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bobpike

Lt-Col. A F C Maclachlan

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bobpike

In Savy BC is a noticeably stark entry for an eminent soldier, what do Pals know about him, please?

MACLACHLAN

Initials: A F C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps

Secondary Regiment: Rifle Brigade

Secondary Unit Text: Cdg. 12th Bn.

Date of Death: 22/03/1918

Awards: CMG, DSO

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Paul Reed

This is his obituary from the KRRC Chronicle for 1918:

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bobpike

Thanks, Paul. Quite a soldier!

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Paul Reed

Part 2.

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bobpike

Paul,

Do we know who the three other brothers are?

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Paul Reed

Bob - I don't have my Eton Roll of Honour to hand to check - maybe someone else does?

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Stephen Nulty

Bob

(Paul, thanks for the images)

The screen shot below shows the Maclachlan family in 1891, just after the death of the father Archibald at the age of 72.

The 5 brothers are shown, with Archibald being recorded as a Student of Theology and Neil a Lieutenant in the Seaforth Highlanders.

I checked on CWGC and the only two I could find are Alexander (as discussed) and Ronald, who also seems to be an eminent soldier.

I assume that the two others who died were Ivor and Neil, as by the time of the 1901 census, the younger Archibald is aged 26 and is the vicar at Newton Valence, Hampshire.

Name: MACLACHLAN

Initials: A F C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps

Secondary Regiment: Rifle Brigade

Secondary Unit Text: Cdg. 12th Bn.

Date of Death: 22/03/1918

Awards: CMG, DSO

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. G. 13.

Cemetery: SAVY BRITISH CEMETERY

Name: MACLACHLAN, RONALD CAMPBELL

Initials: R C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Brigadier General

Regiment: General Staff

Unit Text: Cdg. 112th Infantry Bde.

Secondary Regiment: Rifle Brigade

Secondary Unit Text: late

Age: 45

Date of Death: 11/08/1917

Awards: DSO

Additional information: Son of the Rev. A. Campbell Maclachlan, of Newton Valence, Alton, Hants; husband of Elinor Mary Maclachlan, of Rookley House, Kings Somborne, Hants.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. C. 9.

Cemetery: LOCRE HOSPICE CEMETERY

post-1356-1111490376_thumb.jpg

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bobpike

Stephen,

thank you, although as you say Ivor & Neil don't seem to come up on SDGW or CWGC. I've posted this on the ROH thread as Paul suggested they would all be OLd Etonians, perhaps that will shed some light?

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Stephen Nulty

Bob

I also found reference to another son. Lachlan Campbell MacLachlan was born about 1869. In the 1881 census he is shown to be a boarder at Cheam.

Also in the 1881 census, Neil and Archibald are shown at Eton.

I also wondered if it was possible that the brothers who died did so before the First World War, hence their perceived absence from CWGC.

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bobpike

Stephen,

That is possible, but I can't access Paul's posting of the obituary where it's mentioned. My impression is that it suggests the brothers all died during the Great War, but I may be wrong.

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Stephen Nulty

Bob

Paul emailed me the obituarys direct. I have just checked the wording and it says "Our sympathy goes out to members of his family, who have now lost four distinguished solder sons. We riflemen who knew them and loved them will not forget what they have done for the Green Jackets".

So it's not quite clear where or when they died. After the word "sons", there's an asterisk, but the posting does not give any further detail.

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bobpike

Stephen,

Yes, it is ambiguous, but I feel the inference is 'in the present conflict.' Do you agree it suggests they were all KRRC?

Bob

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Stephen Nulty

Bob

Yes, I agree with your "in the present conflict" assumption. But I'm not sure about the KRRC angle. Perhaps we'll have to wait for Paul to check his Roll of Honour. In the meantime, I'll keep searching.

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Stephen Nulty

Bob

Just a quick update.

I've checked the GRO War Deaths Army Officer Indices 1914-1921 and the screen shot shown below lists all entries for the surname MacLachlan. Still no sign of the brothers, I'm afraid. Perhaps this supports my theory that they died before the war.

post-1356-1111662804.jpg

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bobpike

Stephen,

Yes, this does seem to be the case, unless Paul's Eton ROH can shed more light. Still a dreadful sacrifice whatever the War(s)! Thank you for pursuing this,

Bob

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Stephen Nulty

Bob

One down, one to go.

I have found that Major Neil Campbell Maclachlan of the 1st Seaforth Highlanders was accidentally killed on the Mohamand Expedition on the North West Frontier on 24th May 1908.

Memorial in St. Paul's Church, Rawalpindi:

"To the glory of God and in memory of the officers and men of the 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders who were killed in action or died of wounds or disease in the Bazar Valley and Mohmand Expeditions, North West Frontier 1908.

Names of the officers, NCOs and men in memory of whom the above window was erected by the regiment:

Major the Hon Douglas Forbes-Sempill, DSO

Major Neil Campbell MacLachlan

2nd Lieutenant Ian Campbell MacFadyen

Sergeant Alexander Evan Mackenzie

Private Robert Fordyce

Private John White

Private Albert Ecclestone

Private John Smith

Private Murdo Morrison."

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bobpike

Stephen,

Excellent, as you thought, thank you. I wonder what sort of accident it was?

Bob

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Paul Reed

Three Maclachlan's shown in the Eton Roll:

Maclachlan, A.F.C. DSO & Bar, Brig-Gen KRRC, wounded, MID x 3, France, Balkans (k.22.3.18)

Maclachlan, K.D.M. Capt Seaforths, wounded, France (dw.27.4.15)

Maclachlan, R.C. DSO Brig-Gen, Rifle Bde, wounded, MID, France (K. 11.8.17)

The first entered Eton in 1894, the second 1899 and third 1891.

I haven't had time to cross reference with CWGC.

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Stephen Nulty

Bill

Paul’s posting is interesting. The KDM Maclachlan is almost certainly the same man referred to in my posting showing the list of names from the GRO Death Index.

But he’s not one of the brothers. I have found him aged 9 in the 1891 census. But he’s the son of Kenneth F Maclachlan, a retired army captain, living in Knightsbridge.

So we’re left with the fact that there were 6 Maclachlan brothers. We know the dates of death for three of them, and we have the attachment from Paul’s posting which reads “Our sympathy goes out to members of his family, who have now lost four distinguished soldier sons”.

To summarise, the three brothers whose deaths we’re aware of are Neil (d. 1908), Ronald (d. 1917) and Alexander (d. 1918). The three whose fate is unknown are Archibald (born 1864, last identified as a Vicar in 1901), Lachlan (born 1869) and Ivor (born 1878). Given that the “missing” death is not in the Eton RoH, I’m still thinking that the death must have been prior to the war, as was Neil, and it must have been either Lachlan or Ivor.

The quest continues !!

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bobpike

Paul & Stephen,

Thank you for taking so much trouble, eve though the mystery continues! It does seem likely, I feel that you're right re another conflict,

Bob

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Stebie9173

Stephen,

Did you find the 1881 Census for the main family?

It is under Mac Lachlan (with space). It gives us the extra middle names for the brothers

Ivor Patrick C Mac Lachlan, age 3

Alexander Fraser C Mac Lachlan, age 5

Ronald Campbell Mac Lachlan (which has been posted), age 8

The father Archibald N C Mac Lachlan is listed as born in France, British Subject, age 61 (GRO: died June qtr 1891)

None of the family seem to be on the GRO Death Certificates list with a Space in the name...

Apologies if this has already been discussed.

Steve.

PS

Archibald (the younger) is listed as an Oxford Man:

"MacLachlan, Rev. Archibald Campbell, born at Newton Valence, 11 April 1864, father : Archibald Neil, vicar; Magdelen matric 16 Oct 1884, age 20 (from Eton) BA 90"

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Stebie9173

Came across a familiar name whilst searching for something else:

Times 16-8-1917

post-6536-1164888351.jpg

Steve.

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stiletto_33853

Bob,

Just came across this old thread. Ronald Maclachlan is a name I am very familiar with in my reserch on the 8th Rifle Brigade, I even have a couple of his letters.

He is the subject of a few articles in the Chronicles and was a much loved Officer in the R.B.'s.

This is his obituary from the 1917 Rifle Brigade Chronicles:-

Brigadier-Genral R.C. Maclachlan, D.S.O.

Ronald Campbell Maclachlan was the fourth son of the late Archibald Neil Campbell Maclachlan Esq., of Newton Valence and was born 24 July 1872 and educated at Eton and Sandhurst. He was gazetted to the Regiment on 8 July 1893 and was promoted Lieutenant on 27 November 1895. He served with the 3rd Battalion in India and later with the 2nd Battalion in South Africa, where he took part in the Defence of Ladysmith, being severly wounded on 6 January at Wagon Hill. He was present at the action of Laing's Nek in January 1900 and the subsequent operations in the Transvaal. Later, at Bergendal, he did good service with the machine guns. For his services he was mentioned in despatches (Gazette, 10 September 1901) and received the Queens Medal and three clasps. He was promoted Captain 24 April 1900 and was later on posted to the 3rd Battalion in India. He took part in the Thibet Expedition of 1904 as a special service officer, receiving the medal.

On 1 February 1908 he was appointed adjutant of Volunteers and six months later was made adjutant of the Officers Training Corps at Oxford and held that post until 30 September 1911. Here he did excellent service and on the termination of his appointment the Honourary Degree of M.A. was conferred upon him by the University o Oxford. In June 1914 he was appointed to the Command of the Oxford O.T.C. with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and commanded the officer's camp at Churn for a month, where 500 men from the Universities were in training at the time when war was declared. In the following month he assisted to raise and train the 8th (Service) Battalion and took it out to France in May 1915. He was severely wounded at Ypres in December 1915. On 15 June 1915 he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and for his services he was granted the D.S.O. in May 1916. He returned to France in November 1916 and on 7 January 1917 was appointed Brigadier-General. On 11 August 1917 whilst visiting the trenches under his charge he was shot at and killed instantaneously by a German sniper.

His Divisional General wrote strongly on "the services he had rendered during the battles on the 'Scarpe," and how "he commanded his brigade at Monchy on 9th to 11th April, with great success...........We wondered how it was possible for the Germans to have let his men get to the summit of the ridge where there was not a blade of cover. It was his personal example and personal influence only that did it. He was right up to the front, almost in the front line...........The Army has lost a fine leader with tremendous personality..........

"In his Regiment he was beloved, and the large number who attended his funeral was eloquent testimony of the esteem in which he was held by all. But his influence counts much further than his Regiment, and there must be almost hundreds of Oxford men who are under a great obligation to him for having taught them the duties of an officer."

Andy

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Neil Mackenzie

Had a check of the War Diary for 112 Brigade for 11 August 1917.

"General RC Maclachlan DSO killed by a sniper about 7am while going around our line with Lt Col Dill (or could be Bill) GSO1."

An earlier note says that the Brigade front runs from Road junction O.23.b.2.4 just south of BEE Farm northwards to Forret Farm O.11.b.20.15 and cosisted of a line of shell holes made into posts and partially crusted up.

The entry on 7 August mentions that enemy snipers are active and they were having difficulty getting to the front line due to the absence of communication trenches and lack of cover.

The map references would be in respect of map Sheet 28 - does anyone have the relevant bit they could post?

Thanks.

Neil

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Perth Digger

This is a very old topic, but I was searching regarding the stained glass memorial window for the three brothers at Newton Valence and came across this thread. The son, Ivor, was retarded from birth according to the 1911 census and died in November 1918.

Mike

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