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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Unknown British Officer, Royal Highlander = Fergusson


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I found a few mentions of Second Lieutenant James Grant Fergusson (CWGC link), 8th Bn. Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) of the 26th Brigade 9th (Scottish) Division here on the GWF:






but no mention that anyone had considered him from the Unknown Royal HIghlander Officer with the Fergusson field glass case in Plot 28 Row H Grave 12 of the Serre Road Cemetery No. 2. He is not on the CWGC case list either. His name appears on the Thiepval Memorial for the missing.


He was found at 57c.S.17.a.9.8 which is at the northwest corner of Longueval on the western edge of Deville Wood. That is precisely where the battalion was on that date (War Diary page 43 of 616). He is listed as KIA (War Diary page 49 of 616).


Granted, he is not "D" Fergusson, but all the "D. Fergusson's" are accounted for (CWGC Link), with only Private Duncan Fergusson being the only one of the Black Watch.


What I find odd about this case is that there is no mention of it being investigated? Am I missing something?




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I should have also included the Special Exhumation report, which you will find below. It also crossed my mind that I should check for the "One S" version as a "D. Ferguson, and sure enough there are 6 listed for France (this CWGC list). There are NO OFFICERS on that list but you will quickly note that Serjeant Duncan Ferguson was killed on the exact same day and so was quite possibly with the officer that was killed. I cannot say that a Serjeant would not have a pair of binoculars but I suspect it is more likely that they would have belonged to the Officer. We could check to see which one was 5' 9"? I don't see the records for the Serjeant (Ancestry List). The Serjeant and Officer do not appear to be related.



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  • 1 month later...

All the Officers (7) that died that day, other than Captain Gilroy, are missing and on the Thiepval Memorial. We could never tell which one of the remaining 6 was with the binocular case.


As always, one case opens another While checking on who died in the 8th Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) I noticed that the list of 44 men included Private Harry Lewis #S/10275. He must have been quite the traveller, as he was buried in Belgium! I have a new topic on that case here:



Possible Error - Pte. Harry Lewis, 8th Bn Royal Highlanders (Black Watch)

Edited by laughton
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