David S Boath 26388


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Hi all,

First time poster here. Excellent forum and would greatly appreciate some help from the good sorts here...

My great grandfather:

Private David Shepherd Boath 26388 - 3rd Battalion Royal Scots - Later 15th Battalion.

Went missing on the 28th of April 1917 and spent the rest of the war as a POW returning to the UK Xmas day 1918.

Would love if anyone could shed any details on the activities of the 15th Royal Scots on that day?

I assume he was part of the Arras campaign and may have been captured in one of the pushes around Roeux?

His active service casualty form states that he was reported missing at "Bois" which is French for Woods so not sure if anyone can help on this.

Many thanks for any assistance.



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On the 28th and 29th April, the 34th Div of which 15th RS was a part of, was involved in the Battle of Arleux, part of the Arras offensive, what little I can see says it was successful, but there was a counter attack on part of the advance and resulted in a temporary retreat, that battle seems the most likely.

There's a book on the 34th Div linked at the bottom of the page about it on the LLT http://www.1914-1918.net/34div.htm someone may also be able to point you in the direction of the Bn or Div War diary.


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This precis is taken from the Book-Manchester Scottish(The story of the Manchester contingent of the 15th Battalion,Royal Scots 1914-1918 with a record of Manchester and Salford men who served in the regiment)-by Roger J. Dowson-.

Should you wish to consider purchasing a copy(I'm assuming you do not live in UK) you should write to Neil Richardson,88,Ringley Road,Stoneleigh,Radcliffe,Manchester,M26 1ET,England,enclosing a stamped addressed envelope, for a current list of local history publications available by post.

The Second Battle of Arras(28 April 1917)

"Between 150 and 200 men got through the initial attack and re-formed along the road between the village and the Scarpe and followed the barrage to their objective,finding little opposition in Roeux itself.However,they were now cut off and short of ammunition,with the enemy firing on them from the left and rear.

At 8.30am there was also a counter attack from the front.It became necessary to withdraw,but there were Germans in the wood to their rear and the survivors were now unable to hold the road to the river because of enemy fire from the village.The thirty or so men remaining tried to escape by taking to the river and swimming back upstream.However,many of them were suffering from wounds and captured".


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Hi as Dycer has indicated the 15th were involved on an attack at Rouex near Fampoux about 10km east of Arras. The wood referred to is Mount Pleasant wood,which is still there, I will post again when I get home tonight. John

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I have attached the war diary pages for the day, it seems the 15th were raked heavily by MG fire ,particularly the rear ranks, their sister battalion the 16th was supporting them and took over 220 casualties ,or about 50% of the strength of the battalion. The wood is Mount Pleasant wood, it's a small insignificant clump of trees but at the time it was full of German MG posts and enfiladed anyone approaching Rouex. There is a section on my website entitled Murder on the Hill which covers the actions of the 11th and 12th April by the 4th and the 9th Scottish Divisions it might give you an idea of what teh area was like, it was the site of some of bitter fighting.




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Sincerest thanks to all for this information.

I think I can now see my great grandfathers actions a lot clearer now on the day he was captured. According to my father all he ever said about the war was that he was there for 5 minutes and got captured.

I think now we can see that he was involved in a lot more intense fighting before he got captured. No wonder he never talked about it!

John, your Newbattle at War website is excellent. Congrats on such a wealth of information that you have collected. I think the old boys would be proud to see their actions honoured in such a way.

dycer, I will definately pick up a copy on the Manchester Scottish book.



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  • 7 years later...

Hello from Perth West Australia. Ive just picked up a pair to Pte William T MABON 31417 15th RS. He too was taken POW on the 28th April 1917. He was initially listed as missing for 2 months before being reported as POW.

I also have two pairs to brothers who were both unfortunately KIA. One with the 9th RS and Matthew Lewis FERGUSON was with the 15th RS, KIA on the 28th April 1917. 

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38 minutes ago, Ed ROBINSON said:

One with the 9th RS

Who might he be, if you don't mind me asking?

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John FERGUSON 3597 & 351136.  9th RS. KIA 9/4/1917 his brother Matthew KIA 28/4/1917. Hell of a blow to the family. I have a picture of the two men in civies if you would like a copy.


Cheers Ed

Edited by Ed ROBINSON
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On 12/01/2019 at 00:09, Ed ROBINSON said:

I have a picture of the two men in civies if you would like a copy.

Ed, that would be great - thank you. 

You've probably seen the limited information I have on him https://neillgilhooley.com/9th-royal-scots/index/

3597 puts his attestation late July 1915.

He is in the enlistment book at Edinburgh castle https://www.flickr.com/photos/124517446@N04/25661015220/in/album-72157663896154933/ 


Edited by Neill Gilhooley
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