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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

4034 Pte John Frail 1Bn Black Watch died 9th May 1915


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that was the date my relative John Frail private 4034 died at Aubers Ridge. Just wondering if anyone had any info for him or his time in France, when he arrived, any pictures etc.








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here are a couple of searches to get you started.

If you search 'find war dead' the CWGC page will give you the detail of where he is commemorated but little else unfortunately.

Searching 'medal roll index cards' , select the Ancestry option and add your mans service number and surname it will take you to his medal roll index card showing his medal entitlement but again little else.

To track his movements from arrival in France in 1914 to his demise in 1915 you will need to consult the war diary for his unit via the National Archives which should give some inkling of his movements though he is unlikely to be mentioned by name, I think they charge £3.50 to download the diary. Hopefully another member will be able to give you the NA ref for the correct diary.

If you were to edit your title to include Black Watch then you are more likely to attract the attention of members with a more specific Black Watch interest.

Good luck with your research.



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His service number on army form no W3231 is prefixed with an S. This indicates he was a wartime recruit & that is further confirmed by the fact that the Balck Watch continued using their pre war sequence of numbers into the war:

2560 joined on 18th August 1913 
2652 joined on 20th January 1914 



His medal index card on ancestry shows he entered theatre of War (1) France 25.11.14. His battalion 1st Black watch had been in France since 14 Aug 1914.


I expect you already have this information, but for the interest of other forum members he is listed here as he was a scottish footballer pre war for St Bernards:




War diaries are on ancestry or may soon be free to download from National archives as a covid offer.



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Also mentioned here in 2008:


John Frail - Private, 1st Black Watch, killed in action 9 May 1915. Played for Lochgelly United, Hibs (a loan spell I think), Dunfermline, Lochgelly again and St. Bernard's. Resided at Inglis Street, Dunfermline and previously worked as a miner in Lumphinnans.



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  • spof changed the title to 4034 Pte John Frail 1Bn Black Watch died 9th May 1915

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