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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Cameronians 7th Battalion


Guest Rifleman1418

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Guest Rifleman1418

My Great grandfather Herbert Knight was a private in the 7th battalion Cameronians and fought under the banner of the Scots Rifles for the majority of the First World War, as part of my family history research I thought the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of war would be a great time to start looking into his military story.

I have been lucky enough to have some material that has been passed down, two original army hats, sand goggles (from the Egypt/Palestine campaign), an original map of Palestine (with annotations of dates and troop movements), the three standard service medals, and paper work including a Unit Register Card which confirms his enlistment on 4th January 1915 and his embarkation in November that year, from this I am left wondering

1, Why a boy of 17 years old from Leicestershire would be assigned to a regiment from Scotland?

2, Whether the 11 month period between enlisting and mobilisation was a standard period of training?

3, Who his commanding officers were?

Also included in his paperwork are postcard correspondences which suggest a stay at Desford Hall Convalescence Home in Leicestershire sometime in 1916. My narrow investigation have suggested that records of injuries as well as personal service records are limited, I am keen to shed more light on this period but I feel that I may need to do some digging in my local county record office?

Another artifact we have is a note book diary covering only a period from 30/09/1918 to 31/01/1919 (much to my frustration..!). From this there are notes that confirm that he was in the 10th platoon of C Company in the 7th battalion but the notes only cover movements to the town of Lens and an advance to the towns of Herchies and later Mons at the conclusion of the war. I would be very interested to learn more about the deeds of the 156 brigade, their commanding officers and any recommended reading you could advise.

Herbert was, like many veterans, a quiet and modest man, it’s not at all clear if he was proud of the role he played as no verbal information has been past down and we are left trying to piece together his war from the documents and artifact that he left behind. Herbert lived most of his life in Leicestershire, dying in Loughborough in 1967 having had children and grandchildren at the age of 69.

Any assistance or background information relating to my Great grandfathers movement or undertakings during the 1914-1918 period would be very helpful.

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Hello Rifleman and welcome to the forum.

Your Grandfather Pte 17657 H Knight. 1/7th battalion C Coy is listed on the Disembarkation Returns for the HMT. BRITON dated 2nd Feb 1916.

The officers at that date were Lt Col. J.G.P. ROMANES.DSO. Maj. R. BLAIR. Captain and Adjutant Maj. H.C. MacLEAN. MC.

Captains. W.MATHERS. R.C.S. AITKEN. U.S. BOW. D.R. NELSON and W.S.B. WILSON.

I hope this is of some help to you. Aye Rob.

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Hello Rifleman and Welcome! You could contact the Cameronians Museum in Hamilton for information: http://www.cameronians.org/ Tom.

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Hi Rifleman

You may have used this resource already, but if not then you may find The Long Long Trail website useful, and in particular the section: here.

Often the big problem is finding out which particular battalion a soldier served in, but you are fortunate in having contemporary evidence that he was in the 7th Battalion Scottish Rifles. This is half of the battle won! Whilst regimental museums are useful when you are after specific bits of information, they usually don't have the resources to provide the huge amount of info that you are after i.e. what your grandfather did throughout the war, so what you need is the battalion war diary, which will give you a brief day-to-day account of where the battalion was, and how many casualties they suffered - 7th Scottish Rifles is available online and can be downloaded for a small fee from the National Archives: here. This is only the April 1918-1919 part of the diary, and it may well be that you will need to visit the National Archives for the earlier part of the war, or it may be in the process of being digitised (plenty are for the millennium).

Also there may be divisional or regimental histories in print for you to consult - perhaps others in the forum with more 7th battalion knowledge can help you (I really only do the 5th Battalion!)

William

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