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Remembered Today:

Corporal John Dempster MM 202245 7th Bn Black Watch


terryhill53
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Researching my Great Uncle John Dempster MM 202245 Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) killed 24 July 1918. Very much trying to find out what he earned the MM for. It was Gazetted on 23 rd Feb 1918. I suppose that the only clue could come from the Black Watch War Diaries before that date but I am not sure how, if indeed it is possible, to acccess them. All help gratefully recieved.

Terry Hill - (Formerly Peebles now Perth WA)

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Hello Terry and Welcome to the great war forum , I have got the History of the Black watch vol 1 -3, I will look through the 7th Battalion to see what I can find. Here is John Details from SDGW

Black Watch ( Royal Highlanders)

7th (Fife) Battalion ( Territorials )

Dempster

John

Cpl - 202245

Born - New Monkland, Lanarkshire.

Enlisted - Cowdenbeath, Fife.

Killed in Action on 24/07/1918

France & Flanders

Awarded M.M

regards

Ian

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Thanks Ian. Any help will be greatly appreciated as I am a relative newcomer to this.

Cheers

Terry

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Hello Terry

I have been looking through Vol 2 for the 7th Battalion and It's only mentioned Officers and one C.S.M. for medals. Hopeful someone with war diaries will have some information, my main research is 2nd Bn Black Watch which I have some diaries but I do not have any for the 7th Bn.

if you send me PM I might have some Information I can Send ity to you.

regards

Ian

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post-18033-0-11807200-1347996118_thumb.j

John Dempster was presented with his MM ribbon on by the Corps Commander. The Bn marched from Roclincourt to a field near Ecurie on 20th June 1918 where he would receive his ribbon. After the presentations the parade marched past the Corps Commander to the massed Pipes and Drums of 153 Brigade.

His record is not among the ‘Burnt records” I was hoping he had a medal card for his MM which would have given the London Gazette reference. In its absence I can only assume his award was gained during the German offensive of that Spring.

His medal card shows that he arrived in theatre on 2nd May 1915. That is the day the 7th arrived as part of the 51st Highland Division. However he has three numbers. His long number is a 4th Black Watch number that was issued sometime early 1917. I think he was 4th Bn until sometime in early 17 when the 4th and 5th amalgamated and surplus bodies were transferred to both the 6th and 7th Bns.

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Hi this is great information, thank you very much. Where did you get it from?

Cheers

Terry

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Possible explanation of service and 3 numbers:

Number 2033 original TF number 1/4 BW

Number 6344 used from Sept 15 to Nov 15 during which 1/4 BW merged with 2BW

Number 202245 Used from March 1917 when TF were renumbered (number from block allocated to 4th BN BW).

I thought that the merger for the 4th and 5th was in March 1916? He would have been allocated the 4th bn number the next year beacause he was originally 4th Bn.

He would have retained his 4th bn number when in the 7th Bn because "All infantry soldiers defined as TF were allocated a new number. The man retained this number as long as he served in a particular corps, even if he was subsequently posted to a regular battalion of the corps." The corps being the BW. From LLT link at top of page

If he joined post Aug 14 or was on a home service only contract subsequently volunteering for overseas service he could have been a renforcement draft for the 4th bn not necessarily in the 7th when he entered France on the 2nd May 15.

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Hi this is great information, thank you very much. Where did you get it from?

Cheers

Terry

Information came from war diary of the 7th BW at Kew, and the medal card from ancestry

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Possible explanation of service and 3 numbers:

Number 2033 original TF number 1/4 BW

Number 6344 used from Sept 15 to Nov 15 during which 1/4 BW merged with 2BW

Number 202245 Used from March 1917 when TF were renumbered (number from block allocated to 4th BN BW).

I thought that the merger for the 4th and 5th was in March 1916? He would have been allocated the 4th bn number the next year beacause he was originally 4th Bn.

He would have retained his 4th bn number when in the 7th Bn because "All infantry soldiers defined as TF were allocated a new number. The man retained this number as long as he served in a particular corps, even if he was subsequently posted to a regular battalion of the corps." The corps being the BW. From LLT link at top of page

If he joined post Aug 14 or was on a home service only contract subsequently volunteering for overseas service he could have been a renforcement draft for the 4th bn not necessarily in the 7th when he entered France on the 2nd May 15.

I had a senior moment over dates.

I should have added that the 4th received a draft on 6th May. 1 Offr. 2nd Lt Cunningham and 95 Ors. As far as I can see there were no more reinforcements in May June. He must have been 4th as on amalgamation A & B coys were 4th and numbered so likewise the 5th made up C & D coys and were numbered 240000 onwards.

Steve thats good I couldnt fiind any recomendation, nor raise the LG

Tam

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