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In Memory this day


douglass
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In memory on this day for Pte. Robert John Steel, 202357, 5th Scottish Rifles, killed in action.

The following are extracts from the regimental history.

Attack to be made on Hazy trench with the Cameronians at 05.45hrs a.m, on 29th October. The hour was not propitious, as the enemy was sure to be standing-to, and similar unsuccessful attempts had already been made at that hour. The element of surprise was to be achieved in this instance b dispensing of any barrage.

The whole attack was over in less than 30 minutes.

The moral of this isolated attack is that such affairs should not be worked out by the higher command without reference to the people on the spot. Had the battalion been consulted, the time of stand-to and manner of attack employed would not, it is almost certain, have been adopted.

Remembering you always

Douglas Steel

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Douglas

That is quite a stinging indictment by the standards of a war diary. How many casualties were there that day?

Regards

Mel

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Hi Mel,

thanks for the query, believe it to be two Officers, 26 men killed and 34 wounded, total for 27th oct to 31st oct 2 officers killed, 1 wounded, rank and file 39 killed, 69 wounded, 9 missing.

Robert is a mystery, no mentioned in any local newspapers that he was KIA, which isnt uncommon, not on any war memoral, ie place of birth or resisence again probably not uncommon, family today were unaware their father had a half brother their mother never mentioned him, or like alot of KIA they are mentioned on parents gravestones but he isnt , only thing i can think off is that he was born illegitiinate family perhaps didnt want questions asked? or he ran off to war and no one knew where he had gone?

in 2004 i managed to get his name added to the Cockburnspath War memorial after kind help by local council etc etc. if you look on the site The Scottish War Memorials Forum and look under border civic memorials and go to Cockburnspath thread you will see his inscription

always intrigues me how they knew how many were actualy killed and not prisoners etc? or how quick thses numbers were verified?

thanks for your interest

douglass

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Douglas

Thanks for the background - it sounds like a sad tale but well done for the commemoration.

Regards

Mel

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Sadly he does not seem to be on the Scottish National War Memorial at the Castle either, pretty unusual.

John

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Hi John,

He should be in the Roll of honour at the castle, he was in the book but something was wrong with the inscription (cant remember what) but was ok the last time i looked earlier this year as i ordered a memorial scroll that can be purchased there.

must look the nextime im up.

douglas

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  • 3 weeks later...

Robert is included in the Regimental Roll of Honour, although his initials are down as R. T. instead of R. J.

Barrie

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