Tag Archives: Australia

Embarking from #Folkestone May 1918

These are just a few of the Units and personnel who embarked at Folkestone Harbour for the Western Front in May 1918.May 1918

Draft for the Guards Machine Gun Regiment. (Cavalry)

117th Infantry, 30th division U.S. Army.

On the 6th May

Private 3290 Charles Ambrose De Leon, Australian Imperial Force marched into the New Zealand Base Depot the following day. He is taken on the strength of 38th Battalion ex 8th Re-enforcements 38th Battalion on the 9th May. Charles was born in New York in 1888, he enlisted at Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in December 1917. Accidentally injured on the 24th July 1918. At the Court of enquiry a witness gave the following statement. Report on No. 3290. Pte De Leon C.A. (Burnt about the face and hands)
“On 24th July last, Pte De Leon was on outpost duty when the company was holding the line in the Hamel sector The enemy was shelling very heavily in the region of his post, and a fragment of one shell hit one phosphorus bomb which was amongst some Mills grenades. The phosphorus bomb burst into flames and De leon who was standing close to the parapet where it burst was burnt about the face and hands, also his clothing and equipment was burnt. Lieut Baxter after the flames were extinguished ordered De Leon to proceed to the Aid Post”
(Sgd) Pte F Binion No. 598.
Charles returned to his unit on the 11th October 1918.1

Private 6862, Edwin McMillan, 22nd Battalion Australian Imperial Force. Edwin McMillan was born in Folkestone, Kent, England. It is not known when he emigrated to Australia. It was there on the 29th July 1917, at the age of 18 years and 10 months he joined the Australian Imperial Force. After his medical he was appointed to 20/22nd Battalion reinforcements. Embarking on HMT Nestor at Melbourne on the 17th November 1917. 22nd January he is taken to the Camp Hospital at Taranto on the HMT Kashgar. On the 2nd February 1918 he marched into 6th Training Battalion at Fovant. While at Fovant he is absent from an 8:30 pm parade. He is confined to camp for 14 days and forfeits 4 days pay. From Fovant McMillan is posted to France via 5th Training Battalion, and the boat from Folkestone on the 6th May. He is wounded in action on the 19th May 1918. A gun shot wound to the head. At first he is treated at 5 Australian Field Ambulance, 5 Casualty Clearing Station, 2nd Canadian General Hospital, finally at the Australian Hospital Le Havre. He returns to the 22nd Battalion on 22nd June. He is wounded again on the 3rd October. A gun shot wound to the right thigh which shatters his right femur. Five days later he is admitted to No.8 General Hospital Rouen. 2nd February 1919 McMillan is invalided back to England. After being treated at the 2/1st Southern General Hospital Birmingham he is transferred to the 1st Australian General Hospital, Sutton Veny. He returns to Australia on the Hospital Ship “Karoola” 6th May 1919. Edwin McMillan died on the 9th July 1989.

Also in May 1918 wounded soldiers were being sent back to the front line, including this American who sereved in the Australian Imperial Force.

Private 2151 Andrew John Joseph Durkin, Australian Imperial Force. First crossed to France on the SS Princess Henrietta on the 28th November 1916. He returned to England in February 1918 suffering from Trench Fever On the 28th May Andrew is returning to the Western Front. Born in New York he lived in Brisbane with his wife Kathleen and three Children. He enlisted on 6th May 1916. In 1948 James was living at 520 Bay Street, Staten Island, New York.

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ANZAC Day #Folkestone 1917.

As it is ANZAC Day, the following are just a few of the men who embarked at Folkestone for France on the 25th April 1917.

 

25th April 1917

Private 4632 Roy Arthur, ex 8th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Part of 12th Reinforcements 30th Battalion. Marched into 5 Australian Division Base Depot on the 26th, and joined 30th Battalion in the Field on the 30th April.1

Private 2537 Arthur James Beal, ex 11th Training Battalion Australian Imperial Force, part of part of 5th reinforcement 43rd Battalion.2

Private 6286 James Jack Brown, ex 5th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 18th Reinforcements 20th Battalion. Joined 20th Battalion in the Field on the 2nd May 1917, and is killed in action on the 27th April 1918.3 James was the son of Emily Brown, Darling Street, Cowra, New South Wales, Australia, and George Brown. He was born in San Francisco, and is buried in Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery, Albert. The inscription on his grave reads:
“IN MEMORY OF THE DEAR SON OF EMILY AND THE LATE GEORGE BROWN OF COWRA”

Private 2815 Mayo Carlton Clark, Australian Imperial Force, he arrives at 4th Australian Division Base Camp the following day. Taken on the strength of 4th Pioneer Battalion ex-6th Reinforcements/4th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, on the 16th May 1917. Mayo was born near Denver, Colorado, USA. Married to Jane Reid of New Zealand, his mother lived in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. He enlisted on the 10th January 1916 in Brisbane. Hospitalised in July 1918 suffering from Trench Fever.4

Private 2541 Charles Valentine Crichton, ex 10th Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 5th Reinforcement 39th Battalion.5

Private 6977 David Maynard Crichton, Ex 2nd Training Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, part of 23rd Reinforcements/8th Battalion.6

Corporal 3055 Edward Grant, 54th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. Edward, was born in Willesden near London and emigrated to Australia before the outbreak of war. He enlisted in the 10th Reinforcement 2nd Battalion on the 6th July 1915. Taking his oath of allegiance on the 12th Grant was taken on strength 2nd Battalion from the 10th/2nd at Tel-el Kebir 5th February 1916. Transferred to the 54th Battalion eleven days later. Appointed Lance Corporal while in Egypt on the 31st May 1916. The 54th sailed from Alexandria on the 19th June bound for Marseilles and the Western Front on the 19th June 1916. Grant is wounded in action on the 20th July.. He receives a gunshot wound to his right leg. He is admitted to No.2 Australian Casualty Clearing station the same day. From there he is sent via No.8 Stationary Hospital and the Hospital Ship St David to England. Admitted to the military Hospital at Edmington. He is to remain there for just over three weeks.. His first posting from Hospital is to No. 1 Command Depot. October No.3 Command Depot, beginning of November 1916 No.4 Command Depot. Three weeks later his Commanding Officer awards him 168 hours of detention and the forfeiture of 20 days pay for being in Absent Without Leave for 13 days. On the 5th December 1916 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital. The 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital. Is a V.D. Hospital for mainly Australian soldiers, Grant has syphilis. He spends the next 61 days in hospital. Three days after his discharge from hospital he is posted back to No.1 Australian Depot. It is now the 5th February 1917. On the 24th February Grant goes absent without leave. He returns at 6:45 pm on the 23rd March and forfeits 28 days pay. A month later he is posted overseas and returns to France via Folkestone on the 25th April. Spending just under a month at the 5th Australian Base Depot at Etaples he rejoins his unit, the 54th Battalion on the 20th May. Promoted Corporal on the 8th June grant must have been a reasonably good soldier. He is again wounded. He sprains his ankle, this time playing football. The 54th Battalion were playing the 53rd. His service record records, “ This man was injured in a Football Match between 53rd Bn and 54th Bn. At Beaulancourt on 13/6/17 He was not to blame.” He spends a day over a fortnight in hospital. Wounded in action on the 25th September, the 7th November his record has him listed as “Wounded and missing on the 25th September. It was decided by the court of enquiry on the 21st March 1918 that he was Killed in Action on the 25th.7Edward Grant has no known grave his name is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.8

Private 3143 George Arthur Laidlaw, Australian Imperial Force. Arrived 5th Australian Base Depot ex10th Training Battalion the following day. Joined 54th Battalion Ex 8th Reinforcements/54th Battalion in the Field on the 13th May. Killed in Action 26th September 1917. George, the son of Mitchell and Alice Mary Laidlaw has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate.9

Private 7075 Frederick McCabe, Australian Imperial Forces, ex 23rd Reinforcements/2nd Battalion. Arrived at 1st Australian Base Depot the next day. Taken on Strength by the 2nd Battalion on the 11th May 1917. Frederick is killed in action on the 22nd September 1917. Private McCABE, FREDERICK 7075. Born in Sofalla, USA. The son of Son of James Warwick McCabe and Emily Maria McCabe, of Hudson St., Granville, New South Wales. Is buried at Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood. the inscription on his grave reads:10
“THOUGH LOST TO SIGHT TO MEMORY EVER DEAR”

Private 2362 John Crichton McLean, Australian Imperial Force, Ex 11th Training Battalion, part of the 4th Reinforcements for the 42nd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. John was born in Glasgow but his family had emigrated to Australia and John enlisted in Brisbane. He survived the war and returned to Australia.11

Private 2691 Herbert George Rider, Australian Imperial Force. Ex-9th Training Battalion. Taken on Strength 33rd Battalion, ex 5th Reinforcements/33rd Battalion on the 1st May.12

Also decided to add this gentleman, Gunner 2422 Charles George Waller, Australian Imperial Force. Ex Reserve Brigade Australian Artillery, Larkhill. Four days after arriving in France Charles is in 26 General Hospital, Etaples, sick. 20th March he is transferred to 24 General Hospital with Suspected Cerebro Spinal Meningitis. Cerebro Spinal Fever is confirmed on the 2nd April. Charles dies on the 13th April. He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.13 His parents, Alfred George and Ellen O’Regan Waller, of Gympie, Queensland, had the following inscription put on his grave,

“THE BUGLES OF ENGLAND WERE CALLING & HOW COULD I STAY”

For those who wish to pay their respects there are Australian Soldiers commemorated in Folkestone Cemetery and also a few ANZACs are buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery.IMG_8400

Stories from the Harbour Arm #Folkestone

Occasionally I get asked what it is I’m doing. “God knows” is the usually reply. However I have been collecting stories of the soldiers who left from Folkestone in the First World War. Stories such as:

Captain John Macgregor V.C., M.C and Bar. D.C.M.
2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles

Born in Cawdor, in Nairnshire Scotland, John Macgregor would have made a worthy thane. His mother still lived at Newlands of Murchang, Cawdor.  Prior to the war John had emigrated to Canada where he worked as a carpenter.

Macgregor was awarded the D.C.M. For an action on the 8th April 1917 during the preliminaries to the Battle of Vimy.

The citation for his Distinguished Conduct Medal (awarded when John was a Sergeant) reads:

116031 Sjt. J. MacGregor, Mounted Rifles. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He single-handed captured an enemy machine gun and shot the crew, thereby undoubtedly saving his company from many casualties.
(Supplement 30204 to The London Gazette 24 July 1917 page 7663)

John was awarded his Military cross for two reconnaissance missions on the 28th December 1917, and for his part in a trench raid on the 12th January 1918.

The Citation for his Military cross reads:

Lt. John Macgregor, D.C.M., Mtd. Rif. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Whilst he was assembling his men prior to a raid, the enemy bombed the trench. He, however, changing his point of attack, led his men over the wire into the enemy’s trench, and successfully dealt with the garrison of the trench and three concrete dug-outs, himself capturing one prisoner. He then withdrew his party and his prisoner successfully to our trenches. Before the raid he, together with a serjeant, had made several skilful and daring reconnaissances along the enemy wire, which materially assisted in the success of the enterprise.
(Supplement 30845 to The London Gazette, 13 August 1918, page 9569.)

The citation for the award of the Victoria Cross:

T./Capt. John MacGregor, M.C., D.C.M., 2nd C.M.R. Bn., 1st Central Ontario Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and self-sacrificing devotion to duty near Cambrai from 29th September to 3rd October 1918. He led his company under intense fire, and when the advance was checked by machine guns, although wounded, pushed on and located the enemy guns. He then ran forward in broad daylight, in face of heavy fire from all directions, and. with rifle and bayonet, single-handed, put the enemy crews out of action, killing four and taking eight prisoners. His prompt action saved many casualties and enabled the advance to continue. After reorganising his command under heavy fire he rendered most useful support to neighbouring troops. When the enemy were showing stubborn resistance, he went along the line regardless of danger, organised the platoons, took command of the leading waves, and continued the advance. Later, after a personal daylight reconnaissance under heavy fire, he established his company in Neuville St. Remy, thereby greatly assisting the advance into Tilloy. Throughout the operations Capt. MacGregor displayed magnificent bravery and heroic leadership.
(The Edinburgh Gazette .10 January 1919, No. 13384 page 200)

The citation for the bar to his Military Cross reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and leadership from 5th to 8th November, 1918, at Quievrain and Quievrechain. Through his initiative the bridges over the Honnelle River were secured. His personal reconnaissances and the information he derived from them were of great use to his commanding officer. His prompt action in seizing the crossings over the river did much -towards the final rout of the enemy.
(Supplement 31680 to the London Gazette, 9 December 1919, page15312)

John Macgregor died in British Columbia on the 9th June 1952.

and…

Private David Adams 4th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. This is not the first time Private Adams had crossed to France but the first and only date on record of him crossing from Folkestone.
Home Service from the 3rd September 1914 to the 27th July 1915.
3rd September 1914. Enlisted 3rd Battalion Royal Scots.
26th September 1914. Posted 14th Battalion Royal Scots.
21st July 1915. Posted 13th Battalion Royal Scots.
France from the 28th July 1915 to the 30th September 1915.
28th July 1915. France -not known from where he sailed.
29th September 1915. Gun Shot Wound left thigh.
30th September 1915. Returns to UK.
Home Service from the 1st October 1915 to the 1st January 1916.
1st October 1915. Depot Royal Scots.
30th November 1915. Posted to 14th Royal Scots.
1st January 1916. 13th Battalion Royal Scots.
France from the 2nd January 1916 to the 10th April 1917.
2nd January 1916. France, not known from where he sailed.

In March 1916 David was in the Hulluch Sector when he was blown up by a High Explosive Shell he is knocked unconscious and suffers from concussion. On a Medical Report dated 24th April 1918 from Glenlomond War Hospital it is stated that this is when his Neurasthenia started.

Home Service from the 11th April 1916 to the 18th April 1917.
11th April 1916 Posted for record purposes to the Royal Scots Depot, David is recovering in the Duchess of Connaught’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Taplow. He stays at the hospital until the 22nd May 1916.

7th August 1916. Posted to 14th Battalion Royal Scots.
1st September 1916 . Transferred to 3rd Reserve Battalion.
20th October 1916. Posted to the Larnarkshire Yeomanry.
2nd December 1916. 10th (Works) Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.
31st December 1916. Transferred to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
It is known from his Pension Records that David was a patient at the 2nd Scottish General Hospital. Craigleith, Edinburgh from the 9th January until the 24th February 1917.
19th April 1917. Posted to the 10th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
France from the 20th April 1917 to the 14th July 1917. (Pension Medical Record states 19th April.)
20th April 1917. Leaves Folkestone for France.
21st April 1917. Joined 19 Infantry Base Depot.
Home service from 15th July 1917 until the 10th May 1918.
15th July 1917 Taken on Strength Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Base Depot Sterling.
It is known from his Pension Records that David was a patient at Merryflats War Hospital, Glasgow from the 15th July until the 15th August 1917.
27th August 1917. Posted to 4th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
3rd November 1917. Posted to 250 Reserve Company Royal Defence Corps.
From his pensions we know that David was at Glenlomond War Hospital, Kinross in April 1918.
10th May 1918 Discharged as, “No Longer Physically Fit for War Service”.
15th May 1918 Died.

It is not know where David Adams is buried. Hopefully he managed to return to the family home at 12th Nile Street, Greenock.
As well as the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal David received the Silver War Badge (No. 389532). He is commemorated on Broomhill War Memorial.

Also…

Private 3290 Charles Ambrose De Leon, Australian Imperial Force marched into the New Zealand Base Depot the following day. He is taken on the strength of 38th Battalion ex 8th Re-enforcements 38th Battalion on the 9th May. Charles was born in New York in 1888, he enlisted at Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in December 1917. Accidentally injured on the 24th July 1918. At the Court of enquiry a witness gave the following statement. Report on No. 3290. Pte De Leon C.A. (Burnt about the face and hands)
“On 24th July last, Pte De Leon was on outpost duty when the company was holding the line in the Hamel sector The enemy was shelling very heavily in the region of his post, and a fragment of one shell hit one phosphorus bomb which was amongst some Mills grenades. The phosphorus bomb burst into flames and Deleon who was standing close to the parapet where it burst was burnt about the face and hands, also his clothing and equipment was burnt. Lieut Baxter were extinguished ordered De Leon to proceed to the Aid Post”
(Sgd) Pte F Binion No. 598.
Charles returned to his unit on the 11th October 1918

Now the question is, “What will I do with the Stories?  the answer is, “God  knows.”

 

Army Will’s #FWW

This is the Will of John Wallace McKay.  Written in April 1916.

(Australian Archives)

The letter he sent to his sister Margaret about the will is reproduced below.

(Australian Archives)

Margaret lived with their parents at the family home in Edinburgh. Sadly John was popped off on the 14th November 1916. Apart from the few pounds left to his sister. John’s parents, received all of his effects, which consisted of an identity disc, plus his two medals and Death Plaque.

John W McKay is buried in Warlencourt British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

The epitaph on his grave reads “Nobly Fighting, Nobly Fell.”

References

JW McKay Service Record

CWGC website

 

 

Postcard to Mum Down Under From, #Folkestone #FWW #WWI

A dreich morning, it is the only way of describing it. I am cold, wet and miserable standing here by Williams grave. My hands are a ghostly shade of pale. The camera is soaking and I have the shivers. My head is close to the dark place it often haunts. A bad morning and the photo is crap, but the day and I are in paradise compared to William’s last morning ninety-nine years ago today. The morning of the 17th April 1917 was to be William’s last.  An Australian Infantryman he was due to return to France from Folkestone that day.  He had been wounded in action in October 1917. On the 12th April, he had gone A.W.L. from Tattoo for three days. He was to receive 14 days Field Punishment No.2 (F.P.2) and forfeit 17 days pay for this crime. F.P.2  the prisoner was placed in irons or fetters, subjected to hard labour and had to carry out all normal duties. It is during these last few days that William wrote a postcard to his mum.

“Dear Mother The military has sent me over to France to be wilfully murdered as I knew to much for them I gave them the best snye system the world could ever be produced ending up with their ruin writing”

He gave the card to another soldier to send. on the 17th William went to the medical offices at No.3 Rest Camp Earls Avenue Folkestone

Not long after 9 a.m.  on the 17th William went to the medical offices at No.3 Rest Camp, Earls Avenue, Folkestone. Sometime after 9:20 the medical orderly left the room to go into the medical officer’s room next door. The orderly, Lance Corporal Hooke, stated at the inquest “I heard a noise as in a man in a fit. I went back into the room and saw deceased. he was lying down on the bed, his head rather inclined the blankets kicked over part of his face, he was kicking his legs up and throwing his arms about. I saw that he had cut his throat.”IMG_8393

William was given a military funeral at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery. His coffin was draped in a Union Jack. The Canadians provided a firing party and played the Last Post, Australian representatives from the Australian Imperial Force in London were in attendance.

William’s parents were informed by letter, that he had committed suicide while temporarily insane and, that they had buried him on the South side of the garrison church.

Source: William Burn Gemmell’s service record.

Up date on the struggle for an MA in WW1 studies

ok, short update, not going to happen. long update. could not raise the funds, by a very long way. Never mind shoulders back stomach in. Not the end of the world the good news is there is a grant of £10,000. That would do nicely, thank you UK Government. all you have to be is normally resident in England, well I am now. So what is the catch? And under 60 years of age.

I’m 3, yes three days, to old.  (written on 31 January 2016)

Never mind.

Still looking for some of the books. Always looking for books. The books on the reading list I have yet to find are listed below. Bur first my main focus will be on the medical services in the Palestine campaign. a trip to Israel is called for.

General texts
J.M. Bourne, Britain and the First World War (1989)
Cyril Falls, The First World War (1960)Adrian Gregory, A War of Peoples (2014)
Specialist studies
Holger Afflerbach and David Stevenson, (eds.) An Improbable War? The Outbreak of World War I and European Political Culture Before 1914 (2007)
Stephen Badsey, The British Army in Battle and its Image (2009)
Ian Beckett & Keith Simpson, A Nation in Arms (1985)
Stephen Broadberry and Mark Harrison, The Economics of World War I (2005)
Hugh Cecil and Peter Liddle (eds.), Facing Armageddon (1996)
Roger Chickering and Stig Förster, (eds.), Great War, Total War: Combat and Motivation on the Western Front, 1914–1918 (2000)
Susan R. Grayzel, Women and the First World War (2002).
Adrian Gregory, The Last Great War (2008)
Paul G. Halpern, A Naval History of World War I (London: UCL Press, 1994)
Richard F. Hamilton and Herger H. Herwig, Decisions for War, 1914-1917 (2004)
Alan Kramer, Dynamic of Destruction: Culture and Mass Killing in the First World War (2007)
Spencer Jones, From Boer War to World War: Tactical Reform of the British Army, 1902-1914 (2012)
Annika Mombauer, The Origins of the First World War: Diplomatic and Military Documents (2013)
Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson, Command on the Western Front (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992),
David Reynolds, The Long Shadow (2013)
Gary Sheffield, The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army (2011)
Peter Simkins, Kitchener’s Army (1988)
Charles Townshend, When God Made Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914–1921, (2011)

 

#FWW Review of Poppies From the Heart of Strathspey

Now being reprinted
Stuart
3/17/10
Review: Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey by Peter Anderson (2010),
The published histories of the First World War are plentiful, and for
many it seems that the same old ground has been ploughed again and
again. Some would even question whether there is anything new to
write, but in so doing miss an entire vacuum of knowledge that awaits
exploration – the effect the War had on the local communities who
provided the men to fight. Peter Anderson’s analysis of the men of
Strathspey – an area of Scotland in Morayshire – begins to fill this
hole.
The book opens with a scene of the town of Grantown-on-Spey in July
1914, before the cataclysm was to hit. We are introduced to local
shops, dignitaries, and the minor news incidents of the day. It was a
perfectly normal town, disturbed only by a thunder storm that
disrupted the local Scout Camp, until the real storm was to come. The
opening perfectly sets the scene for the frantic activity of August
1914, as troops are mobilized, and shops ready themselves for war.
The approach of the author is to present us with a journal of the war
and beyond (the final entry is, in effect, the 3rd February 1928 with
the funeral of Field Marshal Earl Haig demonstrating how the ripples
of war streamed outwards well beyond 1918). The entries centre on the
men of Strathspey, who saw action in all quarters of the war, and
presents their story. We are given their military details, their date
and place of death, and more often than not local details about their
life at home and that of their families. Interspersed throughout are
photographs of the soldiers, their graves, the houses in the local
area (if standing), memorials, inscriptions, newspaper clippings, and
more. The extent of the research is praiseworthy, and the book itself
(complete with index and bibliography) extends to nearly 300 pages.
In taking this approach, the author risks two criticisms. First, that
the book resembles a litany, where the reader is dulled into
submission with death after death being listed. This is fine for the
wall of a memorial, as the desired effect is to impress on the
observer the vastness of the slaughter, but not acceptable for a
printed book that seeks to tell a story. Second, that the information
is so localized it is only of interest to residents of that particular
community. However, Anderson manages a difficult task extremely well
and avoids both problems. Although we are presented with the
successive deaths of the men of Strathspey, the stories are told from
a human perspective. We get a glimpse into where they lived, worked,
their families, when they enlisted, and the memorials erected after
their deaths. It is such detail and insights that raise the book well
beyond a memorial scroll and grabs the reader’s attention. Secondly,
these men fought in all the major conflicts of the war so this is very
much a history of the entire conflict seen through the focus of the
men and women of one area of Scotland. Moreover, Anderson places the
events that affected Strathspey in the wider historical and social
context. The entries for 1917 open with the death of Harry lauder’s
son (December, 1916), the announced death of Private S/16634 John
Stuart Grant on the 24th April 1917, is part of the offensive at
Arras, and as already mentioned the book envelopes itself with entries
on the outbreak of war and the death of Haig.
This is a book written with a sense of dignity and respect (for both
the soldiers and the reader), and collects together an impressive
amount of research. As well as taking the reader on an emotional
journey, outlining the effects the war had on a single community which
is important in itself as we attempt to write the wider history of the
conflict – it surely acts as a fitting memorial to the men and women
of Strathspey who sacrificed so much.
Stuart Lee
Oxford