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alistair_m

2nd Lt AC Lawson - 11th Batt Gordon Highlanders/ Cameronians (Scottish

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alistair_m

Hello All,

I posted this a couple of years ago, and found no further information, so I thought I'd re-post under this section.

My great uncle Arthur Cressel Lawson, was killed on 19th November 1916, in action, I understand, against the Bulgarians in Salonika. He has a memorial at the Karasouli Military Cemetery, Thesalonika. From what I have found so far, he was killed and buried initially at Horseshoe Hill and in 1920 the Graves were moved to Karasouli.

Initially with 11th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, he was at some point before his death, attached to the Cameronians. I know that he he served in France at some point, as I have a letter written by him to his sister (my granny), giving vivid description of the German Artillery explosions that he was having to endure. He also mentions meeting up with his brother Lt JI Lawson of the RAMC, who must have also been stationed reasonably close by.

I have a second letter, dated 12 November 1916 (one week before he was killed), where he writes about life in Salonika and how "cosmopolitan" it was, with all the different nationalities around at the time. He describes the night life in the town, and his sadness at having to move back to the front, when his leave is up.

I would love to know a little more about him.

As usual, any assistance would be most gratefully received.

Many Thanks

Alistair

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sotonmate

11 Gordons were a Home unit when he transferred to 11 Cameronians which was part of 77 Brigade of 26 Division in Salonika.

He has a service file at Kew under WO339/49355, but not yet digital.

No entry apparent in Soldiers Died in the Great War.

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rolt968

His MIC is available through Ancestry.

He went to France on 24 February 1915 as a Private in the Royal Scots (No. 1954). That is almost certainly 1/9 (Highlanders) Royal Scots, a territorial battalion.

He was commissioned into the Gordon Highlanders on 1 December 1915.

It notes that he was attached to the Scottish Rifles and KiA on 19 November 1916.

The medals were sent to Messrs Murray, Lawson & MacDonald WS, Chambers, 13 Melville Street, Edinburgh. It also notes a letter from or to Mrs Lawson (Mother).

Roger.

Edit. He can be found in Soldiers Died in the Great War in Ancestry, but he is indexed as "Lawsom". It doesn't add anything (2nd Lt(T), 11 Gordon Highlanders, attchd. Scottish Rifles).

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Derek Black

Worth doing a bit of googling to see if there are any veterans memoirs about the war in that area and time that may help to flesh out his story.

Derek

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Rob Bulloch

Alistair. This is an extract from the war diary of the 11th Bn Cameronian. I looked through from 1915 but I could not find an attachment date for 2nd Lt Lawson Not much I'm afraid but I hope it is of some help. Aye Rob.

17th. Nov. 1916.

Situation Normal. Weather very cold. E8 and E10 shelled during the day. Artillery violently bombard KRASTALI and PETIT COURONNE at 2030 Hours. Enemy working parties on P4 and New Trench dispersed by our Artillery fire. Casualties Nil.

18th

Situation Normal. Weather cold. Shortly after midnight No 2 Coy under CAPT. F W SCOUGAL went through gap in wire at E 8 in direction of P5 with the object of destroying Saugars and wire entanglements thereon. This party was fired on from P5. Reinforcements were called for and the raiding party rushed the works and destroyed them. Party very heavily shelled , especially during retirement. E8 shelled intensely during Operations. Casualties Killed LIEUT. R.L. BRUCE and 2nd Lieut Lawsonand 7 Other Ranks. Wounded 2/LT GIBSON and 2/LT JOHNSTONE and 56 Other ranks. Missing 3 O

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alistair_m

Gentlemen,

Thanks again for providing such valuable information. It never ceases to amaze me how much knowledge there is on this forum and how generously everyone is prepared to share it!

Rob, I have to say a special thanks. The death of a brother, caused my Granny considerable pain. The family has always lamented the death of Arthur and no-one has ever understood the circumstances of how his death occurred. Your post has ended nearly 100 years of "not knowing". Sadly, all of my father's generation have now died, and they would have so much have wanted to know this detail. I have posted a picture below of Arthur - taken just shortly before his death.

Many thanks

Alistairpost-69042-0-74730400-1380454352_thumb.j

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sotonmate

Alistair

If you wish I will photo the service record sometime in October. If so,advise me by PM here and include your e-mail.

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Rob Bulloch

Hello Alistair. Thank you for your kind response. As I said in my previous post I looked through what I have on the 11th SR and I could not find an attachment date 2nd Lt Lawson. If you pm me with your email address I will send you what I have diary wise for the battalion for

1916.

Aye Rob

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alistair_m
Its time to pick up the trail again for Arthur...


Thanks to the most generous assistance from Sotonmate and Rob Bulloch, amongst others, I have managed to piece together quite a story for my Great Uncle Arthur. "Private Beatsons War" follows the Royal Scots through Arthur's stint in France as a private. His service file, the 11th Cameronian War Diaries and some background reading from Under the Devils Eye, have given me a great understanding of his progress though the war until his untimely death in Salonika in 1916 - whilst involved in a raid on Bulgarian trenches in the proximity of Horseshoe Hill.


The piece of the jigsaw that is still missing is the time between being commissioned into 11th Gordon Highlanders and his arrival at Salonika attached to the 11th Cameronians.


The info I have so far is....


Appointed to Commission in 11th Gordon Highlanders, Hamilton, Scotland.2/12/15 (from Service Record)


3 new subalterns join Battalion (11th Cam) at AMBARKOJ (??), Salonika, on 15 July 1916 (from War Diary)


My query then, relates to the period between Dec 1915 and July 1916. I know that the 11th Gordon Highlanders were a Reserve Battalion and flipped between Catterick and Bridge of Allan over that period, but is it likely that Arthur would have been with them for that entire time? If so what would he have been up to?


Many thanks


Alistair

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