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4/5th blackwatch 1st april1918 pte Leighton KIA no records ?

paul leighton

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Ive been trying to add details to one of the men on my medal site, He's Pte william Leighton S-22813 and his details are found in my Leightons K.I.A section


Most of his details are there, but one source says he was missing in March & the CWGC say that his death date is 1/4/18.

I carn't find any war diarys for this date, only the odd paragraph.

On the evening of the 30th March the 4/5th proceeded to Villers Brettoneux,the strength of the Battalion was one officer and 30 other ranks.On Sunday morning,March 31st the remnants of the 118th Brigade moved to Longeau,near Genelles then on to Rumaisnie by motor bus where on April 1st what was left of the four Battalions of the 118th Brigade was formed into one unit and eventually reached Linnier on the 3rd.

this is one but there's lots from different regiments dairy's and now i'm confused, When, where and how did this man die

any help welcome

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I don't have the War Diary, but two things in Wauchope's History of the Black Watch are significant:

On page 95 it says " During this retirement it was difficult to keep any record of countless gallant deeds performed by officers and men alike...."

I have not done a detailed search, but the list of casualties at the end of the chapter on 4/5 Black Watch shows a large number of men killed in action on 1 April 1918 and none (that I could find) between 23 March 1918 and 31st March 1918.

This seems to suggest that in a situation where it was impossible to keep a record of who died when, it was decided to date all OR deaths from 1 April 1918 - perhaps when they first failed to answer the roll?


Ed: Two small corrections.

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hi, thanks for the help,

When I was searching they seemed to be many different regiments involved in this action, and they all seemed to have a different account of what was happening in that period

that would make sence regarding when they first failed to answer roll call, he could of been killed a few days before the 1st and was classed as missing maybe, how long do you class someone missing before classing them killed, I guess we will never know

thanks for the help

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It was chaos for 118 Brigade as they retreated. It is not surprising that no-one could keep track of a day's losses. 6th Cheshires were fighting alongside the Black Watch - by the end of the month they had been reduced to 3 officers and 30 other ranks. There was no-one to keep track of the losses.

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hi John, thanks for getting in touch, It must of been carnage for them, so many losses it staggers belief,

I noticed that you research the M/cer's I have a medal to an officer from them in my collection, competely unreseached


hes in my other Leighton section, he's Lieut Harry leighton Ive a copy of the medal index card but it's a bit blurry, any chance you can help

thanks paul

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