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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Robert Graham Macpherson, Canadian Mounted Rifles


Lost in Tilloy

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Hi

I've currently found some information that has changed my opinion about a man mentioned on the Kirkliston memorial in West Lothian. The memorial has Robert G Macpherson.

Today I was reading through the Edinburgh Evening News dated 25th May 1918 and found an article that stated that an R G Macpherson, Canadian forces, had died in hospital of pneumonia on 11th May . It mentions family details that matched the Kirkliston area and a birth record for a Robert Graham Macpherson who was born in Kirkliston on 17th February 1887. I now think this is the man on the memorial rather than the one I had in my ROH.

I searched through the Canadian service records and discovered a Robert Macpherson from Kirkliston who appears to have two attestation papers. On one he enlisted on 27/09/1915 at Windsor, Ontario with a service number of 123693 and on the other he enlists on 23/10/1915 at St Thomas's with a service number 226145. This latter one also has "B" Squadron, Canadian Mounted Rifles on it. The birth date and place mentioned on both attestations matches Robert Graham Macpherson with his mother Elizabeth, mentioned on both of them. On the former he states he had been a Regular for 7 years and on the latter it says he had served in the 8th Royal Scots for 7 years. I've found no service papers for previous service in the UK forces.

Trouble is I can't find this man on CWGC or on the Canadian war memorial site. I don't know if he died in a hospital in Canada or elsewhere as the article doesn't say where he died, only that it was in hospital from pneumonia. He may be a non-com but I can't be sure.

Is there anyone who can help me on this one, especially if you have knowledge of the Canadian forces?

Regards

LIT

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  • 7 months later...

You can order the service records for a fee from Library and Archives Canada. The service records can be up to 30 pages long. The DETAILED service record (and I mean detailed) will likely confirm for you exactly where he died. I ordered my Great Grandfathers and it specified the exact hospitals he visited, and dates when he was hospitalized with bronchitis for 1 month in 1917. It also included exact date he sailed home, the name of the ship he was on coming home, transfers to different battalions and when, pay stubs etc. Very detailed and may be worth it for you to check out! Maybe both 123693 and 226145 are the same man, maybe not. IMO, order both to confirm. Maybe either man, or both, changed service numbers? (not sure if this ever happened) but the service records will likely confirm if this did occur for either man, and likely give you the new service number. Good Luck, hope this helps!

- CJ

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi CJ

My apologies for not replying and thanking you earlier for this info. My only excuse is that I didn't receive a post update alert. Weak but true! I will follow up on what you've said.

So again, sorry for the late reply.

Wishing you all the best for the New Year.

Regards

LIT

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Hi,

You may struggle to order the files from

LAC at the moment as there is an ongoing digitisation project for all their WW1 records. I have seen mention that they decline to copy files if they are "out" for digitisation.

If you aren't in too much of a rush you will save money by waiting until the whole files are digitised and available for free in 2015.

You may not be aware of Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group Forum (CEFSG) - similar to GWF. If you post there you may get some more detailed info.

Regards

Steve Y

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