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Can anyone read officer's name


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Hi I was excited to find this message in 7 Black Watch War Diary today.

Can anyone read the other officer's name with Capt Spark looks like Lt ? Gillone ? Gallone

Have long been researching how Gt Uncle Archibald Douglas Spark won his MC at High Wood on or around 30 July 1916. He was with 153 Brigade Machine Gun Company at the time.

I think I have got closer to the time & place now.

Thank you



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Is that Londons or Gordons at the bottom? If Gordons (and the 1/7 Gordon Highlanders were at High Wood at the end of July 1916), then could it be G_th___ - look at the "th" in "within". If Londons, then L__th__

So maybe Latham?

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Hi Jane

Could it be Guthrie


Initials: H S

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

Unit Text: 7th Bn.

Age: 25

Date of Death: 31/03/1918

Additional information: Son of Henry and Jeannie Pryde Guthrie, of "Paarl", Hawthorn St., Leven, Fifeshire.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: XVI. F. 1.


Died ( in German hands )

All the best


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I suspect it's the 1/7th Gordons (same Division & Brigade), and I also think Guthrie fits.

Hugh Smith Guthrie was a Private in the 1/7th so may have been commissioned to a different battalion of the Black Watch? Also, the note states Lt., whereas Hugh was a Sec. Lt. when killed. It could be a hasty error on the note of course. One might expect a 1916 Sec. Lt. to be promoted by 1918, though?

EDIT: Hugh Smith Guthrie was commissioned 30-5-1917, so it can't be him.


There is also:

Medal card of Guthrie, John Mack

Corps Regiment No Rank

Royal Highlanders Second Lieutenant

Royal Highlanders Territorial Force Captain



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I'm running with John Mack Guthrie for a moment:

6th (Perthshire) battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders); the undermentioned Second Lieutenants to be Lieutenants.

Dated 2nd September, 1914:

Lawrence F. Burgis.

Robert B. Ellis.

The undermentioned to be Second Lieutenants.

Dated 2nd September, 1914:

Walter Haig.

Charles Shearer.

William Ernest Coutts.

Archibald Alexander Stewart.

John Mack Guthrie.

Charles George Gordon.

Robert Patrick Haldane.

Not a good start.....

LG 26-6-1916

Roy. Highrs.

2nd Lt. (temp. Lt.) J. M. Guthrie to be Lt. 12th Aug. 1915.

So he was Lt. before July 1916.

LG 15-1-1917

Royal Highlanders.

Lt. J. M. Guthrie to be temp. Capt. 7th Sept. 1916

Jury's out on that one.....


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I read it as

Lt Guthrie and Capt Spark 179 Coy out in open within 50 yds of enemys strong point N E of wood can you help them

am reinforcing you with 1 platoon 1/7 Gordons when they arrive


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I can't find Lt Guthrie or anyone who's name fits, in the relevant battalion war diaries of the time, ( 7 BW, 6BW, & 7 Gordons, 5 Gordons & 153 Machine Gun Company) very odd as you would have expected him to be killed, wounded, awarded a medal or mentioned in some way

I think it says Capt Spark M G Coy

This is a mesage in 7 Gordons War Diary:_

to SLAY per SLUG.

“Situation Right Company. Captain Gillespie and Boase killed.

Officer and 6 men hanging on to right of Wood in shell hole.

Centre Company--. 30 men digging in about 70 yards in advance.

Left Company-------No gain, about 40 casualties per Company.

Request more artillery Supportâ€

6th.Black Watch hung up with M.G. fire, from strong point south of


From G.S.F.Cheape Lt.Col. 7th.Black Watch. Time 7.30 p.m

SLAY must be 7 Gordons

SLUG 7 Black Watch


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  • 2 weeks later...


I think the officer is John Mack Guthrie MC, of the 6th Black Watch. Maj W A Guthrie leaves the 7th Black Watch on the 2nd April 1916. On the 4th of April, Lt Guthrie from the 6th Black Watch, is attached to the 7th Black Watch to instruct the Lewis Gun.

He is subsequently killed on 28th of July 1918 and his Military Cross is awarded posthumously.

Hope this helps


Tom McC

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Not sure if this helps at all but......

Taken from this site

6th Battalion

Abbey J G Pte 266956 : Obituary

Bowie W R Pte 41079 : Photo

Brook E Pte 3746 : Photo

Brown A Captain : Photo

Butler C H 2nd Lt : Photo

Cairns G M 2nd Lt : Photo

Cameron J K Pte 1877 : Obituary

Cramb R Cpl 201426 : Obituary

Edwards C E Pte 3768 : Photo

Ferrier J P D Pte 267309 : Photo

Guthrie J M Captain MC : Photo

Haldane R P Lt : Portrait

Harbidge G V Pte 2525 : Obituary

Johnston A Y Pte 268038 : Photo

Knight W A F Pte 41144 : Obituary

McEwan D F 2nd Lt : Photo

Wilson J N Captain : Photo

Photos due to be added apparently.


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  • 3 years later...

I believe this to be Lt Col GRH Cheape, (later Brigadier General, commanding 86th Brigade)

See http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=158980

"7/Black Watch: Lieut-Col H M Allen (wounded at High Wood 28 July 1916). Command passed to Lieut-Col G R H Cheape MC."

For a short biography, see also http://www.gateside-fife.org.uk/Brig_Cheape.html

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  • 3 years later...
Guest jackolyn27

Hello..I know this is an older post so hope you still have same email. I have some data on an Archibald Douglas Spark..don't know if this is the same one you are looking for or not. He was married in 1917 to an Elsie Divorty Ross. At the time of his 1917 marriage he was a Major with the 4th Battalion Gordon Highlanders. Parents were Robert Spark and Christian Taylor Lyon. There are a couple of London Gazette military postings also that can be found on a google search. Feel free to contact me for additional information.


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Ominously, Jacky (sparky53) hasn't been on the Forum since 2009.

Hopefully if the 53 is year of birth she may still be with us, just not participating having completed her research, moved, lost password etc etc.

It may be possible that she is still contactable on a Family History site such as Ancestry where she may have put her Family Tree.

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  • 8 months later...

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