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Robert Laing

217 Siege Battery 1918

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Robert Laing

I have my grandfather's diary for 1918. His name was Alexander Bruce MacGarry. He was an officer in 217 Siege Battery in France. I believe he was a Lieutenant (and acting Captain at one stage) but he does not mention his rank in his diary. On the first page he lists the names and addresses of the other twenty officers. The longest entry in the diary is 9th April describing the German attack on Vieille Chapelle.

 

I am new to forums, and how they operate, but I am willing to pass on any info from the diary regarding 217 Siege Battery in 1918. 

 

Robert Laing

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charlie962

Welcome Robert,

You will no doubt get a rapid response from several Gunner and RGA specialists on this forum. I'm sure there are others who would like to see the list of names in case they find a relative or someone they are researching.

 

I see that he was commissioned from the Royal Engineers in 1917 and his RE Service Record is here on Ancestry

 

Charlie

 

PS I see he started with 14thA&SH but in 1915 trfd to RE Chemical Company which is of interest to @Terry_Reeves

Edited by charlie962

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Robert Laing

Hi Charlie

Thanks for the additional info about my grandfather. He survived the war and lived to the age of 78. (Born in 1887).

Robert

 

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Terry_Reeves

Thanks Charlie962.

 

Robert

 

He was one of number of schoolmasters who volunteered for the Special Brigade, most of whom had a BSc.  His enlistment date and RE number indicates he was one of these men.  A surprising numbe were commissioned into the RGA. He has an officers file at TNA in WO339/77845 which might reveal what special company he was serving with before his commission. I will look him up for you next time I go which should be quite soon.

 

TR

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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Robert Laing

Hi Terry

 

Yes, you're correct he was a schoolmaster although it was an MA in English he achieved at St Andrew's University rather than a BSc. He finished his career as deputy headmaster of Govan High School in Glasgow, retiring in 1952, probably around the time Sir Alex Ferguson first became a pupil.

 

Any further info you provide regarding his war years will be very welcome.

 

Robert

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rflory

From University of St. Andrews Roll of Honour and Roll of Service 1914-1919

MA 1910

Teacher, Harris Academy, Dundee

Private, 14th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Corporal, Special Battalion, RE

Lieutenant, RGA Special Reserve

 

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Robert Laing
21 minutes ago, rflory said:

From University of St. Andrews Roll of Honour and Roll of Service 1914-1919

MA 1910

Teacher, Harris Academy, Dundee

Private, 14th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Corporal, Special Battalion, RE

Lieutenant, RGA Special Reserve

 

Thanks for that info. I think he did well, coming from a humble background, to achieve officer status in those class-conscious days.

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