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Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)

Want to know more about Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)?

There are:55440 pages and articles tagged Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) available in our Library

Those known to have served with

Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Agnew George. Pte.
  • Allan George Thomas Cockburn.
  • Allen Arthur Crawford. Pte. 8th (Service) Btn (d.19th Oct 1916)
  • Anderson Thomas. Pte. 8th (Service) Btn. (d.27th Sep 1915)
  • Archibald George. Pte. 4/5th (Angus and Dundee) Battalion (d.31st Jul 1917)
  • Archibald John Gibb. L/Cpl. 7th Btn.
  • Atock Arthur George. Lt. 155th Field Coy. (d.13th Sep 1918)
  • Bain James. Pte. 2nd Battalion
  • Balkwill Albert Thomas James. 2nd Lt. 8th Btn. (d.17th Oct 1916)
  • Birkinshaw Jesse. L/Cpl. 8th Battalion
  • Black Archibald. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.14th Jul 1916)
  • Black Peter. Pte. 1/4th Btn. (d.18th Sep 1916)
  • Blacklock John. Pte. 6th (Perthshire) Btn. (d.23rd Apr 1917)
  • Boyle John. L/Cpl. 1st Btn. (d.23rd Feb 1917)
  • Brice Philip John. Pte.
  • Brown A.. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.1st Jun 1917)
  • Brownlow William Lionel. 2nd Lt. (d.9th May 1915)
  • Canavan Richard. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.9th May 1915)
  • Clark Charles. Pte. 8th Btn.
  • Connelly Patrick. Pte 8th (d.27 Sep 1915)
  • Crabb John Wilson. Pte.
  • Crawford William. Cpl. 9th Btn.
  • Crombie Alexander. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.21st October 1915)
  • Culpin George Frederick. Sgt 1st Btn (d.11th Nov 1914)
  • Cutmore G.. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.25th Jul 1917)
  • Davidson Archibald. Pte. 1st Battalion (d.25th January 1915)
  • Davidson Walter. Pte. 6th Btn (d.31st July 1917)
  • Delaney Patrick. Pte. 1st Btn (d.15th Sep 1914)
  • Dingwall Hugh. L/Cpl. 4/5 Btn (d.14 0ctober 1916)
  • Docherty John. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.15th Feb 1916)
  • Donaldson James. Capt. 9th Bn (d.23rd Aug 1917)
  • Doyle Edward. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.9th May 1915)
  • Duff George. Pte. (d.27th Oct 1914)
  • Eassom Charles Frederick. 2nd Btn.
  • Edwards Albert John. Sgt. 1st Btn. D Coy. (d.25th Sep 1915)
  • Evans Lewis Pugh. Brig. Gen. 2nd Battalion,
  • Fairlie Andrew. L/Cpl. 2nd Btn. (d.13th Jul 1918)
  • Ferrier William. 7th Btn. (d.7th July 1916)
  • Finlay David. Sgt. 2nd Btn. (d.21st Jan 1916)
  • Foster Andrew. Sgt. (d.22nd Oct 1915)
  • Fraser Oswald Campbell. 2nd Lt. 9th Btn. (d.9th April 1917)
  • Fullerton-Carnegie George David Howard. 1st/7th Btn.
  • Gregory Charles James. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.15th May 1918)
  • Heath John Doulton. Cpl. 7th Btn
  • Henderson Archibald. Pte. 4/5 Btn. (d.15 Nov 1917)
  • Henderson Robert. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.25th Sep 1916)
  • Henderson William Buntin. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.15th Apr 1917)
  • Henderson William Buntin. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.15th April 1917)
  • Heslin John. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.17th Dec 1917)
  • Hodnett James. Pte. 1st Btn.
  • Jenkins Henry. Pte.
  • Johnston William. Pte. 6th Battalion
  • Jones William Edward. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.15th Sep 1918)
  • Kelly Francis. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.25th July 1916)
  • Lamb William. Pte. 6th Perthshire Btn. (d.30th Jul 1916)
  • Lathan Leslie. Pte. 13th. (Scottish Horse) Btn. (d.4th Nov 1918)
  • Leggate Robert. Pte. 9th Btn.
  • Low James. L/Sgt. 1st Battalion (d.9th May 1915)
  • Macfarlane Duncan Anne. Pipe Mjr. 1st Btn.
  • Mann Alexander James. 2nd Lt. 8th (Service) Batallion (d.10th Apr 1917)
  • Manning Michael. Pte. (d.13th Aug 1915 )
  • McCallum Walter Keyes. Pte. 1/5th (Angus and Dundee) Battalion
  • McCann David. Serjeant 9th Svc Bn, (d.15th Sep 1915)
  • McCann David. Sgt. 9th Btn. (d.25th Sep 1915)
  • McFarlane Alan. Pte. 9th Btn (d.26th Sept 1915)
  • McFarlane Colin. Pte. 13th Btn.
  • McGee James. Pte 4th Btn (d.28th Nov 1915)
  • McGregor John Alexander. L/Cpl. 1/5th Btn.
  • McKee John Bernard. Pte. 4th Btn.
  • McLaren George. Pte. 1/7 Battalion (d.13th Nov 1916)
  • McMillan Donald William.
  • McNeill Peter. Drum Major 6th Battalion (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • McPherson Andrew. Pte. 6th Btn. G Company. (d.26th Jun 1915)
  • Mellon James. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.27th Sept 1915)
  • Nicol Charles. Pte. 6th Perthshire Battalion
  • O'Kell John Edward. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.18th Oct 1916)
  • Owen Frank. Pte. 10th Btn (d.5th Nov 1916)
  • Parker Thomas. Pte. 7th Battalion (d.26th March 1918)
  • Potter Alexander. Cpl. 9th (Service) Battalion (d.9th Apr 1917 )
  • Preston John. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.12th Oct 1916)
  • Purvis William James. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.13th Oct 1915)
  • Ripley John. Cpl.
  • Ritchie John. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.5th Oct 1916)
  • Rowan-Hamilton Gawain Basil. Brig. 2nd Btn.
  • Sangster Adam Jamieson. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.5th Sep 1916)
  • Shaw William. Pte.
  • Simpson Alexander Herd. Pte. 7th Battalion
  • Small Joseph. Pte. 1st Btn.
  • Smith John. Pte. 7th Battalion (d.24th May 1915)
  • Smith John. Pte. 2nd Btn.
  • Stewart Charles Edward. Pte. 6th Battalion (d.30th July 1916)
  • Taylor George Laird. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.25th Sep 1915)
  • Taysum Norman Henry. Pte. 9th Btn. (d.16th Oct 1917)
  • Thomas Byers. Capt. 9th Btn.
  • Turner Robert. Pte. 7th Battalion (d.31st Jul 1916)
  • Turner William. Pte. 10th Battalion (d.9th May 1917)
  • Wallace Alexander. L/Sgt. 1st/7th Battalion (d.23rd Dec 1916)
  • Wallace Andrew. Sgt. 1st/7th Battalion (d.25th Sep 1915)
  • Wateridge William James. Pte. 4th/5th Btn. (d.1st Aug 1918)
  • Wykes Albert Arthur. L/Cpl 2nd Btn. (d.18th Jun 1917)

All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.

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June 2017

    Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 232065 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.


Pte. Thomas Parker 7th Battalion Black Watch (d.26th March 1918)

My Great Grandfather, Thomas Parker, husband of Jane Campbell Parker from Leslie, Fife. Died in the 1st Battle of Bapaume (as far as my research leads me to believe)

Sarah Perfect


Pte. John Edward O'Kell 8th Btn. Black Watch (d.18th Oct 1916)

John O'Kell served with the 8th Black Watch and is remembered on the Theipval Memorial to the Missing.

Judith Gill


Cpl. Alexander Potter 9th (Service) Battalion Black Watch (d.9th Apr 1917 )

Cpl Alexander Potter died at Arras on 9th April 1917.

Georgine Faulkner


Pte. Francis Kelly 1st Btn. Black Watch (d.25th July 1916)

Frank Kelly, was the eldest of four brothers, all to join the Black Watch, Royal Highland Regiment. He had previously served during the Boer War 1899-1902. He became a Territorial Soldier, and joined up full time in 1914 when war was declared. He was killed in action on 25th of July 1916, during the Somme Offensive. His name appears on the Thiepval Memorial in France.

Andrew Coltart


L/Sgt. James Low 1st Battalion Black Watch (d.9th May 1915)

James Low on his wedding day with his wife Nellie (Hoare)

James Low was my great grandfather. His address was 3 Yeamans Alley, Lochee, Dundee. He was the son of Mary Jean Scrimgeour but was raised by his Grandmother, Mary Low aka Granny Booth, who married John Gibson Booth after she gave birth to Jane. James's father was never in the picture along with Jane's father so he went by his grandmother's maiden name which was Low as she was Low when she gave birth to James's mother Jane. Neither his grandmother nor his mother married but neither of those men were blood relatives to James hence why he went by his Grandfather's surname.

He was in the 1st Battalion of the Blackwatch (Royal Highlanders) service number 874. While serving in Ireland he met my great grandmother Nellie Hoare. Nellie became pregnant with my granfather Patrick Low and James and Nellie got married on the Isle of Wight on the 12/01/1914.

James joined the war with the Blackwatch on the 14/09/1914. They fought in The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, the First Battle of Ypres and the Winter Operations of 1914-15. It was on the 09/05/1915 during the Battle of Aubers Ridge when he died. James won the WW1 Victory Medal.

Blackwatch leaving aldershot to fight in WW1

Declan Lowe


William Ferrier 7th Btn. Black Watch (d.7th July 1916)

William Ferrier was the eldest and only son of William and Margaret, and my mother's brother. Now lying in Aubigny Military Cemetry, France. "Rest beloved, rest until the day dawns."

Ross Watson


Sgt. David McCann 9th Btn. Black Watch (d.25th Sep 1915)

David McCann served with the 9th Royal Highlanders

Patrick Garland


Pte. Robert Henderson 1st Btn. Black Watch (d.25th Sep 1916)

Robbie Henderson was an office boy who lived in Love Street Paisley, who enlisted in the army at Dunkeld, Perthshire and was attached initially to 1771 Scottish Horse. He was killed aged 21 on 25th of September 1916 during an attack down Flers trench in support of an attack on Goose Alley. One of the missing of the Somme, his name is inscribed on the memorial at Thiepval, France, the largest war memorial in the world, containing the names of 72,000 men who fell on the fields of Flanders. He had five brothers and sisters, one of whom, Margaret Henderson, was my maternal grandmother.

Stuart MacRae


Pte. George Agnew Black Watch Rgt.

Pte George Agnew was a POW at Friedrichfeld, Rhein. He worked at the Zeppelin factory at Freidrichshafen.



Pte. Alexander Herd Simpson 7th Battalion Black Watch

My grandfather Alec Simpson joined the Fife Territorial Battalion, the 7th Black Watch during WWI, he was probably recruited in St Andrews where he was living at the time and working as a golf club maker. He then went to Kinghorn Fort on the south coast of Fife near Kirkaldy for training and to assist in coastal defence and sent a photo home from there on 9th of April 1915 showing him dressed as an MP. While fighting near Festubert in France on about 24th May 1915 Alec was wounded in the thigh and the shoulder and spent the night in no man's land waiting to be rescued. He was then saved by Captain C.H. Maxwell and sent to Edmonton Military Hospital in Silver Street, North London. It was there he met my grandmother, a nurse and they fell in love and were later married. He had many operations on his leg and always walked with a limp and used a cane. My grandmother kept the newspaper clipping regarding his injury but I don't know what newspaper it came from. If anyone knows I would love to find out. I also have a group photo showing him dressed as an MP, maybe your family member is in the photo?

The article reads: Another man who fared badly out in the open was Pte. A. H. Simpson, formerly a golf club maker with Messrs Forgan, St Andrews. Sergt. Cecil ? also a lad from the “Grey City”, saw him fall; but as Alick immediately lit a cigarette, it was thought that his wounds were slight. Next morning, however, while we were all busy at our allotted tasks, a faint cry was heard from "No Man's Land," and a soldier was seen to be lying a considerable distance in front of our line. Word was sent round to Captain C.H. Maxwell, our Anstruther officer, that there seemed to be one of our men lying out in the open. When next the call came, Captain Maxwell shouted in reply, "Hello, who are you?" "I belong to the 7th Black Watch." came the response.

A Gallant Captain.

Without a moment's hesitation the gallant Captain, calling upon someone to accompany him, jumped over the parapet, and made his way in the direction from which the call had come. Sergt. Douglas F. Adamson - "Big Dob" as we used to call our popular Cupar comrade - and Pte. William Winton, Milton of Balgonie, were close at Captain Maxwell's heels. Together they reached the wounded man, who proved to be Pte. Simpson. Captain Maxwell and Pte. Winton immediately carried him in, and as they raised him he pointed to a shell-hole nearby, where lay L/Cpl. W.B. Watson, a fellow-townsman of Captain Maxwell. Poor Watson had been severely peppered by machine gun fire, and succumbed to his wounds. Sergt. Adamson at once raised him on his shoulders, and he, too, was brought back into our own lines.

The machine gun section, under Lieut. A. C. Westwood, had also been having their own share of the casualties, and the first Cupar member of our battalion lost his life here. This was Pte. John Pratt, previously an ironmonger, with Capt. T. J. Robertson’s firm. He had been out making a sap for the machine gun in front of the line, when a shrapnel shell came over. A fragment hit him on the head, and he died almost immediately. Two other Cupar men were wounded by the flying metal – Pte. William Smith, who, singularly enough, had entered the trenches on his nineteenth birthday, and Pte. David.

Newspaper clipping

Alec and Jack Graham at Edmonton Hospital

H Simpson


Sgt. Albert John Edwards 1st Btn. D Coy. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (d.25th Sep 1915)

My great uncle Albert John Edwards was born in Edinburgh in 1888 and died, aged just 27 years, at the Battle of Loos. He enlisted in Dundee as a young man. At some point, Albert was transferred to the 1st Battalion, probably when they were sent to France for the "big push". (His medal card shows he was in the 1st Battalion when he was killed in action.)

On 31st of March 1915 Albert married his sweetheart Emily at 39 South Street, Edinburgh. The marriage record shows Albert as a Sergeant - F Coy 3rd Black Watch, 27 years old and a bachelor. His usual residence is stated as stationed at Nigg, Ross-shire. Albert must have married Emily while on leave before he went off to fight in France, but was killed in action just six months later on 25th September at the Battle of Loos. Albert does not have a grave but is listed on the Loos Memorial.



Sgt. Andrew Foster Royal Field Artillery (d.22nd Oct 1915)

Andrew Foster is my great-grandfather, he served in the Royal Artillery before the Great War. In the photo, the badges on his cap and collar definitely show that he is in the Artillery, left side of the collar the insignia is a hair and an insect. This might denote a particular system in the artillery related with the field. He also has star badges on his right sleeve which indicate that he is in a Volunteer Artillery unit, the star on his lower sleeve denote 5 years efficient service, his rank Sergeant, 3 stripes, his medal might be long service or campaign medal, the volunteer long service medal (20yrs). They were like the TA of their time. The peaked cap he is wearing was adopted by the army c 1905. He is wearing the dress tunic; blue with red collar, which was discontinued around 1914 so the photo dates between 1905 and 1914.

Andrew was born on the 10th of September 1868 and was married to Eliza Jane Henderson. He died 23rd of October 1915 and his death certificate states he was a corporal 2nd/7th Royal Highland Regiment, died Brighton, 2nd Eastern General Hospital.

Andrew Foster regiment no 3509 Black Watch

listings on his whereabouts Kirkcaldy according to a book The Register of the Fife Fallen in the Great War 1914-1919 by E.Klak & J. Klak

Paul Kay Foster Mackenzie


Pte James McGee 4th Btn Black Watch (d.28th Nov 1915)

James and the 4th Battalion disembarked in Le Havre, France on February 26th 1915. Over the next seven months the Battalion fought in several battles and suffered heavy casualties. When the Battalion arrived in France they had 900 men, but by September 24th this had dropped to 423 fighting men. At the Battle of the Loos another 230 were killed or wounded. At this stage the Battalion had lost so many men it amalgamated with 2nd Battalion Black Watch.

4th Battalion resumed their own identity on the 6th of November when they transferred to 139th Brigade, 46th (North Midland)Division. It was shortly after this that James was shot and captured as a POW, he was transferred to Wesel Military hospital on the 13th November. Red cross files indicate James had been shot in the right shoulder and later died in hospital due to Sepsis on the 28th November 1915

James in now buried in the Cologne Southern Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen at grave reference XI. F. 5



Pte. Henry Jenkins Black Watch

Henry Jenkins was about 18 or 19 when he walked from Dunfermline to Perth to sign up.

Jeanie Field


Pte. Alan McFarlane 9th Btn Black Watch (d.26th Sept 1915)

Alan McFarlane, my Great Uncle was killed in the Battle of Loos on 26th of September 1915, three weeks after his 21st birthday. He is buried in Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery, France

Robert McFarlane


Cpl. John Ripley VC. Black Watch

John Ripley of The Black Watch was awarded the Victoria Cross at the age of 47. He led a platoon charge in the trenches at Rue du Bois and "continued to hold the position until all his men had fallen and he himself was badly wounded in the head".

s flynn


L/Cpl. Andrew Fairlie 2nd Btn. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (d.13th Jul 1918)

Andrew Fairlie died aged 20 and is buried in the Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt. He was born on 1st February 1898, the son of Mrs. J. Fairlie of 23 John Street, Ayr.

S. Flynn


Pte. George Laird Taylor 8th Btn. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (d.25th Sep 1915)

George Laird Taylor was my great uncle. I knew about him from an early age because to the inscription on the family gravestone in my local church which listed him as "Killed in France 1915, Aged 17". It wasn't until recently, however, that I discovered this information contained an uncomfortable, but shockingly common, revelation - my uncle was under age when he died. The law (and British Army Regulations) at the time stated that to serve overseas a soldier had to be 19 years old, and yet his gravestone clearly stated he was only 17 when he died.

Armed with the knowledge that "boy soldiers" of his age, and younger, were allowed or encouraged to join-up in order to fill the ranks of "Kitchener's Army" I started to look deeper. Using the excellent Commonwealth War Graves Commission website I was quickly able to confirm not only his unit, service number, date of death and the battle in which died but also the fact that his age was known to the authorities at the time.

Further research indicated that sometimes families "rounded up" their son's ages on commemorative gravestones at home so I wanted to find out more by trying to find his true date of birth. Again, the CWGC site was invaluable as it not only gave great uncle George's full name but also that of his parents and his home address. Using that information I tracked down his birth date from the online records available from the Scottish National Archives. This confirmed he was born in July 1898 so was 17 years and 2 months old when he was killed.

As a member of the 8th (Service) Battalion Black Watch my great uncle would have been only 16 when he joined up and still not 17 when it arrived in France as part of the 9th (Scottish) Division on 10th May 1915. Less than five months later he was killed in action on 25th September 1915 - one of the 500+ casualties his battalion suffered in the fighting round the formidable German stronghold called the Hohenzollern Redoubt during the Battle of Loos. The most famous casualty of the battalion in that action is probably Fergus Bowes-Lyon, an older brother of the future Queen and late Queen Mother Elizabeth who was killed on 27 September.

Having found all that out, I am now looking for pictures so, hopefully, I can put a face to the name. I will be trying family but would appeal to anyone reading this who has connections to the 8th Battalion for anything they might have in terms of group photos or newspaper clippings that may have my great uncle in it. I live in the USA, but will be in Holland in the week before the 100th anniversary of his death. I intend to travel down to the area to "walk the ground" and pay my respects at the Loos Memorial to a man I never knew (and who has no known grave) but who died fighting in a war to protect the country I had the privilege to be born and grow up in.

Douglas Herron


L/Sgt. Alexander Wallace 1st/7th Battalion Black Watch (d.23rd Dec 1916)

Alexander Wallace and his three brothers all served in the First World War, Alexander Andrew and David served with the 7th Battalion Black Watch and Charles who has immigrated to Australia served with the 16th Battalion Australian Imperial Force.

Alexander died of wounds received during the Battle of Beamount Hamel on the 23rd December 1916 and at the time of his death his brothers Andrew and Charles had died.

David Wallace survived the war, moved to Australia and was my grandfather

Roger Sweetman


Sgt. Andrew Wallace 1st/7th Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (d.25th Sep 1915)

Andrew, David and Alexander Wallace served with the 7th Battalion, Black Watch. Andrew was a professional soldier at the outbreak of World War One and his two brothers enlisted and served in the same unit at the outbreak of War.

Andrew's other brother Charles had immigrated to Australia before the war and enlisted in the 16th Battalion Australian Imperial Force. Andrew and Alexander were killed on the western front while Charles was killed at Gallipoli.

David Wallace survived the war and immigrated to Australia and was my Grandfather

Roger Sweetman

Want to know more about Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)?

There are:55440 pages and articles tagged Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) available in our Library
  These include information on officers, regimental histories, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.

History of the Black Watch in the Great War

A.G. Wauchope

History of the 9th (Scottish) Division

John Ewing

The division’s record is graphically described in this history - what Field Marshal Lord Plumer in his foreword referred to as “a record of wonderful development of fighting efficiency.” There are useful appendices giving the Order of Battle, command and staff lists with the various changes; a table showing periods spent in the line, with locations; a table of battle casualties and the VC citations. The maps are good with adequate detail for actions to be followed.


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