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Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Want to know more about Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders?

There are:63130 pages and articles tagged Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders available in our Library

Those known to have served with

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Armour James. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.26th Aug 1915)
  • Armstrong John. L/Cpl. 6th Btn (d.18th Apr 1917)
  • Arthur James. Sgt. 5th Btn. E Coy
  • Barberel Eugene John Auguste. Pte.
  • Baxter David. Sgt. 6th Btn.
  • Bell William John Key. Pte 2nd batt (d.28th August 1916)
  • Bellringer John. Cpl. 1/5th Btn. (d.12th Jul 1915)
  • Boswell Archibald. Sgt. 10th Battalion (d.12th Oct 1917)
  • Bothwell Alexander Burness. Pte. 13th Btn.
  • Brown . L/Cpl.
  • Brown Thomas. L/Cpl. 14th Battalion (d.18th Aug 1916)
  • Buchan John Crawford. 2nd Lt. 7th Bn. Attached 8th Bn. (d.22nd March 1918)
  • Campbell Colin. Lt.
  • Campbell Hugh. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.10th May 1915)
  • Carmichael Gabriel Baird. Pte 2nd Battalion (d.25th Oct 1918)
  • Carmichael Gabriel Baird. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.25th Oct 1918)
  • Clarke Montagu Christian. Lt. 1st Battalion (d.8th May 1915)
  • Collins John Joseph. pte. 2nd Btn. (d.23rd Apr 1917)
  • Combe David. Pte. 1/7th Btn. (d.14th July 1917)
  • Cowan James. (d.1917)
  • Crawford Peter. Pte. 10th Battalion (d.15th Oct 1915)
  • Deeprose Walter. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.20th Nov 1917)
  • Dorren John. A/Cpl. 5th Btn.
  • Dunlop J.. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.1st Jul 1918)
  • Dunlop Samuel. Pte. 2nd Btn.
  • Durnion Daniel. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.12th May 1915)
  • Ferguson Joseph. Pte. 1/7th Princess Louise Battalion (d.20th September 1917)
  • Fox Stephen Albert. Pte. (d.20th August 1918)
  • Gilchrist John. Pte. 1/8 Btn. (d.9th Apr 1917)
  • Gilchrist William Little. Pte. 1/8th Battalion (d.23rd Mar 1918)
  • Gilmour David. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.20th May 1918)
  • Gilmour David. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.20th May 1918)
  • Gilmour Samuel. Pte. 1/5th Btn. (d.12th Jul 1915)
  • Glasgow Ralph. Pte. 10th Bn. (d.14th July 1916)
  • Gold Thomas Cuthbertson. L/Cpl. 10th Battalion (d.15th Oct 1915)
  • Goodwin James. L/Cpl. 6th Btn. (d.6th Mar 1916)
  • Grant Daniel Menzies. 2nd Lt. 5th Btn. (d.4th Aug 1918)
  • Hackett Percy James. Act/Cpl. 11th Btn. (d.4th Dec 1915)
  • Henderson Arthur. Capt. 4th Btn. (d.24th Apr 1917)
  • Henderson William. Pte. 1st/6th Btn. (d.29th Dec 1916)
  • Higgins James. Pte. 1/9th Btn. (d.26th Aug 1916)
  • Hill Hugh. Pte. 2nd Battallion (d.24th Apr 1917)
  • Hobart Fred A.. Pte. 1/8th Btn. (d.16th Dec 1916)
  • Hughes Stewart. Pte. 1/5 Btn. (d.14th Sep 1915)
  • Hunter Robert. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.26th Mar 1916)
  • Jarvie James Burns. Pte. 7th Battalion (d.18th April 1917)
  • Kane Thomas. Pte. 11th Btn. (d.23rd Apr 1917)
  • Kelly William. L/Cpl 3rd then 2nd Battalions (d.25 Sept 1915)
  • Kennedy Daniel. Pte. 1/7 Btn. (d.20th Sep 1917)
  • Kennedy Peter. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.21st Oct 1914)
  • Kinghorn Robert. Cpl. 2nd Btn.
  • Knowles John. Pte 2nd Btn (d.12th May 1917)
  • Lambert Peter. 9th Btn. (d.9th May 1915)
  • Liddell John Aidan. Capt. 7 Sqd. (d.31st Aug 1915)
  • Liddell John Aidan. Captain (d.31st August 1915)
  • Lightburn Robert. L/Cpl. 11th Btn. (d.23rd Apr 1917)
  • Lovegrove Arthur Stephen Franklin. Pte. 8th Btn (d.10th Apr 1918)
  • MacArthur John. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.1st Jul 1916)
  • MacGilvray Donald. Sgt. 8th Battalion
  • MacIntyre Donald. L/Cpl. 8th Btn. (d.7th Dec 1918)
  • Mackenzie Alexander. Pte. 11th Battalion (d.28th Aug 1916)
  • Mackie John Duncan. Capt. 14th Btn.
  • Malloch James. Pte. 1st Bn. (d.29th Aug 1916)
  • McDonald Thomas Andrew. Sgt. 2nd Battalion (d.23rd April 1917)
  • McFetridge James. L/Cpl. 10th Btn
  • McFetridge James. L/Cpl 10th Btn
  • Mclean Donald. Cpl. 2nd Btn. (d.21st Oct 1914)
  • McLintock Douglas. Pte. 11th Battalion (d.27th Sep 1915)
  • McLintock Peter Gordon. Piper 2nd Btn. (d.2nd Mar 1915)
  • McQuade John. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.13th Jun 1916)
  • McRobbie John Stewart. Pte. 8th Battalion
  • McShee Andrew. Pte. 11th Batallion (d.20th Jan 1917)
  • Mitchell Colin Campbell. Capt. 10th Battalion
  • Mitchell James. Pte. 1/5th Btn.
  • Moodie William. Pte. 1/19th Dunbartonshire Btn. (d.10th May 1915)
  • Muir James Craig. Cpl. 3rd Btn. D Company (d.19th Jul 1916)
  • Munro John Alexander. Sgt. 1st/8th Btn.
  • Mylet Hugh Mcpherson. Pte. 1/6 Btn. (d.30th August 1915)
  • Nicol David. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.28th Jul 1916)
  • Oman James Williams. Pte. 4th Btn. (d.19th Sep 1917)
  • Paterson Alexander Leonard. Cpt. 1st Btn.
  • Paterson Alexander Leonard. A/Capt. 1st Btn.
  • Pearson Robert McQueen. Private 11th Batallion (d.2 Nov 1916)
  • Richardson Alexander. Cpl.
  • Ritchie Colin.
  • Robertson John Dobbin. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.30th Sep 1918)
  • Ross David. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.13th October 1918)
  • Russel W.. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.5th Jan 1917)
  • Russell P. R.. L/Cpl. 12th Btn. (d.19th Sept 1918)
  • Scott Joseph McKnight. Private 6th Battalion (d.9th Apr 1917)
  • Shiels Alexander. Pte. 1st Battalion
  • Sloggett William. Pte.
  • Smithson William. L/Cpl. 2nd Btn. (d.18th Aug 1916)
  • Stewart Duncan. 13th Btn.
  • Stirling Alexander. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.26th March 1916)
  • Story Thomas. Pte. 8th Btn.
  • Taylor James. Pte. 10th Btn. (d.23rd Aug 1918)
  • Timlin John. Pte. 2nd Btn (d.28th Aug 1916)
  • Turner-Thomson Wilbert. Capt. 12th Btn.
  • Walker Robert. Pte. (d.23rd Apr 1917)
  • Watson R.. Cpl.
  • White George Edward. Pte. 4th Btn. (d.7th July 1918)
  • Wild William. CQMS. 26th Btn.
  • Wills James. Pte.
  • Wren R.. Pte.
  • Young Robert. Cpl. 7th Battalion

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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June 2017

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Pte. David Ross 7th Btn. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (d.13th October 1918)

David Ross died on 13th October 1918 aged 23 and is buried in the Naves Communal Cemetery Extension in France.

Son of James and Annie Ross nee Stevenson, of 19 Nimmo's Rows, New Stevenston, Lanarkshire, prior to enlisting David was a miner in James Nimmo's Collieries, Holytown, Lanarkshire

s flynn


Sgt. James Arthur 5th Btn. E Coy Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Sgt. James Arthur: Soldier's Pay Book and Health Memoranda booklet

I have recently come by this T.A. soldier's pay book, for Sgt. James Arthur of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Date of attestation 1-4-08 at age 36. It was on ebay for sale under the heading: Soldiers Pay Book. Sergt. 5th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders 1908/Soldiers Health.

I thought you might be interested in having pictures for your records before it leaves me, although unfortunately I cannot find the link with all the names of past A&SH soldiers again. I have enclosed pictures of the book as I discovered a few names under 5th A&SH E Company (TA Port Glasgow) and he, an early recruit, is not included. It shows that the company was probably formed about 1908.

Sgt. James Arthur: Pay Book pages 1 and 2

Sgt. James Arthur: Pay Book page 2 closeup

Sgt. James Arthur: Pay Book pages 3 and 4

Sgt. James Arthur: Pay Book page 5

Andrew Gray


2nd Lt. John Crawford Buchan VC 7th Bn. Attached 8th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (d.22nd March 1918)

John Buchan was killed in action on 22nd March 1918 aged 25 and buried in the Roisel Communal Cemetery Extension in France. Native of Alloa, Clackmannanshire

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 21st May, 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. When fighting with his platoon in the forward position of the battle zone, 2nd Lt. Buchan, although wounded early in the day, insisted on remaining with his men, and continually visited all his posts, encouraging and cheering his men in spite of most severe shell fire, from which his platoon was suffering heavy casualties. Later, when the enemy were creeping closer, and heavy machine-gun fire was raking his position, 2nd Lt. Buchan, with utter disregard of his personal safety, continued to visit his posts, and though still further injured accidentally, he continued to encourage his men and visit his posts. Eventually, when he saw the enemy had practically surrounded his command, he collected his platoon and prepared to fight his way back to the supporting line. At this point the enemy, who had crept round his right flank, rushed towards him, shouting out "Surrender." " To hell with surrender," he replied, and shooting the foremost of the enemy, he finally repelled this advance with his platoon. He then fought his way back to the supporting line of the forward position, where he held out till dusk. At dusk he fell back as ordered, but in spite of his injuries again refused to go to the aid post, saying his place was beside his men. Owing to the unexpected withdrawal of troops on the left flank it was impossible to send orders to 2nd Lt. Buchan to withdraw, as he was already cut off, and he was last seen holding out against overwhelming odds. The gallantry, self-sacrifice, and utter disregard of personal safety displayed by this officer during these two days of most severe fighting is in keeping with the highest traditions of the British Army."

s flynn


L/Cpl. Robert Lightburn 11th Btn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (d.23rd Apr 1917)

Lance Corporal Robert Lightburn, my father's brother in law, was killed (aged 29) in the Second Battle of Arras, he was serving with 11th. Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. My father's step brother, Emmerson Beckwith (aged 25) was killed just 6 days before in the same battle, but different sectors. The two families lived within 1 mile of each other in the same mining village in North West Durham

Ramsay Hall


Cpl. Alexander Richardson Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Alexander Richardson was a signaller with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Alan Malcolm


Sgt. Donald MacGilvray 8th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

My (elder) Uncle, Sergeant Donald MacGilvray, joined up at Dunoon on the first day of WW1. He was gassed at some point but served till the end of the war.

I believe he was possibly at Delville Wood and probably at Beaumont Hamel.

Donald R Smith


Pte. Stephen Albert Fox Argyle & Sutherland (d.20th August 1918)

Stephen was killed shortly after arriving. Died from his wounds and is commemorated at Five Points Cemetery, Lachelle



Pte. William Sloggett Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders

My grandfather, William Sloggett was a private in the Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders around the year 1916.

Janis Roberts


Pte. Hugh Mcpherson Mylet 1/6 Btn. Argyll and Sutherland (d.30th August 1915)

High McPherson Mylet of Paisley, Scotland, served with the Argylls in World War 1 and was killed in action in Corbie,France on 30 Aug 1915. He was my great uncle.

Wayne S. Wallace, US Army (Retired)


Lt. Colin Campbell Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

Lt Campbell was a POW at Torgau POW camp.


Pte. Fred A. Hobart 5685 1/8th Btn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (d.16th Dec 1916)

Fred Hobart was born on the 27th of May 1883 and was killed in Action in France on the 16th of December 1916.

s flynn


Piper Peter Gordon McLintock 2nd Btn. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (d.2nd Mar 1915)

Peter McLintock was born in Glasgow on 17th May 1896. He went to school at Mossbank Industrial School, Glasgow. He enlisted on 3rd October 1911 at the age of 15 as a "boy". At the age of 18 he became a Private and on 6th July 1914 was appointed a Piper. He died on 2nd March 1915 and is buried at Ration Farm Military Cemetery, La Chapell-D'Armentieres. He was awarded 1914 Star, Victory Medal and British Medal. This information has been found in British Army WWI Service Records on the Ancestry website.

Graham Seton Hutchison wrote "A Batmans Biography" which is about Peter McLintock. According to the story, Peter McLintock was batman to Graham Seton Hutchison. The story says Peter was an orphan, in reality, he lost his mother in 1903, but his father lived until 1931. An extract of the story appeared in the Western Mail (Perth) on 12th of October 1933.

L Shaw


Captain John Aidan Liddell MC VC RFC 7 Squadron (d.31st August 1915)

John Aidan Liddell was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 3rd August 1888. He studied zoology at Balliol College Oxford. At the outbreak of war he joined the 2nd Btn, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, where he was appointed Captain in command of the machine gun section of the Battalion. He was in the front line at Le Maisnil, France. He was wounded and invalided home, and received the award of the Military Cross on 14th January 1915.

Prior to the war Aidan Liddell had already obtained privately a flying certificate and, on being declared fit for further service, he joined the RFC. Ha was posted to No.7 Squadron in France on the 24th July 1915. On the 31st July, on only his second mission, his plane was attacked by ground fire during a reconnaissance patrol over Ostend in Belgium and he was seriously injured and the aircraft was badly damaged. Although he successfully returned to his base, and saved his observer Second Lieutenant R.H. Peck and his plane, his leg had to be amputated and he died of septicaemia a month later. For his courage and skill he was awarded the Victoria Cross.


Pte. John Dobbin Robertson 10th Btn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (d.30th Sep 1918)

John Robertson was the brother-in-law of my great uncle.

Paul Bowtle


Pte. David Combe 1/7th Btn. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (d.14th July 1917)

David Combe was born in 1891, one of four children born to David Combe (Snr) and Christina Brown, who lived at Hoghill Farm, Oakbank, near East and Mid Calder in West Lothian, Scotland. As a young man he became a gardener on the Howden Estate and lived at Howden Cottages.

He was “attested” on 11th of December 1915 and sent to the Army Reserve. Finally mobilized on 10th of February 1916 he failed the medical, being graded as B(iii) and was returned to the reserve. `B' meant he was “free from organic disease, able to stand on lines of communication in France or in the tropics” and (iii) meant “Only fit for sedentary work”. He was finally mobilized on 17th of October 1916 at Glencorse Barracks near Edinburgh and sent for basic training at Kerwick in England. This completed, he was sent to Folkstone for embarkation to France on 23rd April 1917. He was now Private 326515 Combe, David.

On arrival, he was sent to the induction camp and hospital at Camiers Etaples near Boulogne-sur-Mer. Around 11th May he was posted to the 1/7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. On the 29th May 1917 he was lightly wounded and sent back to the hospital at Etables. Evidently the wound was not serious as he was discharged on 7th June as A1.

According to a letter from the lieutenant of his platoon, David Combe was on duty in the front line trench when a “Boche” trench mortar round landed on his position. A piece of shrapnel hit him on the head and he was killed instantly. His comrades then carried him to a small cemetery behind the lines where he was buried in a grave marked with a simple wooden cross. He was reported “killed in action” on 14th of July 1917. The location is unknown. His remains therefore lie in an unknown Belgian field but he is remembered on panels 42 and 44 of the Menin Gate at Ypres.

Gavin Anderson


Pte. William Little Gilchrist 1/8th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (d.23rd Mar 1918)

William Gilchrist was 41 years of age when he was killed in France. His parents were Robert and Mary Gilchrist of Glasgow, Scotland.

Robert Gilchrist


Act/Cpl. Percy James Hackett 11th Btn. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (d.4th Dec 1915)

Percy James Hackett joined the British Expeditionary Force in France of the 6th of October 1915. He died of Wounds on the 4th of December 1915 and is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, France. He is listed in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, son of Joseph & Jane (née Richards) Hackett of Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

s flynn


Capt. John Duncan Mackie MC. 14th Btn. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

My father, J. Duncan Mackie, was a territorial army officer before the 1914-1918 war. He had played a large part in the St Andrews University OTC and he made several practice air reconnaissance flights from Leuchars aerodrome.

He was mobilised with the 14th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was in Edinburgh Castle for part of his annual training when war was declared in August 1914. He said that he could remember thinking on that beautiful summer's day what had this war in a far off country got to do with him personally. His battalion went to Devon for training (he had until recently some very good cartoons drawn by someone in the battalion showing the Jocks and their officers making their early endeavours). For a time he was based at Crownhill Barracks/Fort at Plymouth one of the "Palmerston fortifications" which had been left uncompleted since the 1860s; some of the sons of the original masons were brought back to finish the buildings.

The battalion moved to Witley camp near Godalming, Surrey, where they were encamped under canvas on ground recently cleared by felling fir trees - hence there was a pleasant smell of pine to mitigate the hardships. He was then a Company Commander. One night there was a zeppelin raid. The troops were roused and made to fall in with fixed bayonets; they had no ammunition and my father humourously wondered if they were supposed to climb a tree and try to puncture the intruder(s)! As the company was mustering, a stout Jock who had evidently been drinking, said to him in a fatherly way, "It's all right, Captain Mackie, "Ahm here". A Canadian battalion was also in the camp and the Scots were impressed by their friendliness although a little shocked at their familiarity. There was also a battalion of the Sussex Regiment who used to sing their song "We're the men from Sussex, Sussex by the sea .... "

One of his soldiers was dying of TB in a hospital at Hindhead and my father rode up on horseback to visit him. To his horror he found a stern, Canadian padre saying "Young man the time has come for you to repent of your sins ..." The soldier looked past the padre and caught the eye of my father who winked and shook his head to show his disagreement; the young man smiled in recognition. On his way back to camp he was riding round the rim of the Devil's Punchbowl when a large white owl flew up from the valley and remained silently some yards away on the left of my father for some distance. He knew that there was some mediaeval superstition about owls but could not remember what it was or whether it was better for it to be on the left or on the right.

In those days infantry officers had horses (and grooms) and horseback was the main way of getting about the countryside. The local pubs were the Crown at Chiddingfold and the White Hart at Witley (both still going strong). My father was proud of his horsemanship but very embarrassed when riding through the horsey village of Chiddingfold in company with a major who had very little idea of riding. Life in the camp was pretty uncomfortable. Inevitably things tended to go missing; my father's batman put this all down to the "diners", the civilian workmen who were building some of the huts.

The battalion exercised by going on long route marches and they built a large entrenchment on Thursley common, My father was extremely conscientious and his papers include glowing testimonials from senior officers to the way in which his company was trained.

When the time came they went to France and had to endure the realities of trench warfare. He wrote a number of articles about some of his experiences and sent them to his father with a view to having them published after the war. A kind of self-imposed censorship prevented him from publishing them sooner, and by the time the war was over, there was no longer much interest in an infantry officer's reminiscences of the Western Front. These articles have been preserved and tell some of his experiences in his own thoughts and words. One of the most typical is how the inhabitants of a dug out tamed a mouse with honey and whisky and named him Adolphus!

He spoke often about the mud which seemed to be everywhere. It had its advantages, because shells and mortar bombs often failed to go off. He kept for years a German mortar bomb which landed right beside the plank causeway on which he was walking. If it had gone off he would have been killed and I would not be writing this. It is now doing duty as a doorstop.

Troops at the front became almost blase about shelling and mortar bombardment. Visiting senior officers were very rare and were not used to the casual way in which the front-line troops seemed hardly to duck when shells landed, but the mud which was then like porridge just absorbed them. Snipers were another matter; you had to watch out for them. My father's best friend was killed, shot through the throat by a sniper, while peering over a parapet. Nobody understood why he did so at a dangerous spot. One night the elderly colonel - after dining well - decided he would go out into "No Man's Land" to inspect a barrage that was being laid down by British gunners. He came back swiftly, sober, but minus his cap and stick.

The purpose of the trenches was to provide defensive cover from which the infantry could halt an enemy advance. It was also to provide a starting point from which to attack the enemy trenches on the other side of "No Man's Land". While the opposing lines ran from north to south, they were by no means straight and had to bend in accordance with the territory as well as the topography.

No Man's Land was the scene of many night patrols and raids, when small parties of "straffers", armed with entrenching tooehandles, went out to try to capture prisoners to gain intelligence. Attacks on the enemy trenches were made after artillery bombardment to soften up the position and keep the enemy from manning the parapets. The trenches had large barbed wire entanglements in front of them which had to be cut. One of the effects of a bombardment was often to churn up the wire into such a state that it was more difficult than ever to cut. The kilt worn by Highland soldiers was most impractical. On one occasion, Duncan - in riding breeches - made his way through the wire and into the German front line long before his company were able to come to his support. Fortunately the Germans were already withdrawing and he had complete confidence that his men would come soon and that, particularly at close quarters, they were the beast in the world. He vividly remembered clearing enemy trenches; on one occasion a Jewish soldier startled him by jumping out of a niche to surrender and raised his arms in the "Kamerad" gesture with such zeal that he split his tunic at the armpit.

One method of clearing a path through the barbed wire was to use a Bangalore torpedo. This was a long tube filled with explosive which was pushed along the ground under the entanglement and then exploded. On one occasion the Bangalore torpedo, having been carefully placed, failed to explode. This left the assaulting infantry in a dreadfully exposed position and most of them were killed or wounded.

It was during one attack that my father was first wounded. (He has written his own account of it.) The attack had been going very well. The men had taken the first line of trenches and were moving on towards the second (or third) when a machine-gun on their right flank enfiladed them and shot many of them down, including my father who said everything seemed to be going very well when suddenly he felt as though he had been kicked by a horse! When he came to he was being removed on a stretcher. He said to the nearest officer "You must get that bloody machine-gun on the right". The message was duly passed on to the battalion headquarters who sent back a reply "Your message is not clear, refer to compass bearings". My father was furious, he had no way of taking a compass bearing; he did not know whether the lines were due north and south at this point. However, he then lost consciousness, but often recalled his disappointment "We'd been doing so well until I got hit."

He was full of praise for the hospital arrangements, except for the stealing. Everything he had with him, including his wrist watch was stolen. He was sent to a hospital at Rouen whence a telegram was sent to his parents stating that he had been admitted with "Gunshot wound - serious." In the hospital an arrangement was made whereby water was dripped slowly and continuously right through his body to cleanse the wound. He never cleaned the blood off his revolver holster and it is still stained to this day.

After he recovered, Duncan rejoined the battalion which had then returned to England and was based at Devizes in Wiltshire. He wrote to his parents as follows:- "Life is full of small surprises, Here we are in quiet Devizes. Won't it be a treat for Wilts, When we all appear in kilts".

It was in 1916 that he married in Edinburgh, Cicely Jean Paterson whom he had known well in St. Andrews where she had been the ward of the kindly Principal, Sir James Donaldson, a very distinguished Scottish scholar and philosopher, who had helped to foster their romance. He had died in office in 1915 at the age of 84 and in spite of it being war time he had a very large ceremonial funeral, being buried in St. Andrews Cathedral. My parents did not address each other by their Christian names until after they became engaged.

The battalion was sent to Ireland soon after the 1916 rebellion for "Duties in aid of the Civil Power". Ireland fascinated and mystified him. When his company had been disembarked and formed up on the quay he gave the order "By the left, quick march .... and step slow in front!" Oh my God, he thought, Ireland is getting to me already. They were stationed at the seaside town of Kinsale where his new wife Joined him. They had a charming landlady whose husband died while they were there. They were both shocked by the contrast of the kindness of the local doctor with the apparent brusqueness of the priest.

It was difficult to make much headway with the security situation; reprisals were out. It was very difficult to obtain any information about the Irish irregulars although their intelligence about the British Army's movements was absolute. I believe that it was while they were at Kinsale that one of the foremost bandsmen was Victor Sylvester who later became the BBC's dance band (strict tempo) favourite.

The battalion had to go back to France and return to the business of trench warfare. This was often static for months with only small movements either way. Contrary to what is sometimes written and said nowadays, Duncan was emphatic that the morale of the troops remained high throughout and none of them ever doubted that they would win in the end. He was awarded the Military Cross for, as he put it, "running about and shouting."

The German offensive in 1918 shook the Allies who were forced to retreat; some went faster than others. A Portuguese unit stole or looted bicycles to speed them on their way. Then the Australians moved up to the front. Duncan, looking at their long, rather horse-like, confident faces, knew that there would be no more running away. He had great respect for the Australian infantry in action, but found them most trying allies. They were liable to steal one's cooking equipment or anything else that might be useful to them, and were equally likely to shoot anyone trying to reclaim the belongings they had taken.

On one occasion the Argylls were ordered to withdraw quickly from a well prepared defensive trench and to leave everything except their personal equipment. They could not understand the reason for this order, and Duncan was upset to see so much valuable equipment being left for the Germans. Although laden with accoutrements like a Christmas tree, he picked up a pair of good wire cutters in a leather case and kept them for many years.

It was in the autumn of 1918 that the British Army made its decisive advance in Flanders. On the wall of a building which had been used as billets by the Germans he found the following graffito which pleased him: "Marmelade, Käse and Butter Ist das Deutschen Heldenfutter Aber viele möchten wir Etwas Schinken Wurst and Bier."

It was in one attack over open ground that the battalion suffered very heavily from the German artillery. Duncan saw a brick house receive a direct hit from a high explosive shell. He said that the result looked like a red sneeze and the house disappeared. Soon after that he was hit in the shoulder by a large fragment from an airburst shell. This must have nearly killed him As it was, his arm was permanently damaged, although the surgeons saved the limb by knotting a nerve - one of the earliest of such operations. The pain remained with him for the rest of his life.

It was before one of the large-scale attacks that the old soldier who had spoken to him on the night of the Zeppelin raid at Witley said "Awe and tell Winston Churchill he needna send ony o' they tanks. Ahm going o'er." He did not survive.

A surprising number did survive and battalion reunion dinners were held in Glasgow and were well attended at least until the late 1950s. Major Duncan Mackie was the convenor and chairman of this dinner. On one occasion in the 1960s an elegant and handsome man approached him with a smile and asked if he remembered him. Duncan thought for a moment and then said "Oh yes, but the last time I saw you, you were hanging in the barbed wire with a great hole in your chest."

Tobias Mackie


Pte. James Williams Oman 4th Btn. Seaforth Highlanders (d.19th Sep 1917)

My great-grandfather was James Williams Oman. Here is the information that I know so far:

Mrs Oman received a letter from Private William Brodie, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, and her husband's chum, to the effect that her husband had not returned after a recent engagement, and it was feared he was killed. Shortly after receiving this letter she received another letter from one of her husband’s officers to the same effect, but stating that nothing definite could be stated, since no-one had seen him fall, and it was hoped that he had been taken prisoner.

I would love to find out how he died.

James Oman was the son of Daniel and Catherine Oman, husband to Eleanor Oman (née Duncan), and father of three children: Jessie, Jean and Ellen. Before the war he worked as a lorry man with Russell Brothers, wholesale fruiterers, West Main Street, Armadale. He enlisted at Glencorse, and at first served with the Cameronians Scottish Rifles (service no: 26297). He went missing in action aged 33, and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.

Diane Little


Pte. Eugene John Auguste Barberel Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Eugene Barberel was my grandfather's brother. The National Archives tell me that his number was S/24950. It is difficult to follow as the names of the sons in this family were the same for 3 generations. The medal says it was issued to Eugene John Auguste Barberel of the A&SH regiment and that he was a Private. He was born in Richmond Surrey in 1879

Elaine Chamberlain

Want to know more about Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders?

There are:63130 pages and articles tagged Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders available in our Library
  These include information on officers, regimental histories, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

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Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Alastair Of Airds Campbell

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders: A Concise History

Trevor Royle

The Argylls have a stirring history of service to the British Crown. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders is one of the best known regiments in the British Army. When it was ordered to disband in 1968 as part of wide-ranging defence cuts, a popular 'Save the Argylls' campaign was successful in keeping the regiment in being. They served all over the empire, taking part in the Indian Mutiny and the Boer War, and fought in both World Wars.In the post-war period the Argylls captured the public imagination in 1967 when they re-occupied the Crater district of Aden following a period of riots. Recruiting mainly from the west of Scotland, the regiment has a unique character and throughout its history has retained a fierce regimental pride which is summed up by its motto: 'sans peur', meaning 'without fear'. "The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders" puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-19: Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)

A roll call of those killed during the Great War whilst serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. A valuable research tool.
History of the 51st (Highland) Division 1914-1918

F.W. Bewsher

The Highland Division was one of the pre-war Territorial divisions. Its HQ was in Perth with brigade HQs in Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling. On mobilization the division moved down to its war station in Bedford where it remained, carrying out training till embarking for France in May 1915. During this period six of its battalions were sent to France, three in November 1914 and three in the following March, replaced by two Highland battalions and a brigade of four Lancashire battalions; it is not clear whether the latter were required to wear kilts. They were transferred to the 55th (West Lancashire) Division when that division reformed in France in January 1916 and were replaced, appropriately, by Scottish battalions. It was in May 1915, just as the division arrived in France, that it was designated 51st and the brigades 152nd, 153rd and 154th; by the end of the war the 51st (Highland) Division had become one of the best known divisions in the BEF.


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