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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Pte Michael Kennedy THE BACK WATCH

patrick anderson

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The Arbroath herald for 28th November 2014 has a 100 year old story : November 20th , 1914: Michael KENNEDY , pleased guilty in the Arbroath burgh police court of having behaved whilst drunk in a riotous and disorderly manner . Chief Constable Macdonald , Arbroath burgh police , said that the accused was very worse of drink and created a disturbance at various locations on the town. He was a member of the 5th BLACK WATCH and was stationed at FORFAR . He had come away from Forfar and DISCARDED the BADGE which he should have worn in his arm. On promising to go back to FORFAR at ONCE , he was dismissed .

Seems that Chief Constable's court disposal was accepted by Pte Michael KENNEDY, 5th Black Watch as there is no follow up court case .

I would seem that Pte Kennedy discarded the badge that he should have worn on his arm . (As the case said that he took it off to get easier access to drink in the town of Arbroath ) . Does anyone know what this BADGE WAS ?

I see that there are no Pte Michael Kennedy's killed in WW1 in the Royal Highlanders The Black Watch and there are two listed on the Army Medal roll

Pte 3939 Michael KENNEDY , BLACK WATCH has only 1914/15 star issued as he was in (1) France on 10 December 1915 . He is recorded on the Army medal roll as being DISEMBODIED on 13 March 1919

The other

Pte 2483 and later 241336 Michael KENNEDY, BLACK WATCH has the victory medal and the British Medal awarded only with no date for overseas theatre of war recorded .

1/5 Royal Highlanders Pte 2483

4/5 Royal Highlanders Pte 241336

Neither medal roll has any correspondence details or address as it would appear that the court case Pte Michael KENNEDY went out for the evening to his possibly town instead of going out of the army camp at Forfar to drink .

EITHER of these two Pte Black Watch solders could be the soldier in the case of 20th November 1914 . Any ideas ??


The Chief Constable macdonald went off shortly after with 9 other constables from that small burgh police to war , CC Macdonald to the Cameron highlanders and seriously wounded in action and returning to be CC of the burgh Police in 1919 until 1949

Thanks for your assistance

pat w Anderson

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From Long Long Trail

2/5th (Angus and Dundee) Battalion
Formed at Forfar in September 1914 as a second line unit.
Moved to Hawick and then Roxburgh and by spring 1915 was on Clyde defences.
After moving to Bridge of Earn mid 1915, record same as 2/4th Bn.

Could have been above?

But it seems 2/4th never went overseas. So he could have been transferred to any regiment. If that was done he might have a MIC and service number for another battalion or even regiment.

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Of the two Michael the 2483/244136 is the more likely. Since he had joined under Territorial Force terms. he could expect to serve at that stage in the war he could expect to serve in a territorial unit. That condition was waived later in the war.

3939 went to France to 1 Black Watch (Medal Roll) - he must have been a Kitchener volunteer (or a regular or special reservist).

He could of course be neither of them and never went abroad or went abroad with a different regiment.

The badge which made it less likely that he would be served is a bit mystifying unless it made him more identifiable to military authority rather than the licensees, perhaps. Could he have been a recent recruit and the only uniform he had so far was an arm band.


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thanks to you both and for that info , I seem to remember that some units of the british army did not have uniforms initially so the badge worn by serving soldiers must be the "badge of being a soldier " and so as to not get the feather from the women in the towns . Also the licensees would be able to give extra drink to non soldiers !

Pat w Anderson

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