Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

The Ardeer Company TF


Guest Hill 60

Recommended Posts

Can anyone expand on the following (taken from British Regiments 1914-1918 by Brigadier E. A. James):

'4/8/14 Ardeer. Very little information is available about this Company. It was formed in 1913 by Nobel's Explosives Company to guard their factory at Adeer in the event of war.

In 1913 & 1914 it went to annual camp with 4th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers. On, or before, mobilization it was on guard duty in the explosives factory at Ardeer. It appears to have been disbanded in Nov 1914 so that all ranks could go back to their important work in the factory, having handed over the guard duties to a Company of the Scottish Rifles. However, the Company is still shown in the Army List for Nov 1918 with 5 Officers.

It was not reformed after the war.'

I was hoping someone might know the names of the 5 Officers mentioned in the Army List (Nov 1918) or even if any of the men from the Company are known to have been casualties.

Many thanks in advance for any help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Lee,

According to Frederick's Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660-1978, Vol 1. Page 255.

Royal Scots Fusiliers, Territorials, The Adeer Company: Formed 1/11/1912 at Nobel's Explosive Works. Embodied 4/8/1914. Personnel discharged 11/1914 and unit not reconstituted.

This still do not answer why they were shown in the Army List!

Arthur

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ray Westlake in his book 'The Territorial Battalions' says 'The company is not shown in 'The army list' after 1922.

Ardeer is 3 miles North of Irvine, Ayrshire

Link to post
Share on other sites

Arthur - David - Thanks for the info.

I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those research projects that is going to suffer from lack of information.

I don't suppose anyone knows if they wore the RSF cap badge or if they had a 'factory' badge?

Many thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee,

I have checked the information that I have regarding their insignia and have found nothing. However, I would presume that they wore the RSF insignia beings they were a classed as a Territorial unit of that Regiment.

The Scottish Military Collector's Society might be able to help you more with this quest!

Arthur

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee

They did have their own metal shoulder title. I am scanning now and will e-mail you direct a page from Ray Westlake's 'Collecting Metal Shoulder Titles'

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee

This unit features in the Scottish Command Defence Scheme of 1912. This was intended to deal with the threat of raids on the east coast and Clyde estuary, rather than a full scale invasion. Ardeer is on the Clyde coast (near Ardrossan).

There are no other similar units in the defence scheme. The guard force for other locations was to be found by 'normal' TF or regular units.

I would guess the reason for such a unit is the vulnerable location of an important factory combined with a large number of potential recruits in the work force.

Jock Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee

You may wish to write to the company at the following address:

ICI Nobels Explosives Company Ltd

Stevenston

KA20 3LN

Ayrshire.

During the latter half of the 1980's I visited the factory a number of times found them most helpful and knowledgeable about the history of the factory. They still make military products.

Terry Reeves

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did some research a while back on the 4 / RSF who lost some men during an engagement at Dueidar in the Sinai desert in April 1916 (the same time as the action which claimed the Worcs Hussars and Glos Yeomanry at Qatia) during a Turkish attack to pre-empt the movement across the desert towards Palestine.

I made the following fairly poorly referenced pile of notes - my study habits have improved a bit since! Ardeer cropped up in most of the 4 / RSF details.

Buchan, John. The History of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, 1678-1918, published 1925.

Kemp, J.C. The History of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, 1919-1959, published 1963.

A Soldier's History: The Story of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, published by the Regimental Museum.

Roll of Honour: The Royal Scots Fusiliers, Scottish National War Memorial, The Castle, Edinburgh.

Battalion War Diaries in the Public Record Office, Kew, London

VC winners

Private G. Ravenhill 2nd Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers 1899 South Africa

Private R. Lauder 4th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers 1915 Gallipoli

2nd Lt J.M. Craig 5th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers 1917 Gaza

2nd Lt S.H.P. Boughey 4th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers 1917 Jerusalem

Sgt T. Caldwell 12th Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers 1918 Western Front

The Ardeer Company was formed in 1913 by the Nobel Explosives

Factory at Ardeer Works near Irvine and attached to 4th Bn RSF.

Ardeer - The Factory

Nobel's Explosives Company and its successor ICI have been part of Ayrshire's economy for over 125 years. There can be few people in the area whose life has not been touched by that enterprise. The Nobel Explosive Factory at Ardeer once sustained the economies of the Three Towns (Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston) and neighbouring Kilwinning. At its peak, the factory employed 12,700 people.

The Nobel Trust plan to create a huge interactive family tree of Nobel's Explosives people and need help from ex-workers and their families. If you or a member of your family worked for Nobel's Explosives or ICI at any of the Ardeer factories, then you could help The Nobel Trust to build that family tree. This is intended to become an important part of the "Big Idea" Millennium project.

The Big Idea will be situated on the tip of the Ardeer peninsula opposite Irvine Harbour and will feature a Hundred Years of Nobel Laureates, a Millennium of Invention and the History of Explosions, explaining the big ideas of the past, but more importantly, the big ideas of tomorrow.

Forms for submitting family details are available from Irvine, Stevenston and Kilwinning libraries or from the Nobel Exhibition Trust, McGowan House, Lundholm Road, Stevenston, Ayrshire, KA20 3LJ; Telephone 01294 461999.

http://home.clara.net/iainkerr/genuki/AYR/...ston/ardeer.htm

Douglas Grant served 32 years in the British Fire service, the last ten years at the rank of Divisional Officer in Strathclyde Fire Brigade, the UK's second largest Brigade. He joined the South Western Area Fire Brigade in 1966 and as a leading fire-fighter was based at Ardrossan Fire Station which covered the ICI Nylon Plant, Shell Refinery and the Nobel Explosives Factory at Ardeer.

http://www.ific.co.uk/ific/cvs/douglas.htm

Explosives in the Service of Man: Ardeer & the Nobel Heritage

RCAHMS 1996, £5.00 available from RCAHMS

In 1871, Alfred Nobel brought the newly-born high-explosives industry to Britain, establishing, with the backing of Scottish entrepreneurs, the country's first dynamite factory at Ardeer on the west coast of Scotland in Ayrshire. In its time, Ardeer grew to become the largest explosives factory in the world, and was one of the principal driving forces behind the creation of ICI in 1926

Through the publication of this book, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and ICI Explosives wish to acknowledge the debt that Scotland, the United Kingdom and the World owes to Alfred Bernhard Nobel

http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/nmrs/publication11.html

Address:

RCAHMS

John Sinclair House,

16 Bernard Terrace,

Edinburgh,

EH8 9NX

Telephone: 0131 - 662 1456

Fax: 0131 - 662 1499/1477

email:

Memorials: Statue in the gardens west of County Buildings Ayr.

In 1901 when the RSF adopted tarten trews they wore the

Government (Black Watch) sett with a blue line added.

Regmental Depot, Churchill Barracks, Ayr.

Gould p. 20

4th and 5th Gallipoli 7 June 1915. Egypt 4 Feb 16 - 17. Palestine 17 - 18 F/F 17 Apr 18

1st/4th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers:

Cochrane, Hugh, 9110, Pte., k.i.a. Palestine 23/4/1916

H COCHRANE

Private

9110

1st/4th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 109.

Haney, Patrick, 8273, Pte., k.i.a. Palestine 23/4/1916

PATRICK HANEY

Private

8273

1st/4th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916. Age 19.

Son of the late Charles and Catherine Coffey Haney, of Ayrshire. Born at Paisley, Renfrewshire.

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 70.

Major, Thomas, 8585, Pte., k.i.a. Palestine 23/4/1916

T MAJOR

Private

8585

1st/4th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916.

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 107.

Shields, George, 8260, Sgt., k.i.a. Palestine 23/4/1916

G SHIELDS

Serjeant

8260

1st/4th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916.

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 144.

Wallace, John, 7581, Pte., k.i.a. Palestine 23/4/1916

J WALLACE

Private

7581

1st/4th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916.

1st/5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers:

Alexander, Archibald, 7611, Cpl., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

ARCHIBALD TAYLOR ALEXANDER

Corporal

7611

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916. Age 21.

Son of Hugh and Annie Alexander, of 8, Kyle Terrace, Irvine, Ayrshire

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 220.

Donaghy, Andrew, 7157, Pte., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

A DONAGHY

Lance Corporal

7157

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 142

Donnelly, Joseph, 7034, Pte., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

J DONNELLY

Private

7034

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916. Age 21.

Son of James Donnelly, of South Wellington, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Native of Galston, Ayrshire

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 181.

Hay, Hugh, 7692, Cpl., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

H HAY

Corporal

7693

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916.

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 214

Lyon, Duncan, 7800, Pte., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

D LYON

Private

7800

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 216

MacDonald, William 7208, Pte., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

W McDONALD

Private

7208

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916. Age 32.

Son of Donald M. and Annie McDonald, of 14, South St., Grantown-on-Spey, Inverness-shire.

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 183

McCullouch, James, 7733, Pte., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

J McCULLOCH

Private

7733

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 177.

McGill, Robert, 7252, Pte., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

R McGILL

Private

7252

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 140

McKean, Robert, 7197, Pte., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

R McKEAN

Private

7197

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916. Age 25.

Son of William and Margaret McKean, of 3, Culyean Terrace, Prestwick, Ayrshire

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 179.

Orr, John, 7063, Sgt., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

J ORR

Serjeant

7063

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916.

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 218.

Stewart, Robert Crawford, 5718, Sgt., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

R C STEWART

Serjeant

5718

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916.

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 255.

Thornton, James, 9270, Pte., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

J THORNTON

Private

9270

1st/5th Bn., Royal Scots Fusiliers

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916

KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

F. 257

Army Ordnance Corps:

Wilson, Harry, A/1233, Armourer Sergeant, k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

HARRY WILSON

Staff Serjeant

A/1233

Armourer

Royal Army Ordnance Corps

attd., Worcestershire Regiment

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916.

JERUSALEM MEMORIAL, Israel

Army Service Corps: Wood, John Simpson, T/32424, Dvr., k.i.a. Egypt 23/4/1916

J S WOOD

Driver

T/32424

Army Service Corps

who died on

Sunday, 23rd April 1916. Age 21.

Horse Transport, Son of James Simpson Wood and Jeanie Wood, of 42, Brunswick Rd., Edinburgh. Born at Ayton, Berwickshire.

I am fairly confident that the AOC and ASC men were connected with the action, as they were both Scottish.

Link to post
Share on other sites

:D

Terry - Thanks for the address, I'll get onto them ASAP.

Simon - Wow! Thanks for all the info, it makes a great excuse for me to stop decorating the front room and having a look at all you've given me!!

Many thanks to all those who have helped me out with this query.

:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee,

it would be interesting (to me at least) to know if the Ardeer Coy was called out during the precautionary period i.e. before general mobilisation of the TF.

Some TF men served in the Special Service Sectionswith a commitment to serve before general mobilisation.

To quote from 1912 TF Regs

'The conditions for service in the Special Service Section will be as follows:

(a) They will engage to serve in case of national emergency, when called upon to do so under the authority of the Secretary of State, for a period not exceeding one mouth, in the coast defences or other specified place mentioned in their agreement, even though no order calling out the Territorial Force for actual military service is in force at the time. '

The 1912 Scottish Defence Scheme lists all the locations to be guarded during the precautionary period and after the outbreak of war, showing the number of men and the providing unit for each (in most cases the guard during the precautionary period is provided by TF SSS men, with another unit taking over after general mobilisation) ............. except in the case of Ardeer, where no numbers are recorded for either period and there is simply a remark saying 'One coy 4 RSF, permanently stationed at this works'.

I think the SSS were called out very late in Jul 14 - 29th or 30th.

Interested in anything you turn up.

Jock Bruce

(with acknowledgements to Charles Messenger and Joe Sweeny)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee,

it would be interesting (to me at least) to know if the Ardeer Coy was called out during the precautionary period i.e. before general mobilisation of the TF.

Some TF men served in the Special Service Sectionswith a commitment to serve before general mobilisation.

To quote from 1912 TF Regs

'The conditions for service in the Special Service Section will be as follows:

(a) They will engage to serve in case of national emergency, when called upon to do so under the authority of the Secretary of State, for a period not exceeding one mouth, in the coast defences or other specified place mentioned in their agreement, even though no order calling out the Territorial Force for actual military service is in force at the time. '

The 1912 Scottish Defence Scheme lists all the locations to be guarded during the precautionary period and after the outbreak of war, showing the number of men and the providing unit for each (in most cases the guard during the precautionary period is provided by TF SSS men, with another unit taking over after general mobilisation) ............. except in the case of Ardeer, where no numbers are recorded for either period and there is simply a remark saying 'One coy 4 RSF, permanently stationed at this works'.

I think the SSS were called out very late in Jul 14 - 29th or 30th.

Interested in anything you turn up.

Jock Bruce

(with acknowledgements to Charles Messenger and Joe Sweeny)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jock - I will endeavour to find out if they were called out but only (as I've been told by the Better Half') when I have finished decorating!!!

Charles - Thanks for the date.

I only asked the question about the Ardeer Company out of curiosity after seeing their name in British Regiments 1914-1918. Now, thanks to the help of all those who volunteered answers and snippets of information I have now embarked on a new research project. This is also the excuse I needed to visit the land of my ancestors, eat proper haggis, visit some distilleries and (if I can find the time) visit the factory!!).

Sincere thanks to all those who helped me on this matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lee,

The Army List for Dec.1914 lists the following:-

The Ardeer Company (Territorial)

Captain.

Weir, J.M. 1 Nov.12

Lieutenant.

Taylor, N. 1 Nov.12

2nd Lieutenants.

Thomas J. 4 Dec.12

Pollard, A.F.C. 16 Aug.14

Smaldon, H.O. 19 Aug.14

NB. The July 1918 has exactly the same entries.

Regards,

Alan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Stumbled across the papers for a soldier of the Ardeer Coy in the PRO today - one thing about researching one Jock unit is that you'll see papers from all the others, all those Macs to sort out.

He was a member of the Special Service Section TF and on 20 Jul 14 had signed form E.622 which was an undertaking to serve in 'Defences, Ardeer' when required. I guess this is analogous to the foreign service commitment signed by TF men, since it represents a variation on their normal conditions of service - in this case to undertake service before mobilisation.

The authority quoted was Sect 13 (2) ( b ) of the Territorial Forces Reserve Act 1907, which suggests to me the concept of the SSS existed from the beginning of the TF.

He was actually embodied on 30 Jul 14 i.e. during the Precautionary Period and discharged on 13 Feb 15 under authority of a WO letter - no further detail given.

Jock Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...