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Remembered Today:

Pte William McPHEE 7 Camerons, KiA 28.1.17

Guest Pete Wood

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Guest Pete Wood


Initials: W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: Cameron Highlanders

Unit Text: 7th Bn.

Date of Death: 28/01/1917

Service No: S/21198

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 15 B


Killed in Action

Enlisted and resided in Dundee Forfarshire

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The 15th Division history mentions a large raid by 8/10th Gordons on the Butte de Warlincourt and nearby Quarry on the 29th January . It does not mention 7th Cameron Highlanders per se. Trench casualty perhaps but it was in the area of the Butte de Warlincourt where the Brigade were in the trenches.



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There was not a lot happening for the 7th on 28/1/17. They had moved into the line on 24/1 when they relieved the 6/7th RSF in the Front Right sector, left sub sector, C Coy left, A Coy right, B support, Sunken road, D Coy Flers Line. The entry in the Bttn history ( quoting extracts from the war Diary) then says 26/1 D and B Coys relieved A and C Coys respectively. On 28/1 they are relieved in turn by 8th seaforths, A Coy Prue Trench, C Martinpuich, B Starfish, B ( sic) Coy and HQ Seven Elms. No casualties are recorded for this tour ( unusually, looking through similar records, which also record the wounded.) They were at pioneer camp on 30/1 'Relieved by 9th Black Watch' and at Becourt Camp, 'relieved by the Australians' on 1/2/17.

They only incident recorded during this time was that 'some brilliant genius put a brazier on top of a box of verey lights which after a time went off and started shooting about the dugout. The dig out was situated in the front line in the Le Sars sunken road, which was generally a sea of mud, often overflowing down into the dug out. One woulkd have thought that it was impossible for any of the timber saturated with mud and water to burn. This soon proved to be wrong, as the fire worked its way up one of the stairs, getting a splendid down draught from the others. the place was soon a roaring furnace. the officers and men set about building up a barricade using sandbags. This was an exciting experience, for the Verey lights kept shooting about as the fire increased in intensity, and might at any moment have set fire to the boxes of bombs etc. One of the men actually ordered an officer out with the remark " it was no place for him2 when he began to realise the danger. Perhaps this was not strictly in accordance with the idesa of army discipline, but at any rate it shewed the good spirit and affection that existed between officers and men' p63.

From the details in the diary above, this would seem to have been during Jan 24-28.

There is no individual record relating to McPhee. Was he KIA or Died, as the extracts from the war diary appear pretty consistent in reporting losses recorded ( although i have not seen the full original). It woulf be nice to think that he did at least get to enjoy thenfirework display in the Le Sars road.


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