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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Robert Alexander Duff, A.S.C. and 22 Sqd R.F.C. Logierait, Perth


Old Owl
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Hi All,

I wonder if anyone in the Perth area can help with this soldier, who served as a H.T.Driver in the A.S.C. and was attached to 22 Sqd R.F.C. as a rear gunner in the latter part of 1917 or early 1918. He was killed in action on 30th January, 1918, whilst flying with 2/Lt G.G.Johnson?

According to the information which I have: "Duff made a gallant effort to land the machine on our side, although without pilot training, but died soon afterwards from burns and injuries.

I am not certain if the pilot survived--although he does not appear on CWGC.

I have some of his(R.A.Duff)service papers off Ancestry and a photo of his name on the local war memorial at Ballinluig? but wondered if anyone may know of any biographical detail or of a photograph of him.

Many thanks,

Robert

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Hi Robert,

From the CWGC records he was 25 when he died and his parents were Mary Ann Douglas Duff and Duncan of Woodend,Logierait, Perthshire. This fits in with the 1881,1891 and 1901 censuses. A farming family, siblings (1901) James 24,Donald 18,Jessie 19 (F),Hope 14,Elizabeth J 6.

.Robert A shown as 6 yrs born abt.1895.

There is a Robert A Duff 23yrs ll mths embodied 5.8.14 discharged medically unfit 2.9.14. Was 3068 1st Scottish Horse .Attestation papers show him as having served 5 yrs with 6th Bn Black Watch. The address is exactly the same as above. There is a photo of Roberts (T4/083084 RASC) grave stone on War Graves Project . I wonder if he changed his date of birth to re-enlist???

Regards Barry

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Barry and Mike,

Thank you very much indeed for your input and offer of help. I had already found the information from Ancestry and yes it would seem that he had had previous service with the Black Watch and Scottish Horse and had been discharged as medically unfit. I suppose as he was keen to serve he went to the A.S.C. and they welcomed him with open arms--not quite as fussy as the infantry!! Sadly he met his demise in a fashion which he could never have expected when he joined the A.S.C.--poor soul, what a fate!!

I wonder how good the newspapers are around the Perth area for WW1? I did visit the Scottish Horse Museum at Dunkeld a few years ago, but that is the nearest I have come to Logierait. Any help which you could give me locally would be great Mike, or if you can suggest any local sources which may produce a photo of him--which I can follow up.

Many thanks,

Robert

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Hi Robert

I understand the local paper was/is? the "Perthshire Advertiser", obituary?

Regards Barry

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Robert. The Library in Perth is excellent, and the best place to find any photograph might be their newspapers on microfiche. It's not a name I remember seeing, but then again, I wasn't looking for it. One newspaper, The People's Journal has been a great source of photographs, and next time I am in the Library I will keep an eye out for your man. It might be worth contacting member dhubthaigh, on the Site I linked you to, if anyone has come across your man, it will be him, he has done a tremendous amount of work. Also worth giving member gnr.ktrha on this forum, a shout.

Mike

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Mike,

Thanks very much for the pointers. I will try and contact dhubthaigh on the Scottish War Memorials site first and see if he can help. It's always great to find someone on the 'ground' so to speak, who has a similar interest and knows the area well. I did find the picture of the war memorial at Ballinluig which obviously covered Logierait as well, which states 'Observer Robert A.Duff R.A.F. Woodend.' I assume that Woodend was a farm or was it an area of Logierait--if it was a farm I wonder if it still exists?

Anyway I really appreciate your assistance with this matter--as it is a little out of my area!!

I will let you know if I have any luck.

Robert

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Thanks Mike, it looks like Woodend farm was possibly part of a local estate? I have posted on the SWM site--so keeping my fingers (several) crossed!!

Robert

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Woodend Farm Logierait It's a start

Mike

Edit. Might be worth emailing Brendan at comment@wordwright.info, he could print a letter. Excellent local magazine.

Hi Mike,

I have now had an excellent response from Mark on the SWM site, which has filled in a couple of gaps and he has offered to help fill in a few more.

All really good news thus far, so many thanks for the pointer.

Regards, Robert

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Robert. The Library in Perth is excellent, and the best place to find any photograph might be their newspapers on microfiche. It's not a name I remember seeing, but then again, I wasn't looking for it. One newspaper, The People's Journal has been a great source of photographs, and next time I am in the Library I will keep an eye out for your man. It might be worth contacting member dhubthaigh, on the Site I linked you to, if anyone has come across your man, it will be him, he has done a tremendous amount of work. Also worth giving member gnr.ktrha on this forum, a shout.

Mike

Hi Mike,

I have been in contact, today, with the Local Studies in Perth Library and they have located a photograph of Robert Alexander Duff in the People's Journal, which they have copied and will be sending to me.

Many thanks for all your assistance in this matter.

Regards,

Robert

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" I have been in contact, today, with the Local Studies in Perth Library and they have located a photograph of Robert Alexander Duff in the People's Journal, "

That's great news Robert. Glad you found a photograph. If you are ever up in this neck of the woods, drop into Bells Library, it's excellent. The People's Jouirnal, in particular, is a great resource.

Cheers Mike

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Mission accomplished--well almost!!

Robert Duff was flying as a volunteer observer and rear gunner in a Bristol Fighter F2B C4832, piloted by a Kiwi pilot 2/Lt Godfrey Gleeson Johnstone. Whilst on an offensive patrol their plane was seen to fall in flames during an aerial combat, both pilot and observer were killed in action.

I have yet to confirm who shot them down. If anyone has any information I would be most grateful.

Robert

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Hi Robert,

I presume you've seen all the Kiwi posts on Google re Johnstone? They were flying from Auchel if that's any help.

Regards Barry

Johnstone was born 10.3.1895. No. 13435 RFC. Gained his flying cert. on 27.6.17. Photo no 4922 on Royal Aero Club Aviator's certificates on Ancestry. His brother Melville is also listed with photo.

Edited by The Inspector
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Hi Barry,

Thanks for the pointer but I have already been through most of the details on Google regarding him, unfortunately this does not give the information I am looking for, so I have started another thread specifically aimed at him, in the hope that someone has the answer!!

Regards, Robert

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