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1/5th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers


petestarling
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Does anyone know if war diaries exists for the battalion prior to April 1918. That is the only one I can find, nothing for Gallipoli or Palestine. 

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks everybody, sorry for the delay in acknowledging. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The 1/5th Royal Scots Fusiliers (TF) were part of 155th (South Scottish) Brigade, assigned to the 52nd Lowland Division. Infantry units in 155th Brigade were:

1/4th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers

1/5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers

1/4th Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers

1/5th Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers

 

The 1/5th Battalion was mobilised at Ayr on 4 Aug 1914. In May 1915 the battalion embarked for the Dardanelles, sailing from Liverpool on 21 May and arriving at Mudros, Greece on 29 May. On 7 Jun 1915 the battalion landed at Gallipoli and remained there until Jan 1916 when it was withdrawn to Egypt.

In 1917 they took part in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battles of Gaza, Battle of Jerusalem and the Battle of Jaffa.

In 1918 it sailed to France with its Brigade, landing at Marseilles on 17 April, ending the war at Jurbise, south of Mons in Belgium.

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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London Gazette 30622 of 10th April 1918 lists 5 MMs awarded to the 1/5th Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers (Ref. 68/121/509):

240522 Pte. James Bell DCM

241249 Pte. William Dummigan

240467 Pte. Alexander Harvey

241155 L/Cpl. James Nimmo

241215 Pte. Charles Ward

Howard Williamson states that this gazette contained MM awards for the 'capture and defence of Jerusalem' (17th Nov. to 30 Dec. 1917).

The 1/4th Bn. also has 5 MMs in this gazette:

202865 L/Cpl. H. S. Bonar

200738 Pte. H. Cameron

201751 Pte. T. Degnan

200656 Pte. (A. L/Cpl.) William Flynn

 47512 Pte. P. Richmond

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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None of the MM Index Cards for 1/5th in the 10/04/18 LG seem to have any schedule numbers e.g. James Nimmo (TNA WO-372-23-148751):

James Nimmo disembarked at Gallipoli on 23 October 1915 (MIC & 1914-15 star roll). Previous service no. 9328.

Screen Shot 2021-03-07 at 17.43.03.jpg

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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MMs Awarded to 1/5th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers during WW1

Most of the awards are for the later sphere of active service in France, post April 1918.

There do not seem to be any for Gallipoli? The coloured awards are for Egypt/Palestine:

 24284 George Wilson                             LG 31173 11-02-1919

 33503 Robert Goldie                              LG 31173 11-02-1919

 40052 Frederick Brimer                          LG 31173 11-02-1919

 43452 Fred Earnshaw                            LG 31173 11-02-1919

 51126 John T McKay                              LG 31173 11-02-1919

202442 Peter G Fowlie                            LG 31173 11-02-1919

240069 James Stevens                            LG 30652 25-04-1918

240103 Ernest R Muir                              LG 31173 11-02-1919

240110 John McKay                                 LG 31469 23-07-1919

240140 David Caldow                              LG 31173 11-02-1919

240157 William Blackwood                      LG 31338 14-05-1919

240187 John McDonald                           LG 31608 20-10-1919

240237 William H. Murray                        LG 31338 14-05-1919 

240239 Daniel Murray                              LG 31173 11-02-1919

240285 David McCrorie                            LG 30585 19-03-1918 

240315 John Buchanan                            LG 31173 11-02-1919

240339 William Conn                               LG 30652 25-04-1918

240411 John Campbell                             LG 31173 11-02-1919

240412 William Blane                               LG 31173 11-02-1919

240416 Thomas Blakely                           LG 31338 14-05-1919

240438 James Reid                                 LG 31173 11-02-1919

240462 Samuel McClymont                     LG 30234 16-08-1917

240467 Alexander Harvey                        LG 30622 10-04-1918

240468 William Bicker                              LG 31173 11-02-1919

240493 John Hendren                              LG 31227 11-03-1919                       

240509 Alexander Blain                            LG 31173 11-02-1919

240522 James Bell                                   LG 30622 10-04-1918

240686 Sgt. Alexander Colville (7798)     LG 30234 16-08-1917

240706 George Melbourne (7827)            LG 31173 11-02-1919

240731 James Young (7863)                    LG 31227 11-03-1919

240788 Thomas McPhee (7965)               LG 31227 11-03-1919

240911 Thomas Reid (8168)                     LG 31227 11-03-1919

240938 Sgt. Thomas Graham (8215)        LG 31173 11-02-1919

241155 James Nimmo (9328)               LG 30622 10-04-1918

241180 William Galloway (9364)              LG 1921 re 15 March 1919 for Palestine

241215 Charles Ward (9423)                    LG 30622 10-04-1918

241239 James Steele (9458)                     LG 30585 19-03-1918 (Bar LG 31227 13-03-1919)

241249 William Dummigan (9472)           LG 30622 10-04-1918

241271 Sgt. Robert Dougan (9504)          LG 31338 14-05-1919

241300 Angus Johnson (9545)                  LG 31173 11-02-1919

241338 James Weir (9595)                        LG 31227 11-03-1919

241906 Allan McFadzean                          LG 30797 12-07-1918

 

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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James Nimmo was also awarded the WW1 medal trio as he arrived the Gallipoli theatre on 23 October 1915.

He was discharged on 5th March 1919, having served in Gallipoli, Palestine and France.

His place of origin at enlistment was given as 'Prestwick'. There are a lot of James Nimmos in Ayrshire in 1901 & 1911.

I cannot pinpoint him pre or post WW1, and I do not even have an age to guide the search. MIC off Ancestry:

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 12.27.31.png

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From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Nebi_Samwil

"The attack began on 18 November. The 52nd (Lowland) Division departed from Ludd and did reach Beit Likia and the Yeomanry Division Beit Ur el Tahta by the end of the first day. The British attack continued on the 22 November, against El Jib. 

For the next two weeks, the Ottoman army tried to retake Nebi Samwil. The British captured 750 prisoners during the period. The heavy casualties the Turks sustained during the attempt seriously affected their ability to stop the next British attempt to take Jerusalem.

Considering the heavy casualties which had been sustained by his command, General Bulfin requested that XX Corps take over the line and by 28 November the reliefs of the various of XXI Corps was completed. In obtaining a footing on some of the most difficult hills on the Judean heights the efforts of the 52nd and 75th divisions enabled General Allenby to initiate a new plan to capture Jerusalem so they share the honour with the 53rd, 60th (who were already attached to the XX Corps at Latrun) and 75th Divisions, as well the Yeoman Mounted division, which were present at the finish. In the lull before their next attack the British used the opportunity to improve the roads and tracks in the area. To bring forward their heavy artillery and ammunition, water and other supplies. Allenby also decided to relieve XXI Corps with XX Corps which had had a quieter time on the coastal plain."

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From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mughar_Ridge

"The 52nd (Lowland) Division and 75th Division formed part of Lieutenant General Edward Bulfin's XXI Corps. On the coast the 52nd (Lowland) Division was fought a fierce action after crossing the Wadi el Hesi on the coast north of Gaza. By the morning of 8 November, two infantry brigades had crossed the Wadi el Hesi near its mouth and, despite some opposition established themselves on the sand dunes to the north towards Askelon. Sausage Ridge, on their right stretched from Burberah to Deir Sineid, was held in considerable strength, as the ridge covered the road and railway from Gaza to the north. During the afternoon the 155th Brigade moved to attack Sausage Ridge, but it was threatened by a counterattack on the left forcing, the brigade to halt and face north to meet this attack. When the 156th Brigade arrived from Sh. Ajlin on the Wadi el Hesi, the 157th Brigade attacked the southern portion of the ridge, and gained a footing as darkness fell. They lost this precarious position four times to fierce Ottoman counterattacks, before strongly attacking and throwing the defenders off the ridge by 21:00. The two attacking brigades lost 700 men in this action."

 

Infantry attack Brown Hill, 12 November

The 52nd (Lowland) Division was to make a preparatory attack near the coast to open the way for the attack on Junction Station the next day. They were to attack north of the Nahr Sukhereir between the villages of Burqa and Yazurwith the Yeomanry Mounted Division acting as flank guard. Their objective was an important Ottoman rearguard position which ran from the village of Burqa to Brown Hill. While the village was easily taken it was necessary to make an extremely difficult attack on the steep sided Brown Hill. The hill was topped by a large cairn and commanded a long field of fire over the plain southwards across the Nahr Sukhereir. By the time a battalion of the 156th Brigade, covered by two batteries of the 264th Brigade Royal Field Artillery and the South African Field Artillery Brigade of 75th Division, captured the crest it had been reduced to a handful of men. But just 20 minutes after taking Brown Hill the remnants of the Scots battalion (now down to just one officer and about 100 men) was unable to withstand an Ottoman counterattack and was driven off after a fierce struggle at close quarters.

 

See also this thread: 

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/157418-52nd-lowland-division-–-crossing-the-auja/?tab=comments#comment-1520756

 

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Compiling a list of those men of the 1/5th RSF killed during Nov.-Dec. 1917. Of course many more are likely to have been wounded:

8th November (Battle of Mughar Ridge)

240487 James Corrigan

241786 William Joseph Ward

240689 James McMurray

202459 John Henderson

240263 Samuel H. Lawson

241446 Robert Logan - born Maybole, Ayrshire

 

13th November

241728 Robert Glass

241364 Albert Hawley - born Wingate, Durham, enlisted West Hartlepool

240318 Sgt. George Parker

202467 William Stuart

201244 Herbert Senior

 

14th November

240730 Robert Espie

 

24th November

Lt. Col. John Blair Cook  aged 36 (buried c.10 Jerusalem War Cemetery) Husband of Grace E. Mitchell Cook, of 14,Ballantine Drive in Ayr. 

240862 W Robinson aged 22

 

25th November

241735 Kenneth Maclaren Newstead

 

27th November

240530 William Pettigrew aged 29 - High St, Ayr

 

28th November

202424 J D Cheyne aged 30

241231 Thomas Lafferty (Ayr) aged 19

201665 George Scott aged 35

241266 William Wilson aged 26 - enlisted Girvan

 

29th November

240647 John Anderson (from Whithorn, Wigtownshire. Enlisted Ayr)

240547 James McSwan

240454 James Brown

240252 Edward Seymour (From Auchinleck, enlisted Cumnock)

240734 Thomas Fullerton aged 32

010642 John Cruickshanks Kermack aged 25

 

1st December

240343 James Begg aged 30

241572 Walter Newsome (from Barnsley, enlisted York)

 

2nd December

240289 Samuel McCourtney - born: Dundonald, Ayrshire, enlisted Troon. Died of Wounds.

 

14th December

241597 Robert Duthie Greig aged 25

 

20th December

240905 Thomas Murdoch (From Prestwick. Enlisted Ayr)

 

30th December

205235 Adam Howatson

205146 Edward Mason

205186 Andrew G. Purdie

205136 John Wright

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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  • 2 weeks later...

Today I received a 1923 first edition copy of 'The Fifty-second (Lowland) Division 1914-1918' by Lieut-Col. R. R. Thompson MC.

I was saddened to find that the book had been little read as many of the pages were still folded and uncut. I will slice them as I read! 

I will add details of the movements and actions of the 5th RSF and 155th Brigade during November 1917.

 

13th November - 5th RSF attacked and captured Beshshit at 9.30am. 155th Brigade then attacked Katrah and Mughar similtaneously (p.414).

The 5th RSF led in the attack on Katrah while the 4th RSF tried to outflank the defenders.

The RSF captured Katrah around 4.50pm along with 8 machine guns and 400 prisoners (p.422). Mughar was taken with c.1100 prisoners by 4th & 5th KOSB.

The 5th RSF lost 15 ORs with 2 officers and 64 ORs wounded. The 4th RSF lost one officer & 19 ORs with 5 officers & 61 OR wounded (p.425).

The 4th KOSB lost 4 officers and 31 ORs, with 9 officers & 138 ORs wounded. The 5th KOSB lost 1 officer & 20 ORs, with 2 officers and 110 ORs wounded.

 

18th November 155th Brigade started around Katrah, but moved to Ramleh.

19th November - 155th Brigade set out from Ramleh at 6.45am (p.432) and reached Berfilya around 4pm (p.433).

20th November onwards - advancing from Berfilya to Biddu, climbing, fighting and road-building. Relieved on night of 23-24th by 75th Division.

23rd November - 155th brigade moved forward from Beit Likia and occupied Beit Izza.

24th November onwards - 155th Brigade advanced from Beit Issa, aiming to take El Jib (Gibeon) to then Jedireh and Kulundia.

By 26th - During the fighting around Nebi Samwil and El Jib the 5th RSF lost 1 officer (Lt. Col. J. B. Cook DSO) and 3 ORS, with 4 officers & 50 ORs wounded (p.456).

 

 

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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  • 1 month later...

James Nimmo 9328/241155 entered the war theatre on 23 October 1915 presumably after significant training. He must have been at least 18 in 1915.

His MM listing in the LG states that he was from Prestwick (image below). A search of the 1911 census for Ayrshire for ages 14-43 gives a list of 7.

 

The nearest one to Prestwick is the 20 year old miner from 46 Mossblown, Tarbolton (born New Cummock c.1890), parents Andrew & Maggie.

They were still living at New Cumnock, aged 10 on the 1901 Census.

(1911 census clip Scotland's People):

Screen Shot 2021-05-09 at 19.38.12.png

Screen Shot 2021-05-09 at 19.32.38.png

Screen Shot 2021-05-09 at 19.46.28.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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The next closest to Prestwick in 1911 is the 23 year old miner who was born (Dreghorn 1887) and living at 61 Overton Rows, Dreghorn.

He was 13 on the 1901 Census. Living at Dreghorn with parents Andrew & Annie. Census clip image from Scotland's People site:   

Screen Shot 2021-05-10 at 06.51.55.png

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The family of a James Nimmo were living at Heather Cottage, Ayr Road, Prestwick in 1911, but he was not there at the time. 

He was born in Coylton, Ayrshire on 13 December 1872 to James Nimmo and Margaret Cochrane. He died at Prestwick on 8th January 1955 (wife Marion).

He was an 18 year old coal miner at Coylton in 1891. He married a Marion Kerr in Coylton district in 1895. 

In 1901 James and Marion were living at Mill St., Catrine, Ayrshire and he was a 'pumping engine man at coal pit'.

His youngest son, Robert Kerr Nimmo, was born in Prestwick on 4th April 1910 - father James a coal miner.

1911 Census clipping off Scotland's People, (Maisie & James were born in Tarbolton and Katie in Prestwick) but where was James in 1911?

EDIT: I've just found that this James (b.1872) is an uncle of the James b.1890 - 2 posts up (hence the Coylton/Tarbolton connection).

         The James b. Dec 1872 would have been 42 in 1915! Could the nephew James have been with them when he enlisted (24 in 1915)?

 

Screen Shot 2021-05-10 at 07.19.39.png

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I have been wondering if James Nimmo's initial service number of 9328 can help pinpoint when he may have joined the 1/5th RSF?

https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2010/05/royal-scots-fusiliers-3rd-special.html

Could it be that he was not at home in 1911 because he was already serving in the army?

 

A James Nimmo from Galston (b. Catrine) had joined the 5th RSF in September 1914 as 7749. He had 6 years prior service:

https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=1114&h=686922&tid=&pid=&queryId=09951a20663514fd4ee9b956f3c55721&usePUB=true&_phsrc=AHE12073&_phstart=successSource

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Hi Ivor,

 

7 hours ago, Ivor Anderson said:

I have been wondering if James Nimmo's initial service number of 9328 can help pinpoint when he may have joined the 1/5th RSF?

 

On 09/05/2021 at 19:47, Ivor Anderson said:

James Nimmo 9328/241155 entered the war theatre on 23 October 1915 presumably after significant training.

 

Initially as 3/5th, some 5th Battalion dates:

 

9320/241149 Ballantyne - enlisted 5.6.1915

9323/241151 Sloan - transferred in to battalion 5.6.1915

9328/241155

9329/241156 McPherson - enlisted 8.6.1915

 

7 hours ago, Ivor Anderson said:

A James Nimmo from Galston (b. Catrine) had joined the 5th RSF in September 1914 as 7749.

 

The number sequencing above would appear to predate the discharge of 7749 Nimmo on 5.6.1916.

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

 

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Thanks Chris. The probable early June enlistment is another piece of the jigsaw! :) So many James Nimmos and no age to go by!

Thanks to your list above I've begun looking at SWB recipients.

I see that John McPherson 9329/241156 - the next no. to James Nimmo has a surviving service recordhttps://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=1219&h=1262755&tid=&pid=&queryId=7548f2041c3cff2da07dea6205db1cbc&usePUB=true&_phsrc=AHE12092&_phstart=successSource

Service dates (Ancestry image); 

Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 07.30.48.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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Lt. Col. John Blair Cook of the 5th Royal Scots Fusiliers was KIA on 24th November 1917 during an attack around El Jib & Nebi Samwil in the Judean Hills, NW of Jerusalem. He was aged 36  (b.1881) and was buried c.10 Jerusalem War Cemetery. Husband of Grace E. Mitchell Cook, of 14,Ballantine Drive in Ayr. He had been a territorial before WW1, commissioned 2nd Lt. in the 5th RSF in 1908. He was a English teacher at the Higher Grade School, Dalmellington, Ayrshire. He had graduated MA from the Univ. of Glasgow in 1907.

He was acting CO of the Battalion after the death of the previous CO (Maj. John Russell)  on 26 August.

He had been awarded a MC as a Captain in 1916 (MiD LG 28-01-1916 p.1200). MC listed in LG 2 February 1916 p.1337 (no citation?)

A Croix de Guerre as a Captain LG 30 March 1916 p.2445 (MiD LG 13-07-1916 p.6948), and

A DSO as Major (A/Lt. Col.) in LG 26 March 1918 - posthumous DSO citation for gallantry in LG 24 August 1918 p.9902:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30862/supplement/9902

Screen Shot 2021-05-20 at 12.53.01.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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On 20/05/2021 at 07:10, Ivor Anderson said:

Lt. Col. John Blair Cook of the 5th Royal Scots Fusiliers was KIA on 24th November 1917 during an attack around El Jib & Nebi Samwil in the Judean Hills, NW of Jerusalem. He was aged 36  (b.1881) and was buried c.10 Jerusalem War Cemetery. Husband of Grace E. Mitchell Cook, of 14,Ballantine Drive in Ayr. He had been a territorial before WW1, commissioned 2nd Lt. in the 5th RSF in 1908. He was a English teacher at the Higher Grade School, Dalmellington, Ayrshire. He had graduated MA from the Univ. of Glasgow in 1907.

He was acting CO of the Battalion after the death of the previous CO (Maj. John Russell)  on 26 August.

He had been awarded a MC as a Captain in 1916 (MiD LG 28-01-1916 p.1200). MC listed in LG 2 February 1916 p.1337 (no citation?)

A Croix de Guerre as a Captain LG 30 March 1916 p.2445 (MiD LG 13-07-1916 p.6948), and

A DSO as Major (A/Lt. Col.) in LG 26 March 1918 - posthumous DSO citation for gallantry in LG 24 August 1918 p.9902:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30862/supplement/9902

Screen Shot 2021-05-20 at 12.53.01.png

Here is a link to the University of Glasgow's WW1 Roll of Honour to Lt Col Cook.

University of Glasgow :: Story :: Biography of Lieutenant Colonel John Blair Cook

 

Tom.

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On 20/05/2021 at 07:10, Ivor Anderson said:

Lt. Col. John Blair Cook of the 5th Royal Scots Fusiliers was KIA on 24th November 1917 during an attack around El Jib & Nebi Samwil in the Judean Hills, NW of Jerusalem. He was aged 36  (b.1881) and was buried c.10 Jerusalem War Cemetery. Husband of Grace E. Mitchell Cook, of 14,Ballantine Drive in Ayr. He had been a territorial before WW1, commissioned 2nd Lt. in the 5th RSF in 1908. He was a English teacher at the Higher Grade School, Dalmellington, Ayrshire. He had graduated MA from the Univ. of Glasgow in 1907.

He was acting CO of the Battalion after the death of the previous CO (Maj. John Russell)  on 26 August.

He had been awarded a MC as a Captain in 1916 (MiD LG 28-01-1916 p.1200). MC listed in LG 2 February 1916 p.1337 (no citation?)

A Croix de Guerre as a Captain LG 30 March 1916 p.2445 (MiD LG 13-07-1916 p.6948), and

A DSO as Major (A/Lt. Col.) in LG 26 March 1918 - posthumous DSO citation for gallantry in LG 24 August 1918 p.9902:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30862/supplement/9902

Screen Shot 2021-05-20 at 12.53.01.png

The CWGC entry notes the 'Additional Information":

"Son of Edward Cook, of Coalburn, Lanarkshire; husband of Grace E. Mitchell Cook, of 14, Ballantine Drive, Ayr. English Master, Higher Grade School, Dalmellington.".

Casualty Details | CWGC

Tom.

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