Armadale & District War Memorial Association

Registered Scottish Charity No. SC044493

MATTHEW ATCHESON (AITCHISON)

1st Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS FUSILIERS

Rank                            Private

Service number          13945

Date of death              02/01/1915

Place of birth               Greenock

Age                              40

Resided                       Dumbarton

Enlisted                       Cumnock, Ayrshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 19 and 33.

Cemetery: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

 

Mathew was an ex-Army man, and he had previously served with the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch), Mathew re-joined at the outbreak of the war.

 

Although not residing at Northrigg when he re-enlisted, he was well known in Armadale, having lived at Northrigg for a number of years, and being widely known by a large number of Armadale people.

For many years he was employed as a brusher at Woodend Colliery by George Morrison.

Matthew moved to a mining village in Ayrshire a short time before war broke out, and it was whilst there he re-enlisted.

 

Mathew arrived in France on the 3rd December 1914.

 

Matthew Aitchison appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Southrigg Colliery and being killed in action 1/1/15 with the QUEENS OWN CAMERON HIGHLANDERS.

 

Matthew appears on the Armadale War Memorial in South Street and also on the Memorial in Armadale Parish Church.

DAVID DRYSDALE ANDERSON

13th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          20240

Date of death              22/08/1917

Place of birth               Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Age                              35

Resided                       Westrigg, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 11 to 14 and 162.

Cemetery: TYNE COT MEMORIAL

Husband of Helen Anderson, 126 Westrigg.

 

David enlisted 26th January 1915. He was for some time in 2nd Scottish General Hospital Craiglieth because of boils, then he was transferred to Royal Victoria Hospital to recuperate.

He arrived in France with the 12th Royal Scots on the 12th October 1915. David was admitted to Hospital with a septic knee on the 27th October 1915.

 

On 31 December 1916 he was Wounded in the head and Left thigh as a result of Gunshot. He was then a Patient in the Canadian General Hospital, Etaples.

 

Returning to the fight after recovering from his wounds he was reported as missing on the 22nd August 1917, he was later reported killed that day at the third battle of Ypres (Passchendaele).

 

David served with the 12th, 11th, and 13th Royal Scots.

 

David Anderson appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Westrigg Colliery.

JAMES ANDERSON

7th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          2535

Date of death              22/05/1915

Place of birth  

Age                              31

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Theatre of death          Home

Grave/Memorial Reference:

Cemetery: EDINBURGH (ROSEBANK) CEMETERY  

(KILLED IN THE GRETNA TRAIN CRASH)

 

James was a married man who left a wife and one child. He resided the Beeches, Armadale.

He was the Grandson of Mr James Anderson West Main Street, Armadale, with whom he was brought up.

 

James enlisted into the 7th Royal Scots in November 1914, he had previously served for 40 Days with the Royal Field Artillery, and he had purchased himself out.

 

James Anderson appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Blackrigg Colliery.

ROBERT BALLOCH

7th Battalion

SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

Rank                            Private

Service number          S/6077

Date of death              02/12/1915

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              40

Resided                       Cowdenbeath

Enlisted                       Dunfermline Fifes

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. C. 15.

Cemetery: VLAMERTINGHE MILITARY CEMETERY

Husband of Elizabeth Balloch, of 328, West Broad Street, Cowdenbeath, Fife.

 

Robert and Elizabeth resided in Blackridge.

Robert arrived in France on the 7th October 1915.

 

WILLIAM BANKS

9th Battalion

GORDON HIGHLANDERS

Rank                            Lance Corporal

Service number          S/10738

Date of death              19/08/1916                                                

Place of birth               Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Age                              36

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: III. D. 41.

Cemetery: HEILLY STATION CEMETERY, MERICOURT-L'ABBE  

 

William was a married man who left a widow Julia Banks and six children who resided North Mossend Armadale, Linlithgowshire.

 

William appears in the United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Blackrigg 1 Colliery.

William enlisted 12th June 1915, and was on a short furlough in the April of 1916 before proceeding to France.

He died in Hospital from leg wounds received in action.

His wife received the following letter dated 19th August from sister ME Vernou Harconel.

 

Dear Mrs. Banks,

                        I am grieved to tell you of the death of your husband, Lance-Corporal W Banks, Gordon Highlanders. He was admitted to this hospital last night wounded in both legs. He was very weak from loss of blood. He gave me your address and asked me to write and send his love to you and the children. We did all we could to revive him, but could not prevail, and he gradually sank, lapsing into unconsciousness, and passing away very peacefully at 2.15 p.m. today. He was so brave and patient and never murmured or complained about his wounds. He will be buried by the chaplain in the Military Cemetery attached to this camp, a record is kept by the Graves Commission, and BEF personal belongings are checked and sent to the records office.

Believe me, with sincerest Sympathy, yours very truly

                                                            M E Vernou Harconel

                                                            Sister in Chief

                                                No.36 Casualty Nursing Station

                                                British Expeditionary Force

 

William Banks was a native of Bathgate, but had lived in Armadale, for over eight years prior to enlisting.

Julia Banks, William’s wife also lost two brothers in the Great War, David Smart and William Smart who were also Armadale boys.

 

When Julia went to France after the War she visited the Graves of her Husband and brother William, and the memorial that lists her brother David’s name.

THOMAS BARBOUR

2nd Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS                                                              

Rank                            Private

Service number          3044

Date of death              25/09/1915

Place of birth               Barrhead

Age                              41

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Edinburgh

Medal Entitlement       QSA (Transval, Orange Free State, Cape Colony), KSA (South Africa 01 & 02), 1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 11.

Cemetery: YPRES (MENIN GATE) Memorial

Thomas was unmarried and resided with his mother Jane Barbour at 185 West Main Street, Armadale.

 

Private Barbour belonged to Bo’ ness but for about 18 months followed his occupation, that of a moulder at Armadale.

Thomas was a Reservist and re-entered the Army on the outbreak of war, and arrived in France on the 28th November 1914.

Thomas came through the Boer war, for which he held the Queens South Africa Medal with three bars, and the Kings South Africa Medal with two bars, and held the rank of Corporal.

 

The following letter was received by the Courier in May 1915 from an Armadale Soldier serving with the 2nd Royal Scots in France:

 

            “I may say our last experience has been the worst we have had yet. In our ease trenches we had a hot time from Trench Mortars. At night the Germans would put them over at the same time as a star shell to make you think it was a light that was coming. But every time our sentry – Pte T Barbour- spotted them, and he gave his comrades timely warning to clear out. Only one mortar did damage. It knocked in our parapet. Pte T Mckeown and his other comrades soon had it rebuilt again. Our Officer said it was a smart piece of work on our part. At day break in the morning our machine guns open fire on the German trenches. We were all standing ready, and we opened a tremendous fire on them. We had no casualties. “

 

 

In September 1915 the 2nd Royal Scots were taken part in a diversionary attack near Ypres.

JOHN BAXTER

12th Battalion.

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          13427

Date of death              27/09/1915

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              20

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F. & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 10 to 13.

Cemetery: LOOS MEMORIAL 

Son of Colin and Mary Baxter who reside 38 Northrigg Rows Armadale, Linlithgowshire.

 

John enlisted in the 12th Royal Scots in September 1914, and he arrived in France on the 11th May 1915.

 

Mrs Baxter received a short letter from one of her sons chums (Pte J Dougary, Harthill) telling her of Johns Death.

She then received the following second letter from him:

 

9th October 1915

 

            “The reason I wrote you was that I thought my letter would reach you before you would get word from the war office, and I also knew that you would be very anxious to hear about him. I am very sorry to say he had a terrible death. First of all, everything went on all right until we had taken the fifth German trench. We crossed it, and lay out in the open waiting to advance up to the sixth trench. During our stay in the open, your son and J. Henderson were lying side by side, when the Germans made a counter attack. They bombarded us with shells, machine guns, and very heavy rifle fire. One of the shells burst close to both of them, killing Jonny Henderson right out, and at the same time your son had one of his legs and one of his arms blown off. He never spoke to anyone, but gave one or two groans, and expired shortly afterwards. I was making to get up beside them when we got the word to retire at the double, so I had to leave them lying. It was terrible. I cannot find words to express my feelings. I hope you get over it soon. I am expecting to get a few holidays after we come out of the trenches, I believe we are getting a divisional rest for at least a month or six weeks, so it would be far better if I were to see you and have a talk together. I live at Harthill, so it is not far from you. If I am spared, I will make arrangements to meet you.”   

 

John was killed during the battle of Loos.

 

John appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Southrigg Colliery.

Note:

 

13564 Pte John Henderson 12th Royal Scots killed in action 27/09/1915. He was born at Hamilton, enlisted Wishaw and resided Newmains.

 

14947 Cpl John Dougary 12th Royal Scots was killed in action 22/03/1918. He was born at Cowdenbeath, enlisted Bathgate, and resided Harthill.

JOHN BENNETT

17th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          27336

Date of death              30/07/1916

Place of birth               Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Age                              25

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Edinburgh

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 6 D and 7 D.

Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

 

 

John arrived in France on the 3rd March 1916, on the 12th March John was found in Estaples without a pass, he was awarded 14 days Field Punishment for being in Estaples without pass, stating a falsehood to the Military Foot Police, being improperly dressed and breaking out of camp.

 

John resided Westrigg with his brother Peter and enlisted in the 18th Battalion Royal Scots when the formed in October 1915 and had been serving in France since February.

JAMES BENNETT

2nd Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Lance Corporal

Service number          13329

Date of death              21/08/1918

Place of birth               Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Age                              25

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          Germany

Grave/Memorial Reference:. III. C. 29.

Cemetery: LILLE SOUTHERN CEMETERY

 

 

James enlisted in September 1914,  prior to enlisting he was employed as a miner by Messrs Baird and Company at Bathgate Works.

 

James was Taken prisoner by the Germans on 12th March 1918, and he died from Pneumonia on 21st August whilst in Germany.

 

Brother’s of Peter Bennett, of 1574, Keele St., Toronto, Canada (Peter Bennett 10th Royal Scots originally resided Westrigg), and Miss Bennett 19 Westrigg.

DAVID BENNISON

1st Battalion

BLACK WATCH

Rank                            Lance Corporal

Service number          3/2026

Date of death              11/11/1914

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                             

Resided                       Leven, Fifeshire

Enlisted                      

Medal Entitlement       1914 Star & Bar, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 37.

Cemetery: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

ANDREW BISHOP

Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS FUSILIERS

Rank                            Private

Service number          33542

Date of death              14/05/1918

Place of birth              

Age                              25

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                      

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          Home

Grave/Memorial Reference:

Cemetery:

Son of Mr Thomas Bishop Armadale, West Lothian.

 

Pte Andrew Bishop, who as a result of wounds from Explosive Bullets (Shrapnel Balls) on 22nd August 1916 at Ypres, has lost his right arm and still suffers from wounds in his right leg, writing to his aunt, Mrs Bishop South Street, Armadale, he states that he arrived in Belgium on the 9th August 1915. He was sent to Loos, and was at Hulloch and Loos until April 1916. He was invalided home with trench fever in May, but returned to France in July.

 

Andrew was Discharged from Edinburgh Military Hospital (Bangour) on the 11th March 1918, Andrew died two Months after being discharged from the Army after loosing his arm, he fell ill whilst staying with his brothers wife at Woodend, and he was removed to Edinburgh Royal Infantry suffering from pneumonia and died there.

 

Andrew also had two brothers serving in the Army during the War, Pioneer John Bishop RE whose wife Resides in Armadale, and Private Thomas Bishop R Scots whose wife resides in Woodend.

WILLIAM THOMSON BISSET

7th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          2505

Date of death              22/05/1915

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              22

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Theatre of death          Home

Grave/Memorial Reference:

Cemetery: EDINBURGH (ROSEBANK) CEMETERY

(KILLED IN THE GRETNA TRAIN CRASH)

Son of John and Fanny Bisset, of 54, South St., Armadale, Linlithgowshire.

 

William enlisted in the 7th Royal Scots in October 1914, prior to enlisting William was employed at Messrs Dickson and Mann’s Bathville Engineering Works, where he had been since he entered as an apprentice. 

DUNCAN BLACKSTOCK

1st Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          20239

Date of death              31/08/1915

Place of birth               Larkhall Lanarkshire

Age                              29

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Glencorse, Mid Lothian

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: VI. L. 31.

Cemetery: RATION FARM MILITARY CEMETERY, LA CHAPELLE-D'ARMENTIERES

Brother of Margaret Blackstock Douglas Square, Newcastleton, Roxburghshire.

 

Duncan Blackstock enlisted in February 1915, went to France on the 2nd May that year.

He was killed while on duty in the trenches, by a Snipers “Explosive” bullet.

Prior to enlisting Duncan resided with Mrs. Sneddon at 125 Westrigg.

 

Duncan Blackstock appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Blackrigg Colliery and being killed in action.

WILLIAM BORTHWICK

14th Battalion

HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY

Rank                            Private

Service number          29155

Date of death              28/11/1917

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              31

Resided                      

Enlisted                       Glasgow

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 10.

Cemetery: CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL

 

Relatives – Port Arthur Canada

Wounded 23rd December 1916 – Scotsman

ALLAN BOWES

8th Battalion

SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

Rank                            Private

Service number             S/6874

Date of death                31/07/1917

Place of birth                Lasswade, Midlothian

Age                              36

Resided                        Newarthill, Lanarkshire

Enlisted                        Hamilton, Lanarkshire

Medal Entitlement         1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal         

Theatre of death           F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 38

Cemetery: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

 

Son of John and Annie Bowes.

 

Allan landed in France on the 7th October 1915.

 

 

 

Allan appears on the Lodge Hope Bridge Castle War Memorial.

JOHN BOYLE

1st Battalion

BLACK WATCH

Rank                            Lance Corporal

Service number          1768

Date of death              23/02/1917

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              25

Resided                      

Enlisted                       Leven, fifes

Medal Entitlement       1914 Star & Bar, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: X. B. 7.

Cemetery: ASSEVILLERS NEW BRITISH CEMETERY

John Arrived in France on the 12th October 1914 with the 2nd Royal Highlanders.

1st June 1915 – Wounded Scotsman

PATRICK BRADLEY

5/6th Battalion.

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          251464

Date of death              02/03/1917

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              20

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire                  

Enlisted                       Linlithgow

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 6 D and 7 D.

Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL 

Son of Patrick Bradley 40 Northrigg Row, Armadale.

 

Patrick was born and brought up in Armadale, and he enlisted in the Royal Scots in 1916. Patrick had two brothers serving in the Army, his eldest brother James serving with the Canadians joined up in Canada at the outbreak of War.

BRADLEY BROTHERS

WALTER BRADLEY     

18 Corps Cyclist Battalion

ARMY CYCLIST CORPS

Formerly 746

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Corporal

Service number          616

Date of death              19/10/1918

Place of birth               Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Age                              27

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: E. 7.LE

Cemetery: REJET-DE-BEAULIEU MILITARY CEMETERY

Son of John Bradley, of 14, Westrigg, Blackridge, West Lothian.

 

Mr. & Mrs. Bradley received a letter from Captain Victor J Saxon, stating that their son Walter C Bradley, Army Cyclist Corps, was killed on the 19th October. He had been on patrol duty and evidently had encountered the enemy and was shot through the heart. The Captain goes on to say that Corporal Bradley was my best NCO and is irreplaceable. I respect him both as a soldier and as a man.

 

Walter was a Territorial serving with the Armadale Company of the 10th Royal Scots when war broke out, and he volunteered in 1914 for service overseas. Walter arrived in France on the 14th January 1915.

He had been in France for nearly four years, only being home twice in that time.

 

Writing home to his parents in October 1915 Walter says:

 

“I have been in the trenches since 30th September, and have only got back tonight. I was helping putting up wire entanglements in our first line of trenches. It was not a nice job. The first night we were bombarded, a shell struck our gun pit and three men were wounded. The second night we ran into a German patrol but we got clear. A bullet struck a buckle of my belt and bruised me, but I was able to continue my work. Another night we captured two Germans who were carrying vitriol bombs. Once when on the watch I spotted a German spying on our position, but I did not dare fire as it might have brought the fire on our men. We will be glad to see the job over.”

 

JAMES BRADLEY     

12th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Formerly 47799

Royal Scots Fusiliers

Rank                            Private

Service number          51542

Date of death              14/01/1919

Place of birth               Whitburn

Age                              19

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Glencorse

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          Home

Grave/Memorial Reference: D. 7.

Cemetery: EDINBURGH (COMELY BANK) CEMETERY 

Son of John Bradley, of 14, Westrigg, Blackridge, West Lothian.

 

His Brother James 12th Royal Scots (Above) had been taken prisoner several months before Walter’s death and was in Germany. In his most recent letter before Walter’s death James had been asking how Walter was and stating that he was alright himself, and that he was so looking forward to the time when he and his bother could go fishing together.

 

James, after been taking prisoner in April 1918, was made to work behind the lines and while doing so contracted pneumonia. He was then taken to a place in Germany called Crossen d’oder, where he remained until the Armistice was signed. Being an invalid most of the time, he could not be made to work, and he received no medical attention. His guards were of the brutal type, often he was kicked into his straw bed with the words of the Guard ringing in his ears “Go in there and die Scottie”. For a long time  his diet was corn flour, made with water twice daily, and a small piece of bread which was hardly ever eaten. This was varied at times with potato peelings, boiled.

 

All through his trying ordeal his thoughts were of home. With the money which he received for work behind the German Lines, he purchased or got his chums to buy quite a number of small souvenirs of the town Crossen d’Oder, which appears to be a place with river frontage on which steamers ply, not unlike some of our smaller west coast resorts.

 

On the day before the Armistice was signed, he though he had reached the extreme limit of endurance, being seized with fainting fits. The next day on being told the news, he got up from his bed and shouted to the guard –“NO, I’M NOT GOING TO DIE; I’M GAUN HAME”

Such was the spirit which pervaded his emaciated body, and carried him through the horrors of a long railway journey in open trucks to the coast here he was taken over by human beings.

On his arriving at Craiglieth Hospital his people were communicated with, and Mrs Bradley was the first to visit him, going through the ward looking at every inmate of the beds, she was unable to locate her son until a nurse took her to a bed that she had passed twice.

To use Mrs Bradley’s own words, “There he lay, just like a child, his head about half the size that it used to be; and I did not know him until he smiled and said ‘I am all right Mother’.”

 

James lingered five weeks at Craiglieth, though receiving the very best of attention succour had come too late. He had suffered about twenty weeks with this disease which ultimately carried him off, tuberculosis of the lungs. He was a fair haired boy, and once in prison they rubbed some stuff on his head like shaving soap, and told him to take a bath, and on doing this all his hair came out. Before the end his hair was only commencing to grow again, and it was jet black.

 

He always seemed to be in good spirits, and was planning how he and his brothers would carry on when he got back to Blackridge. To nobody but his father would he give any information as to his treatment in Germany, and to him he said “the Germans have a big sin to answer for”.

 

He was not told until the last week or so about the death of his brother Walter. Then he said he knew there was something wrong every time he saw his mother. But he said “Don’t worry, dad ; I got one for him” this had reference to a German Sniper, who had Bradley’s companion covered with his rifle, but young Bradley was too quick for him and shot him dead.

 

 

Walter Bradley appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Blackrigg Colliery and being killed in action.

EDWARD BROGAN

2nd Battalion

Irish Guards

Rank                            Guardsman

Service number          5999

Date of death              12/01/1916

Place of birth               Gallon Upper, Co Tyrone 

Age                              20

Resided                       Gallon Upper, Co Tyrone 

Enlisted                       Bathgate         

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          Home

Grave/Memorial Reference: In North-West part

Cemetery: GLENOCK ROMAN CATHOLIC CEMETERY 

Son of Mr. John Brogan, of Gallon, Upper Newtonstewart.

 

Previous to enlisting Edward resided with Mrs. King, Mill Road Armadale. He died at Netley Hospital from wounds received at Festubert nearly six months prior to his death.

 

Edward arrived in France on the 25/05/1915.

 

He was the youngest of three sons of John Brogan, Newtonstewart, who volunteered at the outbreak of war.

In a note to an Armadale friend, Edward wrote – Send me all the news of Armadale for I do like to hear of all that is happening there.

DONALD MCKILLOP FULLERTON BROWN

1st Battalion

SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS

Rank                            Private

Service number          7500

Date of death              20/07/1915

Place of birth               Carriden Bo’ ness

Age                              19

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: XVII. D. 16.

Cemetery: CABARET-ROUGE BRITISH CEMETERY, SOUCHEZ  

 

Son of Walter Brown, of Cartmills' Cottage, East Main St., Armadale, Linlithgowshire, West Lothian.

 

Donald died of wounds received in action. He was wounded in the Morning of 20th July and died that afternoon.

 

Donald enlisted in March 1915 and arrived in France on the 28th May 1915.

 

Donald was one of two brothers killed during the Great War, his older brother John is listed below.

 

Writing to Mr. Brown under the date 22nd July, Rev. J. H. McNeil (Chaplain 1st Seaforths) writes:

 

“Dear Sir,

I am writing to you the sad news of the death of your son, Private Donald Brown, from wounds received in action. He was wounded in the morning of the 20th July when the trench where he was on duty was shelled by the Germans. His wounds were in the head and made him quite unconscious all along. He was brought into no. 8 Field Ambulance, where he died without re-covering consciousness at 1.45 pm. His end was just a quite sinking from what seemed a deep sleep into a deeper one. He could not have suffered any pain. We took his remains to a cemetery four miles away where a number of Seaforths are buried that he might be laid to rest among his own comrades, another of the regiment was buried at the same time killed at the time Private Brown was wounded. It is a very nice little resting place, and there are many heroes asleep there a gallant Company. This Cemetery where Private Brown is buried is at Vieills, Chapelle. I wish to offer my deepest sympathy to you all who mourn for one more lad who gallantry responded to his country’s call, and who as Gallantry died for us all.”

 

Donald appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Bathville Colliery.

JOHN BROWN

9th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Lance Corporal

Service number          352331

Date of death              09/04/1917

Place of birth               Bo’ ness

Age                              26

Resided                       Chester

Enlisted                       Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. B. 15.

Cemetery: ROCLINCOURT MILITARY CEMETERY

Son of Walter Brown, of Cartmills' Cottage, East Main St., Armadale, Linlithgowshire, West Lothian.

 

John was married and steel-moulder to trade, and a native of Bo’ness.

He appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Armadale Colliery.

 

He was sent to France in February 1915 with the 12th ROYAL SCOTS.

John spent some time hospital after being wounded in France during 1916.

John was killed on the first day of the Battle of Arras.

 

The sad news was conveyed to his wife who was living with her mother-in-law at Cartmill cottage, East End Armadale, Linlithgowshire, by his Commanding Officer.

 

Captain Taylor wrote:

 

“I deeply regret to inform you of the death of your husband, Lance-Corporal John Brown, killed in action 9th April. It may be some comfort to you to know that his work was highly appreciated by his officers and by me, his Company Commander.”

GEORGE BROWN

1st Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS FUSILIERS

Rank                            Private

Service number          12453

Date of death              16/06/1916

Place of birth               Greengairs, New Monkland    

Age                              19

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Edinburgh

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 19 and 33.

Cemetery: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

Son of Mr. and Mrs. James Brown, of 37, North St., Armadale, Linlithgowshire, West Lothian.

 

George joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers in September 1914, and he was drafted to France 1st April 1915.

 

George sent the following letter dated 26th April 1915:

 

“We have just returned out of the trenches again quite safe, but what a terrible experience. I am not allowed to mention it, but I have escaped very luckily. My rifle was knocked out of my hand, my bag was knocked off my back and I lost my cap. It was a dangerous trench I was in. I have got through with the best of health.

I have seen my cousin Andrew (Pte Kirkpatrick, Mussel borough) and he was giving me a bit of his life. I received a parcel from Mrs. Sarah Knox, West Main Street, for which I thank her, and a letter from Mr. M Given and a book from Miss Peebles.”

 

 

 

George was killed while taking part in the capture of a second line of trenches from the Germans. He had with his comrades successfully won the first line, and in the fight for the second fell. The Germans were driven out by his comrades who survived the charge.

JAMES BROWN

Depot.

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Sergeant

Service number          375143

Date of death              23/11/1918

Place of birth               Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Age

Resided                       Harthill

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          Home

Grave/Memorial Reference: P. 32.

Cemetery: BATHGATE, LINLITHGOWSHIRE CEMETERY 

Son of the late Baillie James Brown, of Armadale, West Lothian.

 

James Brown was married and had a little boy, his wife and child were residing Knowehead, Harthill with her parents. James enlisted voluntarily in September 1914, and was soon afterwards promoted to Sergeant, and acted as Instructor in Signalling and Musketry.

 

He went to France in March 1918, and was wounded in the knee by two bullets and gassed on 13th April.

He was in Stobhill for some time, and then went to Catterick to await his discharge. While there he took ill and died on 23rd November.

 

James was one of five brothers who were on active service at the same time. He was the second of the family to make the supreme sacrifice. His brother John 17th Royal Scots below was also killed on active service, his younger brother Tom was in Hospital suffering from the effects of liquid fire, another brother Sgt Robert H Brown lost an arm whilst serving with the Canadians, and his eldest brother Sgt Hugh Brown was still serving in France.

JOHN BROWN

17th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          40896

Date of death              25/03/1918

Place of birth               Kirkliston

Age                              28

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Uphall

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 13 and 14.

Cemetery: POZIERES MEMORIAL

Husband of Mrs Brown East Main Street Armadale, West Lothian

Son of the late Baillie James Brown, of Armadale, West Lothian.

 

John was married with three children, his wife and children residing 38a East Main Street Armadale. Before the outbreak of war John was employed as a miner at Woodend Colliery.

John enlisted at the outbreak of the war and was stationed at Berwick until January 1917 when he was drafted to France.

 

Mrs Brown received the following letter from his Company Commander:

 

“Dear Madam,

            It is my painful duty to have to inform you of the death of your husband, Pte J Brown, on the 26th March. At the time he was attached with a number of this Company to another Company, which in the course of a rearguard action, was heavily shelled in a sunken road. I have made enquires about the manner of his death, and learn that from the nature of his wounds death must have been instantaneous, and so painless. Throughout the action he bore himself as a brave man should. On parade he was always smart and well disciplined. Personally I am very sorry to lose him, for we can ill spare men of his sort. It only remains for me to express my deep sympathy for you in your great loss.”

 

On the 23rd March 1918 the Germans launched their final offensive against the British line, and John was killed two days into the offensive in the Somme area.

PETER BROWN

Real Name CHARLES DALY                       

 

9th Battalion

BLACK WATCH

Rank                            Private

Service number          S/16616

Date of death             24/04/1917

Place of birth               Edinburgh

Age                             

Resided                       Armadale

Enlisted                       Hamilton

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: IV. A. 35.

Cemetery:  DUISANS BRITISH CEMETERY, ETRUN

Son of Mrs. H. Daly (formerly Brown), of Bathville Road, Armadale.

 

Charles enlisted near the start of war, due to his Company not going overseas as quickly as he wanted, he deserted and rejoined under his mothers maiden name.

 

Charles arrived in France some time after January 1916.

PHILIP BROWN

1st Battalion

ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS

Rank                            Private

Service number          10208

Date of death              10/10/1918

Place of birth               Kinghorn

Age                              33

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Perth

Medal Entitlement       1914 Star & Bar, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          Salonica

Grave/Memorial Reference: 309.

Cemetery: KIRECHKOI-HORTAKOI MILITARY CEMETERY 

Husband of Janet Brown, of 136, Westrigg, Blackridge, West Lothian.

 

Philip was wounded in the right shoulder at the battle of Ypres, and he was sent home to Westrigg on sick leave.

Philip was a reservist, when war broke out and he was immediately called up, he seen a lot of battles including all the early ones Mons, Marne, Ainse and the first battle of Ypres as well as the Somme and the great advance to Victory.

 

Philip arrived in France on the 10th August 1914.

WALTER S BROWN

2nd Battalion

ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS

Rank                            Private

Service number          S/11874

Date of death              13/12/1916

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                             

Resided                       Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire

Enlisted                       Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 15 a and 16 C.

Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

WILLIAM BROWN

5th/6th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          251465

Date of death              18/04/1917

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              31                               

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. A. 5.

Cemetery: FORESTE COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Son of Mrs. Brown East Main Street Armadale, Linlithgowshire.

 

John enlisted in October 1915 and went to France Christmas 1916. Before enlisting William followed the occupation of a Miner in Armadale.

 

A letter received by Mr. Daniels of Armadale from Lt H Murray Main, written under the date 6th June:

 

I regret that the only particulars with which I can furnish you regarding Private W Brown, Royal Scots, East Main Street, Armadale, Linlithgowshire, are that he was wounded in the head with a piece of shell during an enemy bombardment of one of our positions. He was immediately carried to a dressing station, but died of wounds. The sympathy of the Commanding Officer and the deceased comrades is extended to his sorrowing parents. It will be a source of comfort for them to know that their son died in his performance of his great duty to King and Country, and that he was buried on the ground won from the enemy by the splendid courage of our Army.

PETER BROWNLIE

10th Battalion

CAMERONIANS (Scottish Rifles)

Rank                            Private

Service number          33132

Date of death              21/07/1917

Place of birth               Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Age                              22

Resided                       Loanhead

Enlisted                       Loanhead

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. N. 24.

Cemetery: BRANDHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY

Son of Peter and Jessie Brownlie, of Loanhead, Mid Lothian.

ROBERT CALDER

2nd Battalion

SCOTS GUARDS

Rank                            Guardsman

Service number          16093

Date of death              24/08/1918

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age

Resided                       Harthill, Lanarkshire

Enlisted                       Glencorse

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: IV. E. 16.

Cemetery: MORY ABBEY MILITARY CEMETERY, MORY  

Husband of Margaret F. Anderson Calder, of 84, Westrigg, Blackridge.

 

On the 24th August the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards were attacking St Leger, progress was slow due to the enemy using their machine guns to good effect, and they could only be defeated by shellfire.

 

Robert does not appear on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, though he was employed as a plumber with United Collieries prior to being called up for service in the Army.

 

Robert sent home to his wife a field postcard the day before he died, stating he was quite well, and had received the Parcel she sent on the 16th Aug 1918, signed Bob dated 23/8/18.

 

Margaret Calder received a letter from the Chaplain of the Scots Guards with the B.E.F, France stating that her husband Private Robert Calder, Scots Guards was killed on the 24th August. The Chaplain and the Commanding Officer Lieutenant – Colonel Stirling expressed their sympathy with her and spoke well of her Husband.

MATTHEW CAMPBELL

1st Battalion

SCOTS GUARDS

Rank                            Guardsman

Service number          12070

Date of death              27/09/1915

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              22

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Edinburgh

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 8 and 9.

Cemetery: LOOS MEMORIAL

 

Son of Matthew Campbell Mayfield cottage Armadale, Linlithgowshire.

 

Matthew was second hand in No. 1 branch Armadale, Linlithgowshire Co-operative Society. He enlisted on the 2nd September 1914, and went to France 23rd April 1915.

 

The battle of Loos began on the 27th September 1915, the 1st Battalion Scots Guards formed the second wave of an attack on two objectives named the ‘Keep’ and ‘Puits14 bis’ near Hill 70. These objectives were taken despite the heavy enemy machine gun fire but the 1st Scots Guards were not able to hold the later objective. Mathew was reported missing after this battle on the 28th September.

 

Matthew was one of the first Boy Scouts in Armadale, and was later a Scoutmaster with the Armadale Boy Scouts.

 

Matthew was one of three Armadale, Linlithgowshire friends who all entered the Scots Guards together in 1914, the other two were Robert Darling and John Muirhead MM, and all three were killed (see Above Picture).

OWEN CARLIN

2nd Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Corporal

Service number          709

Date of death              14/10/1914     

Place of birth   Bathgate

Age                              30

Resided                       Bathgate

Enlisted                       Glencorse, Mid Lothian

Medal Entitlement       1914 Star & Bar, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: VIII. B. 13.

Cemetery: VIEILLE-CHAPELLE NEW MILITARY CEMETERY, LACOUTURE

Son of William and Mary Carlin, of Duhramtown, Bathgate.

 

Owen arrived in France on the 10th September 1914.

 

Owen Carlin appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Bathville Colliery and being killed in action

JAMES CHALMERS

1st Battalion

GORDON HIGHLANDERS

Rank                            Private

Service number          33495

Date of death              16/05/1920

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              28

Resided                      

Enlisted                      

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. H. 19.

Cemetery: HAIDAR PASHA CEMETERY

Son of Mrs. Mary Chalmers, of 14, Reid St., Maryhill, Glasgow

JAMES CHRISTIE

8th / 10th Battalion

GORDON HIGHLANDERS

Rank                            Corporal

Service number          S/6513

Date of death              17/05/1918

Place of birth               Beath, Fifeshire

Age                              23

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Edinburgh

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: IV. K. 18.

Cemetery: AUBIGNY COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION 

Son of Mr. and Mrs. James Christie 13 East Main Street Armadale, Linlithgowshire West Lothian.

 

James enlisted in August 1914, and he arrived in France on the 10th August 1915, he was wounded twice but returned to the frontline again in 1918.

 

 

James’s parents received a telegram stating that their son was lying dangerously ill in hospital from a dangerous condition caused when he was gassed and wounded. Regret was expressed at the inability to issue a pass for them to visit him at the time.

DAVID COPELAND

6th Battalion

KING'S OWN SCOTTISH BORDERERS

Formerly 48275

R. Scot. Fus.

Rank                            Private

Service number          41483

Date of death              19/07/1918

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              20

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire      

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: V. C. 83.

Cemetery: LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY  

Eldest son of Mr and Mrs Richard Copeland Mill Road Armadale, Linlithgowshire.

 

David entered the Army on the 13th November 1917 and had been in France since April 1918.

David died on 19th July at the Australian clearing station at St Omer from the effects of an accident due to the premature explosion of his own hand bomb, which befell the young soldier on the 18th July.

 

Mrs Copeland received the following letter from James W Williamson, Chaplain 6th K.O.S.B:

           

“Dear Mrs Copeland,

                        I am sorry that this letter is the bearer of the sad news that your son died from wounds that he received from a bomb on the 18th. Word has just come in that he died on the 19th at the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, and that he has been buried. If you write in a week or two to the Director of Graves Registration and Enquires, War Office, Winchester House, St James Square, London, SW1, he will inform you of the exact location of your son. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in this great loss. My earnest prayer is that God may comfort and strengthen you in this time of your great sorrow.

Believe me, yours in sorrow.”

 

His parents received two telegrams, the first stating that their son had been dangerously wounded in the abdomen, right arm and leg on 18th July. The second announcing the young soldier had died on the 19th July.

 

David’s grandfather who he was named after was an old soldier who had seen service in the Crimean War and the Indian mutiny, David’s father took his full share of the South African War.

 

Prior to joining the Army David served with the Atlas Steel Foundry and Engineering Company Ltd, Armadale, Linlithgowshire being storekeeper in connection with the pattern shop.

THOMAS COSGROVE

2nd Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          9019

Date of death              25/09/1915

Place of birth               Fauldhouse

Age

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1914 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 11.

Cemetery: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

Husband of Mrs. Cosgrove Northrigg Armadale, Linlithgowshire West Lothian.

 

Thomas was employed as a miner at the outbreak of war.

 

Thomas was a Reservist and re-entered the Army on the outbreak of war, Thomas arrived in France on the 11th August 1914.

 

In September 1915 the 2nd ROYAL SCOTS were taken part in a diversionary attack near Ypres. After this battle Thomas was reported Missing, a year later he was certified Killed in action.

 

Thomas appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Southrigg / Blackrigg Colliery.

DAVID CRAIG

176th Tunnelling Company

Royal Engineers

Formerly

1361

Seaforth Highlanders

Rank                            Sapper

Service number          86510

Date of death              07/09/1915

Place of birth               Shotts, Lanarkshire

Age                             

Resided                       Whitburn, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 1.

Cemetery:  LE TOURET MEMORIAL

Son of David Craig West Main Street, Whitburn.

 

David enlisted into the Seaforth Highlanders before War was declared, and went to France on the 25th November 1914, with the Seaforth Highlanders. Shortly after arriving in France he was transferred to the Royal Engineers.

 

David’s father received a letter from one of his son’s chums stating that David’s death was instantaneous and mercifully painless.

 

David Craig appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Bathville Colliery and being killed in action 16/09/1915 ?

ALEXANDER CUNNINGHAM

1st Battalion

BLACK WATCH

Rank                            Private

Service number          S/40097

Date of death              29/01/1917

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              22

Resided                      

Enlisted                       Cowdenbeath fifes

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: 1586/1585.

Cemetery: BEATH WESTERN CEMETERY

Son of William and Ann Cunningham, of 64, Moss-side Rd., Cowdenbeath.

ALEXANDER CUNNINGHAM

43rd Battalion (Highlanders)

CANADIAN INFANTRY REGIMENT

Rank                            Private

Service number          3131569

Date of death              03/10/1918

Place of birth               Fauldhouse, Lanarkshire

Age                              24

Resided                       Sarnia, Ontario

Enlisted                       Sarnia, Ontario

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: IV. D. 19.

Cemetery: BUCQUOY ROAD CEMETERY, FICHEUX 

Son of James Cunningham, 347 Cameron Street, Sarnia, Ontario Canada, late of Blackridge.

 

Alexander enlisted into the Army in October 1917, prior to this he was a Farmer.

 

The following description was on Alexander’s Attestation paper:

 

Height              5ft 10.5inch

Hair                  brown               

Eyes                blue

Religion           Presbyterian

ANDREW CUNNINGHAM

12th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            LANCE CORPORAL

Service number          26353

Date of death              14/07/1917

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              34

Resided                       Stewarton Ayrshire    

Enlisted                       Glasgow

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: XXII. G. 2.

Cemetery: ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY  

 

Son of Andrew and Margaret Cunningham; husband of Grace Cunningham, of 19, Rigg St., Stewarton, Ayrshire.

Andrew arrived in France on the 15th May 1915.

GEORGE CUNNINGHAM

10th Battalion

HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY

Rank                            Private

Service number          17489

Date of death              25/09/1915

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                             

Resided                       Methil Fifes

Enlisted                       Leven Fifes

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 108 to 112.

Cemetery: LOOS MEMORIAL

George arrived in France on the 12th May 1915.

CHARLES CURRAN

2nd Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          8897

Date of death              04/10/1917

Place of birth               Bathgate Linlithgowshire

Age                              31

Resided                       Bathgate

Enlisted                       Armadale

Medal Entitlement       1914 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          Home

Grave/Memorial Reference: V. 364.

Cemetery: BATHGATE CEMETERY

Son of Mary Curran, of 64, Durhamtown, Bathgate, and the late Daniel Curran.

 

Charles went to France on the 11th August 1914.

Charles died in a London Hospital, as a result of wounds received in action in April.

 

The remains of Private Curran were conveyed by rail from Kings Cross to Bathgate. From the station the coffin was taken to Bathgate Catholic Church, where Requiem Mass was said by father Smith. Charles was later that day buried in Bathgate Cemetery. A firing party of fifteen Royal Scots, presently in Edinburgh Castle, paid their last respects to their comrade. At the grave Father Smith performed the last rites for the dead.

 

Charles Curran appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Bathville Colliery and dying of wounds.

ROBERT DARLING

2nd Battalion

SCOTS GUARDS

Rank                            Guardsman

Service number          7737

Date of death              15/09/1916

Place of birth               Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Age

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Edinburgh

Medal Entitlement       1914 Star & Bar, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 7 D.

Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Son of David and Martha Darling, of Stonerigg Filters, Armadale.

 

Robert and his brother Tom were both in the 1st Battalion Scots Guards when War broke out and were both in the firing line right from the start, Robert also had a twin Sister Sarah who died only two years after him, and a younger brother George.

 

Robert wrote the falling letter to his parents from Shorncliffe Barracks in Kent in November 1914 after being slightly wounded, in that he was shot through both ankles:

 

“I received the letter and the courier yesterday, and was you were all well. I am getting on splendid. I am allowed up to two hours a day just now. My left ankle is a bit stiff yet. However it won’t be long till I am able to walk about. I expect to get a months furlough at the very least. I never received the parcels you mention. However Tom will get them, and if he doesn’t somebody else will be glad to get them. I am writing Mrs. Muirhead thanking her for sending them. I suppose Bathgate will be quite a busy place now with all the troops there. Sorry to here of Mrs. Boyd’s son in law being killed.

I think if all the young men of Britain saw what a state of ruin Belgium is in, they would be only to glad to go and fight. It is more men we want out there, and we in the fighting line were always saying that.”

 

 

Mr. Darling received a letter from Robert’s chum Pte John Muirhead Station Road, Armadale:

 

“The Scots Guards were making an advance when a German force, on their right, attempted to cut a Company of from the main body. The Guards turned to attack the German force on their right. A machine gun was turned on the Scottish Soldiers, and Signaller Darling was among the first to fall. Only two days before his death Signaller Darling had been recommended by his Officer for conspicuous bravery.

The death of Signaller Darling had come as a great shock to his comrades and officers, with all of whom he was held in high esteem.”

 

Robert was serving as a soldier when war broke out, he arrived in France on the 12th August 1914.

 

Robert was one of three Armadale, Linlithgowshire friends who all entered the Scots Guards together in 1914, the other two were Matthew Campbell and John Muirhead MM, and all three were killed before the end of 1916

 

On the 10h September 1916 two Companies of the 2nd Scots Guards reinforced the 1st Welsh Guards near Ginchy for an attack that proved successful, Robert was a member of one of these companies and for his conduct during the attack was recommended for conspicuous bravery.

 

The 15th September saw the 2nd Scots Guards launch an attack to the North of Ginchy, it was during this attack Robert was killed.

WILLIAM DICKSON

2nd Battalion

Gordon Highlanders

Rank                            Lance Sergeant

Service number          S/7854

Date of death              04/10/1917

Place of birth               Armadale

Age

Resided                       Slammannan

Enlisted                       Falkirk

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F &F

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 135 to 136.

Cemetery: TYNE COT MEMORIAL

 

Son of Mr. & Mrs. Dickson, Late of the Beeches Armadale, then of New Street Slammannan.

William arrived in France on the 20th May 1915.

ARCHIBALD DONALDSON

11th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          11936

Date of death              24/10/1917

Place of birth               Eastfield Lanarkshire

Age                              23

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire    

Enlisted

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 11 to 14 and 162.

Cemetery: TYNE COT MEMORIAL  

Son of Mrs. Donaldson 80 Old Row Westrigg.

 

Archibald arrived in France on the 11th May 1915.

 

Archie appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Blackrigg No. 3 Colliery.

JOHN DORNAN

2nd  Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          2979

Date of death              22/06/1915

Place of birth               Glasgow

Age                             

Resided                       Armadale / New York USA

Enlisted                       Edinburgh

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: VIII. B. 45.

Cemetery: BOULOGNE EASTERN CEMETERY

John Dornan resided for many years in Armadale, he was himself a native of Glasgow.

 

Private John Dornan, 2nd Royal Scots who resided at the Model Lodging House before war broke out and he joined the Army, writing to Mr James Edwards, manager the model, also refers to the death of Private Hogg, the letter dated from the Rest Camp, May 22, and the writer says:

 

Dear James and all the boys

            Just saw the letter you sent J Smith, and after reading it I assure you it gave me great pleasure to know that we are in the thoughts of our old friends at home. Dan Campbell is in the next Company to me. I need say no more as he told me this morning that he was going to write you at once.

 

At present my Brigade is on the flying reserve that is we move about to wherever reinforcements are required. Yesterday we just returned from Hill 60, after holding a strong position for eight days. During that time, between watching for poisonous gas and Cousin Fritz – I mean the Germans- forty yards at our front, we are now ready for a rest. During that time our casualties were seven killed and about thirty wounded. I am sorry to say that one of those killed was James Hogg from Armadale, a piece of shell entering his head measuring about 4 inches long by 1 inch thick, he only lived a few hours after. The Germans tried to poison our water supply but I don’t think they put enough in to it.

 

After a rest of six days, we take up a position six miles south of here. I don’t think the Germans we left will be sorry, as we gave them a heavy and constant supply of lead. We all wear respirators as a preventative against gas. There are almost 20 here all from Armadale, but of course we are in different companies, but still we keep in touch with each other. Our hot-plate here consists of a biscuit tin, and at times, when we are near a house, the old pots and pans the Belgians left behind come in handy. For fuel we pull down anything wooden that comes in our way. Very often when the Germans see the smoke from our fires, they shell us and destroy our cooking apparatus. Instead of getting dinner, we have to make a rabbit hole, and get in it in a hurry.

 

The first month of this business one feels a bit nervous, but you get used to it, in fact you have to get used to it. But when it comes to the worst all the boys are very cheerful, all doing there best and wishing and hoping to have good luck to be on the English Channel soon.

 

Best wishes and kind regards to you and all the boys – Ted Francis, Paddy Fern, J Carthy, W Davie, W Marr, etc, etc

 

John died in hospital over in France from shrapnel wounds received while in action.

 

For many years John worked with Messrs R. Muir and Company, at their brickworks.

LEWIS DOUGLAS

9th Battalion

THE CAMERONIANS (SCOTTISH RIFLES)

Formerly

18903

RSF

Rank                            Private

Service number          27945

Date of death              03/05/1917

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              25

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Edinburgh

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          France

Grave/Memorial Reference: Bay 6.

Cemetery: ARRAS MEMORIAL  

Son of William Douglas Engine Keeper 125, East Main St., Armadale, Linlithgowshire.

 

Lewis was a Baker with Armadale, Linlithgowshire Co-operative Society Ltd until entering the Army in 1916.

He had been in France since January 1917, and he was a Lewis Gun operator and had been through many a hot corner.

 

A comrade in the course of a letter to relatives said:

 

“I am very sorry to inform you that Private Douglas was killed in action on the 3rd of May, during an attack on the Germans. He was buried by his comrades in the firing line, close to the spot where he fell. I sympathise with you all in the loss you have sustained. Console yourselves with the thought that he died during the fiercest battle fought.”

 

SS Dunrobin Joseph McIndoe 3rd Engineer sinking of a submarine 1916. Merchant Navy

Baron Blantyre, Baron Berwick, Baron Ailsa,

JAMES DOYLE

2nd Battalion.

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          26163

Date of death              22/05/1916

Place of birth               Fauldhouse

Age

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. C. 33.

Cemetery: LA CLYTTE MILITARY CEMETERY 

 

Husband of B. Doyle, of 13, Northrigg-by-Armadale, Linlithgowshire, West Lothian.

James Doyle was only in the firing line some three weeks before he was killed.

MICHAEL DOYLE

12th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          15829

Date of death              14/07/1916

Place of birth               Wishaw

Age

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 6 D and 7 D.

Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL 

Son of John Doyle.     

 

His wife and family resided Burnside Terrace Blackridge, Westcraigs.

 

Michael enlisted on the 3rd November 1914 and had been in France for a year. He was killed by a sniper during the attack on Longueval.

 

His wife received a letter from Col. M S Ash B Company 12th ROYAL SCOTS (Lothian Regiment) B.E.F France under date 2nd August:

 

“Dear Madam

                        It grieves me to inform you that your husband, Private M Doyle, was killed in action by a sniper during the attack on Longueval. He is a great loss to the company, as he was a good chap, and never wavered in the execution of his duty. His chums wish me to convey to you their deepest sympathy. I trust you will bear up, knowing he died fighting for you. I feel sorrow with you in your loss.”

 

Michael appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Blackrigg colliery.

DONALD DREW

2nd Battalion.

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          34245

Date of death              09/04/1917

Place of birth  

Age                              19

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Bay 1 and 2.

Cemetery: ARRAS MEMORIAL 

Son of E. Drew, of 25, Small Crescent, Blantyre, Glasgow, and the late Donald Drew.

 

Donald enlisted in July 1916, and he arrived in France that November. Donald was reported missing then reported killed on the 9th April 1917, the first day of the battle of Arras.

 

Donald’s father died after a short illness just before he was killed in action.

Prior to enlisting Donald followed the trade of set-maker or quarryman.

JAMES PROVEN DRYSDALE

9th Battalion

BLACK WATCH

Rank                            Lance Corporal

Service number          S/11078

Date of death              26/02/1917

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              26

Resided                      

Enlisted                       Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: XXI. J. 4A.

Cemetery: ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY

Husband of Mary Drysdale, of 8, Lincoln St., Hulme, Manchester.

Son of David and Margaret Drysdale Westrigg.

 

James arrived in France on the 10th December 1915.

NEIL DRYSDALE

B Coy 10th Battalion

ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS

Rank                            Private

Service number          303372

Date of death              06/11/1918

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age

Resided                       Blackridge, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Glencorse

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F & F

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. I. 6.

Cemetery: CROSS ROADS CEMETERY, FONTAINE-AU-BOIS

 

Mr. David Drysdale, Westrigg received news through an indirect source, that their son Neil was killed by shrapnel on the 5th November.

 

Neil joined the colours in early 1916, and had been on active service most of the time. He was wounded through the hip, and had 4 or 5 months in this country.

 

Prior to enlisting Neil was employed as a clerk at Westrigg Colliery.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Drysdale had three sons in the Army, Pte James Drysdale Black Watch Killed in action, Neil above and Pte David Drysdale Army Service Corps who was posted missing, he was last heard of somewhere in Egypt. 

JOHN DRYSDALE

Tunnelling Coy.

New Zealand Engineers

Rank                            Sapper

Service number          37462

Date of death              05/05/1917

Place of birth               Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Age                              24

Resided                      

Enlisted

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal

Theatre of death         

Grave/Memorial Reference: IV. K. 43.

Cemetery: DUISANS BRITISH CEMETERY, ETRUN 

Son of John and Sarah Drysdale.

 

John was a native of Armadale, Linlithgowshire, his father, mother and the other members of the family immigrated from Armadale to New Zealand around 1911.

 

John also had two brothers who served during the War, James his younger brother was in training in England when John was killed, and William his older brother was serving in France.

JAMES WATSON DUFF

7th Battalion

ROYAL SCOTS

Rank                            Private

Service number          2656

Date of death              12/07/1915

Place of birth  

Age                              23

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       1915 Star, War Medal & Victory Medal          

Theatre of death          GALIPOLLI

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 26 to 30.

Cemetery: HELLES MEMORIAL  

Brother of Margaret Harrison, of 303, High St., Linlithgow, West Lothian.

 

James left a wife and three children who resided Mount Pleasant Armadale, Linlithgowshire.

James arrived in Gallipoli on the 12th June 1915.

 

Mrs Duff received the following letter from Chaplain John W Tweedie 1st/7th Royal Scots:

 

“Dear Mrs Duff

                        Though I am a stranger to you, I would like to send you a message of sympathy from the front. You will have heard by this time, I think that your husband, Private J Duff, was killed in action on the 12th July, and it may be some little consolation to you to know that he did not suffer, but died immediately on being struck. He was buried on the battlefield. The Colonel and Officers of the Regiment send you their sincere sympathy and I trust in their sorrow all his friends will have the strength and comfort of god’s presence and blessing.”

 

James was one of the few 7th Royal Scots who escaped the Gretna train disaster on the second train.

 

It was reported shortly after his death that his wife was very seriously ill due to the shock following the sad news.

 

James appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Bathville colliery.

WILLIAM DUNCAN

B Battery 180th Brigade         

ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY

Rank                            Gunner

Service number          242841

Date of death              14/04/1918

Place of birth               Whitburn Linlithgow

Age                              21

Resided                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Enlisted                       Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Medal Entitlement       War Medal & Victory Medal    

Theatre of death          F. & F.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 3.

Cemetery: LOOS MEMORIAL 

Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Duncan Cappers Armadale, Linlithgowshire.

 

William was killed by enemy shellfire during an attack on his gun position.

 

William appears on The United Collieries Limited, active service roll 1914-19, this shows him as being employed at Bathville colliery.