Category Archives: Mesopotamia

More from Folkestone Old Cemetery.

 

 

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Before he enlisted in 1916 Thomas was an errand boy.

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Memorial to Major Edward Hale Lewin 46th Punjabis. Killed in action at the Battle of Dujaila. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial in Iraq

 

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Memorial Inscription to Captain Charles Philip Lysaght Marwood. He was attached to the 1st Battalion Nigerian Regiment, West African Frontier Force. Almost certain he was killed in action in one of the skirmishes towards Yaoundé along the Kribi-Yaoundé Road in the Cameroons. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Zaria Memorial.

 

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Corporal Duncan Begg Mackintosh, Died of Wounds 21st June 1927.

No. 10618 Lance Corporal Duncan Begg Mackintosh

7th Battalion Queens Own Cameron Highlanders,

Highland Light Infantry, and the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

Died of Wounds 21st June 1927.

Duncan Mackintosh was born in Grantown-on-Spey on the 19th November 1883. He was the eldest surviving son of of Peter and Margaret mackintosh of Rosemont, Grantown-on-Spey. Duncan enlisted in Inverness during October 1914 and joined the 7th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in Glasgow. He arrived in France with the battalion on the 8th July 1915. Duncan took part in the Battle of Loos in 1915 where on the 25th September 1915 he was wounded in the shoulder. After his recovery Duncan went on to serve in Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq. He was reported in the Strathspey Herald, as being dangerously ill, on the 1st June 1916. During the Battle of San-I-Yat a bullet entered his left lung and exited through his spine. After a tiring journey by boat down the river Tigres he was transported by Hospital Ship to Bombay in India. Here he lost his left lung. Eventually Duncan returned to Scotland and married Mary Robertson. They lived at 5 Kings Street Coatbridge. Duncan worked as a Master Watchmaker. Eleven years after being shot Duncan Begg Mackintosh died on the 21st June 1927. His death certificate records that he died from “Gunshot Wounds” On the Family Memorial in Inverallan burial ground Duncan is commemorated as “Dying from the effects of wounds received in 1917.” Duncan was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal, the Victory Medal, and the Silver war Badge. 1 2

1 Morayshire Roll of Honour 1914-1918

2 Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey, Peter Anderson, 2010.

Ragtime

As far as war horses are concerned there is a tendency to disregard the Middle East and only think of the Western Front. Horses that served in other theatres get forgotten, (not by me) So here is a short story of one of the Empire’s Horses that served in Mesopotamia. His name was Ragtime.

Ragtime was born at an army farm in the Punjab. Mum’s name was Gladrags, dad’s Geneva. Geneva was an Arab, no idea what Mum was, but the Empire’s horses were multi-cultural a long time ago. Ragtime lived a normal military horse’s life. Basically three years of relative free running on the farm before being sent to Jhansi and the garrison there. At Jhansi Ragtime learnt all the skills required of an Army horse. Parades, riding school, and of course Polo. In 1914 Ragtime, and Galopia the horse stabled with him, was posted to Baluchistan, any guesses as to why I don’t tell stories about horses yet? His rider at Baluchistan was Lord Middleton.

Middleton became very fond of Ragtime, and when Middleton’s regiment was sent to Mesopotamia Ragtime was soon to follow. Ragtime’s war was basically the same as the other horses war. The army not only fought the Turks, but a Guerrilla war against Arab tribesmen. Added to this was the heat, long marches, food and water shortages. Lord Middleton was sent back to India and the government brought ragtime. So Ragtime and Middleton were separated and I doubt they ever thought they would see each other again.

After the war Ragtime was one of the horses in a polo match in Baghdad. Lord Middleton was in the opposing team. There was instant recognition between man and horse. Ragtime had a scar on one of his legs just above the hoof, this enabled Middleton to identify the horse as Ragtime. Lord Middleton then exercised a right to buy his old mount. Ragtime’s military career was not over though. Middleton was still a serving officer and Ragtime was his horse during an Arab insurrection. Most of a horse’s life was the stereotypical life of a British colonial officer’s horse. polo. hunts and state occasions. Now circa 1922 Ragtime and Middleton were in Calcutta, and Ragtime was a trumpeters mount in the Governor’s bodyguard. Still with Lord Middleton who was in command of the bodyguard. Lord Middleton returned to England in 1923, Ragtime followed in 1924. For the rest of Ragtime’s life Lord Middleton looked after Ragtime at Birdsall House in Yorkshire.

For his army service Ragtime carried five medals on the band over his brow, Pip. Squeak, Wilfred, one for the Arab insurrection, and one for long service and good conduct.