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Remembered Today:

James M Marchbank 8th Royal Scots


eltoro1960
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I had a senior moment and posted this in 'War in the air', so I decided to repost it here. :blink:

I have found a local man from Dalkeith, Drummer James M Marchbank 4585 Royal Scots 8th.

He did not die in the war but more remarkably was born on 14th June 1900 and called up at the outbreak of war aged 14 years and 53 days it even says boy on his call up notice. He survived the war and was demobbed on February 23 1919 at which time he was still only 18 years old! There may be younger than him but I doubt luckier. Technically he was barely old enough for call up on Armistice Day.

There could have been fewer younger than him in the BEF, I have only last night came across a transcript of his diary and hope to dissect it and pass on the information.

have only had a quick look but appears that in 1912/13 his Scout Leader , an ex-army officer, encouraged him to join the Territorals, he did so and joined the 8th Royal Scots as a drummer. When they were mobilising he got a letter along with the men to report at Haddington for service. I hope to get more on info on him , just scratching the surface just now, I know he was wounded in 1915.

I have downloaded his MIC from National Archives , they have him as a driver with 8th Royal Scots, but I think they have misread the Dr as Driver instead of Drummer. He qualified for a 1914 Star entering France November,1914 and I checked his birth certificate which pans out, he was born in 1900 . He appears to have been renumbered at some point 330096, maybe when he turned 18? I don't honestly know.

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John,

Glad my Father did not know of him or I think he would have joined as well and it is likely I wouldn't be here. :D

That 4585 Number and 1912/13 Recruitment date is a nuisance though.I do wish the 8th had allocated their Numbers logically.

I see a Private J.Marchbank was awarded the MM(see list in booklet), one and the same?

George

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John.

The re numbering of James Marcbank from 4585 to 330096 would, i think, have taken place in early 1917 and be part of the whole T.F re numbering programme.

Scott.

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John.

The re numbering of James Marcbank from 4585 to 330096 would, i think, have taken place in early 1917 and be part of the whole T.F re numbering programme.

Scott.

Scott,

You are probably right.

What I was getting at.My Uncle served in the 8th Royal Scots.He went to War with Drummer Marchbank.His original TF Number was 20(shown on his 1914 Star) and he was renumbered 325002 in 1917.Somwhere along the line he acquired another number 4208.There is nothing to suggest that he ever changed Battalion but it is a possibility.

Logic says the 4208 Number was given when his original term of enlistment in the 8th R.S.was up and he immediately re-enlisted.

However,Drmr Marchbank was numbered 4585 in 1912/13.

You see my problem :D I know ,check the Medal Rolls.

George

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Yes, it was him!

London Gazette 29-8-1918

Awarded the Military Medal

330096 Pte. J. Marchbank, R. Scots (Dalkeith).

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...;selHonourType=

Possibly for somewhere around April - May 1918, at a guesstimate.

Link to his MM Medal Card if needed:

Medal card of Marchbank, J

Corps Regiment No Rank

Royal Scots 330096 Private

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...;resultcount=10

Steve.

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Thanks for all the great replies guys, I will check his war diary and see what he says about the medal, it was really frustrating , finding the reference copy in the library at 5 mins to 8 and it shuts at 8, one quick look and another week waiting for late opening :angry: . Scott looking forward to meeting you on Friday. George if I can transcibe the diary would you like details as a return favour, Steve thanks for the info on the MM.

Meant to add this too.

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John,

Yes please,assuming it is a Reference Copy and I cannot order via my Local Library.

The MIC is not very clear,or my eyesight is poor.probably the latter :D

Can you make out if Mr(Master?) Marchbank was entitled to the Clasp and Roses for being under fire before 22 November 1914.

Ta

George

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The diary is a 'homespun' local production and on reference only. I will speak nicely to Ken Bogle the curator and hopefully obtain a copy. Re the Clasp and Roses even with my specs and the 'original' I can't say.

This is from the papers at the time

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Cheers John,

I'm now having difficulty finding the photograph on the Forum.

If you don't find it ,e-mail me and I'll e-mail a copy direct.

George

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Hopefully I will be able to show a bit more but here are the pages that relate to the callup and how James won his MM.

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And here is the story of the MM

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young alfie boocock was already in the army when his battalion was mobilised on aug 4th 1914,he and his brother sailed for egypt with the rest of the 9th manchesters in sept 1914,their father was the batts CQMS,he was just over 4 foot tall,and he wasnt 15 till oct,according to reports and letters from other soldiers in his batt,he did more than his fair share of duties,when it was time for his batt to sail for gallipoli he and his brother sailed with them,whilst on gallipoli,there were concerns by the rest of the men that he may be killed or wounded so he was employed in bringing up supplies and ammo to the firing line,he was eventually taken sick and evacuated to malta,when he arrived at malta he was showered with all sorts of goodies by the women,who dubbed him the DARLING OF MALTA,he was patted and kissed by women all the time he was there,[lucky devil]his only concern was to return to gallipoli to be with his mates,but he was sent to england,according to the men,he wasnt worried about shell or shot,he was only worried about being away from his battalion,his brother who was a year older,was still fighting on the peninsular,his father was invalided home a few weeks later with a slight wound,bernard

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what a hero james was.thanks for the info.....is there any more on him? it would be brilliant to read,even his post war life..............

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John,

I am enjoying this Thread so please keep posting to your your hearts content :D

I can confirm that pre-War photo I referred you to was taken in 1911 so Pte Marchbank will not be on it.

Unfortunately the later pre-War photos I have are undated so it is impossible to tell if he is on any of them.

The MM Story and the History compare well.

I do wonder,though,if there is an error in the History.The narrative records that Lt/Col Humphreys was wounded in April 1918 but list of Commanding Officers records that he was wounded on 11 April 1919.I think the correct date is 11 April 1918

For anyone interested the bald facts.In the engagement Pte Marchbank describes the Battalion suffered the following casualties 16 Officers killed,31 other ranks killed,51 missing and 92 wounded.The two Officers taken prisoner were Major J.A. Todd and Adjutant A.D. Jones.

George

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I have managed to photograph the diary of James Marchbank and convert it into PDF form. I would be happy to supply a copy to anyone one wanting it for private research. It is too large to post on the Forum but if you e-mail or PM me I will be happy to oblige, it's about 25 pages in total.

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James' diary is quite fascinating and on the whole ,bearing in mind his age , fairly accurate he describes an incident on 21st March 1918 (below)

He appears to be spot on with the date this is quite remarkable under the circumstances of combat, the men he refers to are.

Corporal Peter Cornwall MM 330142 Gorebridge / Newtongrange

Private William Scott 330100 Bonnyrigg / Lasswade

Private Thomas Willis 335830 Lanark/ Ross-shire

Sgt Archibald Blyth MM 325003 Gilmerton / Prestonpans

All 8th Royal Scots and KIA 21/03/1918

It would appear poor Wille Scott may have taken a direct hit as his body was not found.

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George , regarding your enquiry re the clasp and roses, it would appear that the 8th were under enemy fire by the 15th November as a Sgt 42 David W Grieve was shot in the head by a sniper and killed that day, James records this in his diary and confirmed by CWGC. Also a soldier I am researching A/Sgt Dick Peacock was shot in the head by a sniper on the 20th November. James places great store on the accuracy of the German snipers at this stage of the war, quote " These snipers were very,very skilful. I have seen that we just put anything up and the next thing - Crack!"

Hope this assists.

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John,

Just back from a weekend away so had to access the Forum as a Guest.

Did I miss your Birthday?

I'll e-mail separately re diary.

Couple of general questions.

How was the Diary deposited in the Library?Did James have it published or did he just print one copy for posterity?

The obvious I suppose.What did he do after the War and more impotantly do his Family still have his Medals and do they know how important they are?

George

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post-12504-1156840531.jpgApologies all,

Bit of a technical problem re file size. I will try again, but the quality might not be too great, bear with me.

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By the way John's brother didn't make it;

Name: LUNDIE, KENNETH DOUGLAS

Initials: K D

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Rifleman

Regiment: Royal Irish Rifles

Unit Text: 8th Bn.

Age: 19

Date of Death: 02/08/1917

Service No: 42323

Additional information: Son of Elizabeth Lundie, of 60, Causewayend, Coupar Angus, Perthshire, and the late James Lundie.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: V. B. 25.

Cemetery: VLAMERTINGHE NEW MILITARY CEMETERY

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With regard to James after the war, I don't know what he got up to but I do know that he died on 9th June,1976 aged 75 and is buried in Dalkeith Cemetery. I have the plot no so next task, find and photograph his grave. I also have an address of next of kin at the time of his death. I believe the house is still standing so watch this space.

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Let's hope he had a full and active life post-War and was able to bury his ghosts.

George

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Well I managed to trace the grave of James Meldrum Marchbank.by accident or design his family plot is surrounded by CWGC headstones, which I feel is fitting, it would appear he had a long and happy marriage with his wife Marion who died in 1984 aged 84, maybe they had been school friends before the war? They had a daughter Isobel who died a couple of years ago aged 71. I noticed that her married name was Brockie and that the author of James diary/book was also called Brockie, probably his Grandson. I haven't traced him but if the family were proud enough to write a book, I think we can assume that the medals are in good hands and leave at that, I'll see. RIP James

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John,

Totally agree with your sentiment.

We often show sympathy to Parents who lost their Sons fighting at a young age in WW1.I wonder how James felt, when aged 16/17, fighting in France, he heard his Father had been killed in an accident?

George

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