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Remembered Today:

Long Service Ribbon, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders


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This came about when I found a new batch of COG-BR documents for the Irish Farm Cemetery. It was a good find, as there are some near where Lieutenant Colonel Birchall and Captain Bastedo are missing! I have been hunting for them for years. Captain Bastedo is from Milton Ontario where I live.


This is another interesting puzzle, the attraction that draws me to these cases.


This fellow in Plot 31 Row F Grave 26 is reported as "UBS, A & S H, Long Service Ribbon, Numeral and Badge". Sounds like they are sure about the regiment. He is also immediately below Private James Morran #2634 of the 2nd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders found at 28.J.14 .c.7.5. The date for that was 25 September 1917. Although it does not say "2nd Bn." on the COG-BR 1824463 for the unknown (see below), it does have that on the GRRF 1823415. However, by the time of the HD-SCHD 2586755 he has become only an Unknown British Soldier. Usually that happens if there are good clues but they can not find the soldier, as may be the case here.


The location puts them at the northwest corner of Inverness Copse, 2000 yards east-southeast of Hooge. They had been a the Railway Dugouts on the 23rd (page 688 of 856) and took over the line on the night of the 24th/25th, retiring then to Sterling Castle (28.J.13.d.6.3), only 1000 yards south-southwest of where the remains were located. Appendix A (page 693 of 856) contains a report of operations for the 24th/25th. The brigade was clearly in the 28.J.14 sector. That information lends support to the documents indicating that this was an UNKNOWN of the 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.


I was able to retrieve what I believe are the original records for the Long Service Ribbons for that regiment. There are three (3) pages:


I do not know if there are earlier records, as I assume that this could be an older man that had served in the South African wars, whereas this list may only be for the award of ribbons starting with Sutherland in 1913.


As I understand the system, we would be looking for someone with an unblemished record for at least 18 years service that was not an Officer. Correct me please if I am wrong in the interpretation, as this is new to me. If this unknown went down in the same period as Private Morran, logical as found at the same location, then I could not find a match. I first tried the 2nd Battalion A&SH and when that came up negative I went to all A&SH units. There was also one who had A&SH as the secondary regiment.


For simplicity, these are the initial candidates of the 2nd Battalion lost in that period that are on the Tyne Cot Memorial:


surname forename age  death Only OR or NCO? #
ADAIR JOHN 32 25-09-17 Serjeant '4/6785'
ATKIN DAVID COOPER 23 25-09-17 Lance Corporal 'S/10351'
BIRRELL CHRISTOPHER GREIG   25-09-17 Private 'S/20418'
BUCHANAN D 27 25-09-17 Private '202417'
BURNS JAMES   25-09-17 Corporal '10456'
CADDELL JOHN 21 25-09-17 Private '325834'
CAMERON DAVID   25-09-17 Private 'S/14929'
CAMPBELL ROBERT 29 24-09-17 Private '202123'
CLIVE JOHN 24 25-09-17 Private '3/6558'
COCHRANE ADAM 21 25-09-17 Corporal '1377'
COYLE PETER   25-09-17 Private 'S/40446'
DICKSON JAMES 28 25-09-17 Corporal 'S/8158'
DOCTOR WILLIAM   25-09-17 Private '202159'
GILKISON JOHN 22 25-09-17 Private 'S/11641'
HAMILTON WILLIAM   25-09-17 Private '198'
HODGE THOMAS 28 25-09-17 Private 'S/19101'
KENNEDY JAMES 19 25-09-17 Lance Corporal '75'
KERR MATTHEW   25-09-17 Private '325759'
KIRKWOOD MICHAEL   25-09-17 Private 'S/6892'
LACY JOHN   25-09-17 Serjeant '325607'
McGUIRE DENNIS   26-09-17 Private '253316'
McKENZIE DOUGLAS 19 25-09-17 Private 'S/14826'
MILLIGAN MICHAEL   25-09-17 Lance Corporal 'S/3462'
O'MAY WILLIAM 21 15-09-17 Private '300843'
RAE HERBERT JAMES 33 25-09-17 Serjeant '9939'
SCOTT GILBERT 20 25-09-17 Corporal '5190'
SHAW ALBERT EDWARD   25-09-17 Private '301038'
SIMPSON GEORGE 21 25-09-17 Private 'S/11368'
THOMSON ALEXANDER   25-09-17 Private '4/8417'
WESTWATER JAMES   25-09-17 Private '4/8781'
WHITE WILLIAM   25-09-17 Private 'S/4520'
WRIGHT ROBERT   25-09-17 Private 'S/11603'


Without a name match, it would appear I would need to check each of the men on the Long Service Medal list to see if any of them are UNKNOWN.


I suppose it is also possible that the UNKNOWN had his ribbon from service in another battalion and so would not show on this list. In that case, I would need to check each of the men in the table to see if any of them had a ribbon. I have not yet found a way to determine that from the name or number -does anyone know if such a process exists?


These appear to be publically available, so here are the images:







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you can disregard the ones not old enough to have got a LSGC

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It is possible that the Long Service medal ribbon was not one for the regular army but one for the TF or even the Volunteer Force.



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  1. Coldstreamer: Yes, I figured I was looking for someone that had service prior to 1896 and was near 39 years of age. It would be easier if the CWGC records all had the ages. I initially thought I would be looking for Serjeant level men as well, but I see there are a number of Privates. It would be much easier in Canada where the Service Records survived.
  2. Charlie2: I gather that means the list I found is regular army and I would need to find the other lists - if they exist? Do you know if the A&SH list would show the man during the Great War years, even if his service had been with another regiment prior to his final days of service?
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trying asking on the British medal forum - some one will probably have a list of the LSGC for the regiment


they might even be at the national archives


Id certainly work on the unknowns and the oldest first as the youngest wont have one



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FOUND ONE! Going through the service numbers in the 3 pages. Odd he did not show up on the main search. I tried earlier to search for the "Long Service" and there was no option?


Now I have to continue the manual search, there may be more.




Service Number 10514

Died 22/08/1917

Aged 42

11th Bn 
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Husband of Frances Dickenson, of 93A, Oxford Gardens, North Kensington, London.

Edited by laughton
He was a few days outside the date range.
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  • Admin



There are additional registers for the LSGC at TNA in WO 102. All are digitised and can be downloaded free of charge. For Regulars between 1901 and 1912 I can only find one for Guards and Cavalry but there are rolls for Special Reserves, Militia and Volunteers etc.



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Also on Tyne Cot: - same battalion, so would not be able to tell which one

Company Serjeant Major


Service Number 10155

Died 22/08/1917

Aged 41

11th Bn. 
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Son of James Moss, of 42, Church St., Wellington, Salop; husband of Elsie Lillian Moss. of 14, Rye St., Crewe.


Deceased but not applicable to this case:


COTCHERCompany Serjeant Major5353 T R D Monday, September 2, 1918BROWN'S COPSE CEMETERY, ROEUX VIEW RECORDArgyll and Sutherland HighlandersUnited Kingdom




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result that you found something



4 minutes ago, spof said:



There are additional registers for the LSGC at TNA in WO 102. All are digitised and can be downloaded free of charge. For Regulars between 1901 and 1912 I can only find one for Guards and Cavalry but there are rolls for Special Reserves, Militia and Volunteers etc.




As Ive only the Coldstream ones Id not have known about there being no others

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Hmmm .... the 11th Battalion A&SH was not in that area in August 1917 when those two men were killed. They were on the front line east of Frezenberg in 28.D.26, unless one was attached to another unit. Only took a quick look as I have to scoot. Found a map here WD page 407 of 962 45th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division.

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Officers cannot be completely ruled out, there are two Argyll‘s officers (Lt Weller & 2/Lt Kerr) listed by the CWGC that have the LSGC, they will have been commissioned from the ranks. They both have named graves. Qualification for the TF long service medal was only 12 years,  if that is the case he could be as young as about 30.



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I made a database from the CWGC information but it is obviously incomplete:

 I also checked WO 102-17 but it is small and all guards.


I am working from this list here but not certain which ones would have possible leads.  I assumed it is possible that he had his Long Service Medal before the war started and so I would have to go back in time as well - but there does not seem to be a group immediate to the Great War.




I will look into 22 to 24 and see what I find. 25 is not digitized. Here now I am just checking those in A&SH to see what appears:


Series 22:

  • Barnes, D. 3rd A&SH #5851
  • Flanigan, J. 4th A&SH #6446
  • Gordon, W. 4th A&SH #6357 - different one at Tyne Cot who is only 21
  • Healy, T. 4th A&SH #6153
  • McDermott, P. 4th A&SH #6152
  • McMillan, D. 4th A&SH #7609
  • Young, J. 4th A&SH #1386

Series 23:

  • Boyle, J. 4th A&SH #6007
  • Charles, J. 4th A&SH #7460
  • Donnally, D 3rd A&SH #2917
  • Fox, P. 4th A&SH #3996
  • Grant, D. 4th A&SH #7171
  • Gaffney, G. 4th A&SH #8431
  • Houston, J. 4th A&SH #7815
  • Horn, J. 3rd A&SH #5361
  • Keenan, T 4th A&SH #7710
  • Knox, A. 4th A&SH #7479
  • Mel??, J. 3rd A&SH #5352
  • McFarlane, D. 4th A&SH #7461
  • McGarrighe??, J. 4th A&SH #4290
  • Park, T. 3rd A&SH #2955
  • Rae, J. 3rd A&SH #1552 - there is a Herbert James Rae #9939 of the 2nd Battalion on Tyne Cot - the correct parameters if the same man at 33 years age
  • Wilson, J. 4th A&SH #6624

No positive matches for the 2nd Battalion at the correct location.

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Somewhat related, but I think the soldier in F 21 could be identified if the "1286 on belt" is a partial service number?

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