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Ryukyu

11th Scottish Rifles (Cameronians)

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Ryukyu

Hi,

Im researching my Great Great Uncle, Donald MacRae, 26213, from Glasgow (originally Snizort, Skye) who served with the 11th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and was KIA 19/09/1918 in Salonika.

However i dont know much about this regiment, and dont know where to start.

Any information at all would be gratefully recieved.

Thanks,

Ewan MacRae

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Lost in Tilloy

Hi Ewan

There are some details on the 11th Cameronians on 'The Long, Long Trail' website [www.1914-1918.net].

They served in the 26th Division, 77th Brigade, having joined in October 1914. They initially served in France before moving to Salonika in 1915.

Looking at the dates you mention it could well be that your Great, great uncle fought in the Battle of Doiran that occurred between the 18th & 19th September 1918.

I also had a relative that served in Salonika [1st Royal Scots] and found Alan Wakefield & Simon Moody's book helpful [under the Devil's Eye: Britain's Forgotten Army At Salonika 1915-1918]. Chapter 12 is dedicated to the Battle of Doiran.

If you want to PM me your address I'd be happy to pass on what limited info I have.

Yours

LIT

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barrieduncan

If your located anywhere near central Scotland, the Cameronian Regimental Museum is located in Hamilton. You may find it quite interesting, their displays are quite good for such a small museum.

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Smith 565

Ewen,

Nice to find somebody else with a connection to this battalion!

My grandfather (Cpl B Bayley) served with the 11th Battalion throughout the war as a signaller. Unfortunately he died in 1975 and I never got the opportunity to find out anything of his experiences. His soldiers documents have not survived at the National Archives either. (He was English, from Cheshire, so why he decided to grace the Scottish Rifles is also a mystery. He could presumably have joined a local regiment far more easily.)

You may be aware that the battalion had a soldier (Sgt Ashton) shot. I think the charge was desertion, when he failed to take part in an attack at Doiran. I cannot without reference to my library remember exactly when, but I suspect it was the occasion when your great-uncle was killed.

I do know that my grandfather was very 'anti army' as a result of his experiences and have wondered if he knew Sgt Ashton. Sadly, like many things, I'll never know.

Regards,

Geoff

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Ryukyu

Thanks everyone! I will have to go to the museum when i get back to Scotland in June, and it was sad to hear that a soldier was shot for deserting, by the looks of it, the campaign in Macedonia wasn't very well run at all...

I'm looking for any information on the 18th and 19th September related to the battle of Doiran, is there a war diary or something that could shed a bit more light on those days?

Again, thanks, and anything would be a great help!!

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Smith 565

Ewan,

The War Diary for the battalion exists at the National Archives. I have looked at it, but have not got round to taking particular copies. You could try posting a request on the Forum and someone may be willing to get copies for you, as you may not be near Kew?

The book 'Under the Devil's Eye' mentioned by LIT is very good. Alternatively, your library may be able to get you a copy of the official history of the campaign.

Do you know if your great uncle is buried, or commemorated on the Doiran Memorial. The CWGC would get a photo of his grave for you, or the memorial entry if you ask nicely! They are invariably very helpful.

Geoff

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Roxy

Ewan,

I've got a hard copy of SDGW (The Cameronians) if I can be of help. (incidently, your great great uncle is not mentioned, but I'll have a closer look and get back)

Roxy

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DMcNay

Lanarkshire Family History Society until recently were transcribing the War Diaries. I'm not sure if the 11th was one of the ones we did, but the Museum in Hamilton has a copy if you want to contact them.

EDIT: Did a quick check, and the 11th has been transcribed by us, so there should hopefully be some information there. I would check the copy the Society has, but I'm not at our office this week and unfortunately we had to agree that the copy we had was for our members only. It was one of the conditions of us being able to retain a copy.

Regards,

David

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Roxy

Ewan,

I've just looked through my SDGW and, no luck I'm afraid.

They have 4 MacRaes listed but 2 of them are the same man! (L/Cpl 28541 John MacRae who died of wounds in F & F on 17 Apr 17 is listed as being in the 1st and 2nd Bns; CWGC list him as 1st Bn)

However, here is a copy of your great great uncle's CWGC certificate:

http://www.cwgc.org/search/certificate.aspx?casualty=334632

Roxy

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Smith 565

Ewan,

Checked my copy of 'Shot at Dawn' last night. 13827 L/Sgt Harry Ashton was shot for desertion on 8 July 1917, following the unsuccessful attack on 8 May 1917 (1st Battle of Doiran).

Geoff

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Hambo

Ewan

I have a copy of the Regimental history, if you'd like any lookups let me know

Hambo

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Ryukyu
Ewan

I have a copy of the Regimental history, if you'd like any lookups let me know

Hambo

Hi, yes, that would be great. I'm looking for any information on my Great great Uncle, Donald MacRae, he died on the 19th September 1918, probably at the battle of Doiran. If you could look for any mention of him, and of the evnts of the 19th itself i'd be really grateful. Thanks for helping!!

Ewan

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Hambo

Ewan

The entry is as follows:-

The wider attack was to take the positions know as Sugar Loaf, The Knot, The Tassel the Rockies and the Plume

11th battalion was on the right with 8th Royal Scots in the centre and the 12th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on the left.

At 3am on the 19th the battalion under Major F.W.Scougal left Sennelje Camp where they had been in reserve the day before when the Greeks had failed to take the same position. They moved through Vladaja Ravine to their assemby positions. While moving through the ravine they came under shelling from gas shells which was not imediately recognised as gas by the men because of the large amount of smoke in the area. Many were affected before the respirators were put on.

The battalion arrived at the assembly area at 5.12am and formed into two waves consisting each of two companies Nos.4 and 2 in the first wave led by Captain M McGibbon they were to take a position known as he Fang. Nos 1 and 3 were in the second wave commanded by Captain D.R.Orr

The barrage fell at 5.15am and the Fang was taken without difficulty and at 5.23am the barrage moved onto the second objective and they advanced towards the Knot. The Greeks on the right had failed to take their objective and machine gun fire was directed at the No.3 company from the these untaken position and the fire became too intense for further progress to be made. Instead they followed the other three companies towards the trench between the Tassel and the Tongue.

On the left the battalion was held up by machine gun fire and Corporal T Fisher took his Lewis Gun foward and silenced the enemy position for which he was awarded the MM.

After "very sharp fighting" the trench was theirs and they pushed on towards the Tassel but came under fire from three sides and were stopped by uncut wire, being foced to retire and make their way back to the captured trench.

They were not in the trench for long because they came under intense artillery and machine gun fire from the uncaptured position on the right known as the Hilt. Finding it untenable the survivors joined the Royal Scots and the Argylls now all at the Tongue. This position was held until 9.45am under Lt A.Reid who was the most senior unwounded Cameronian officer remaining. With both flanks "in the air" due the failure of the Zouaves on the left to take Doljeli village the entire weight of the enemy's fire came down on the remainders of the three battalions. Three sucessive infantry attacks were made against them, the first two were resisted with rifle and machine guns but as they ran out of ammunition the third was driven off using captured stick grenades, large stones and bayonets.

As their was no supporting artillery fire the officer in overall charge of the three battaions, Lt Col Falconer-Stewart of the Argylls decided that there was no option but to withdraw to the starting point or lose the remaining men entirely, to the Bulgarian attacks.

At 10.30am he ordered the withdrawal and carrying as many of their wounded as they could they retired to the start point having gained no ground at all. Three officers were killed 12 were wounded and two were missing, along with 173 men killed or missing and 40 wounded. Following the action the survivors, 12 officers and 322 rank and file were sent to a camp in the rear

Hope this helps Hambo

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Hambo

By the way there is a detailed map in the book of the area of the attack as well as a photo of the 11th on the march. If you'd like copies send me a PM and I'll scan them for you

Hambo

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Guest valnik

Hi to all.

I am planning a visit to the Doiran battlefield for a friend, who lost his grandfather there. He indents to visit the places where his ancestor fought and died.
His name was Charles Scarth Ballantyne Pte 24801 11th Bn Cameronians. His body was not recovered.

I would appreciate any suggestions in finding a detailed map or/and more Info.

Thanks in advance.

Valnik

@ Hambo: I was wondering if it is possible to obtain a copy.

By the way there is a detailed map in the book of the area of the attack as well as a photo of the 11th on the march. If you'd like copies send me a PM and I'll scan them for you
Hambo

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Neil Mackenzie

Donald's Battalion commander (Major FW Scougal) was killed in the action on 19th September - the day after his brother (Lt-Col Alec Scougal) was killed outside Ypres.

 

Neil

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