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2nd Royal Scots at Serre


ianmccallum
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Hi Guys

Anyone got any info or access to secondary sources for 2nd Battalion Royal Scots over 1 - 15 November 1916. Particularly the attack on Serre on 13 November 1916.

Ian

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Ian

The War Diary at Kew is not yet digital,and for your record,the reference is

WO95/1423.

Sotonmate

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Hi Ian

The history of the Royal Scots Fusiliers has a brief account of the action, the 1st RSF as usual being the twin battalion of the 2nd Royal Scots in the 8th Brigade. In this action 2 RS were on the right, 1 RSF on the left:

"The 1st RSF also came back in October from Loos with the Third Division, and took its place in the front opposite Serre - the sector which had proved impregnable on the first day of the Somme battle. There it remained for most of the winter, and had a share in the battle of 13th November when Gough attacked between Serre and the Ancre. The assault of the British left wing on Serre failed, as it had failed on 1st July, for that stronghold, being too far removed from the effect of our flanking fire from the Thiepval ridge, presented all the difficulties which had baffled us at the first attempt. The Battalion attacked with A and B Companies at 5.45 am, but owing to the fog and the mud touch was lost with the troops on the flanks; and after penetrating to the enemy second line, where it found the wire uncut, it was compelled, along with the rest of the 8th Brigade, to withdraw and re-form in its original line, whilst its kinsmen of the Fifty-first Division were storming through Beaumont Hamel. It had 201 casualties, and among the officers Lieut H.C.Shutt, and 2nd Lieuts J.M.Kerr, N.H.Grieve, H.G.Gillies, and T.M. Johnson all fell [were killed]."

William

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Hi Guys

Thanks for the replies and info. Yes I was aware of the diaries at Kew, I tried to have copied the 2 RSF diary but was told it was unavaialbe and the staff can't say when it will become available. Hopefully its being digitised now.

Ian

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Thanks for the replies and info. Yes I was aware of the diaries at Kew, I tried to have copied the 2 RSF diary but was told it was unavaialbe and the staff can't say when it will become available. Hopefully its being digitised now.

The last few requests I have made to Kew have also met with polite refusals (ususally because the document is too big, or because what I want is buried deep in a brigade diary which is not in order) - I think they have had so many cuts that they no longer have enough staff to copy things - four years ago, before the cuts, they copied loads of stuff for me (and it was in colour!). Now I have to go to Kew and look for myself once a year. I live in West Sussex so am quite close, but for someone like you living in Glasgow this is a major undertaking.

Ian - I am interested in the 2nd RS, since they were joined at the hip to 1st RSF, and if I get a chance to go to Kew in the near future I'll contact you and ask which bits of the diary you'd most like copied (I won't have time to do it all, I doubt).

William

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Malcolm, as I read Ian's original post, he is after information on the 2nd Royal Scots (8th Brigade, 3rd Division) - it was me who mentioned that they were joined at the hip to 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers (also 8th Brigade) - they shared officers and drafts of men, and the similarity of the names of the two battalions/regiments has caused much confusion over the years. So I think that Ian needs the Royal Scots museum at Edinburgh Castle, rather than the Royal Scots Fusiliers (now Royal Highland Fusiliers) one in Glasgow.

For myself, I will be visiting the latter in Glasgow in a months time, but I now learn that much of the RSF stuff for WW1 was destroyed so I'm not hopeful of finding much that is new to me.

William

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Hi

I've the history and if you PM me your email address I'll scan and send what's available

Regards

Martin

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Martin,

Was that the history of the Royal Scots Fusiliers? I have that (I quoted from it earlier on in this thread) plus war diaries of 1st Battalion etc., but if you meant the History of the Royal Scots then I'm sure Ian would appreciate hearing from you, especially if it has details of 2nd battalion RS's doings in Nov 1916 at Serre.

William

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The one i have is the history of the Royal Scots by Ewing. There is a 2 and a half page account of the action plus raids. PM me your email address and I'll forward the material

Regards

Martin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Guys

Just back from my hols and spotted all the replies. Thanks for all the contributions. I was after the war diary of the 2nd Royal Scots covering the period of their attack on Serre 13 November 1916. I have the Royal Scots history by Ewing and I had actually engaged a professional researcher based at Kew to get extracts from their war diary. She attempted to get hold of the diary and was told by staff that it was unavailable. She suggested to me that it might be being digitised. It's a cause for concern it it's not. I've been in the Suchiehall street museum of the RHF a number of times and they have very little on the RSF after a fire in the museum a number of years ago. William, if you could attempt to get the war diary i'd be very grateful. It will be interesting to see if you get the same reply as the professional researcher.

Ian

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Ian the Royal Scots museum at the Castle have the war diary for the 2nd RS and will give you an extract of the diary for a fee, which I would suspect is lower than hiring a researcher at Kew.

John

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