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The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)

The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) was first raised in 1633, the oldest regiment of the British Army.
Battalions during the Great War 1914-1918.

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    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 220240, 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.

Those known to have served with The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) during the Great War 1914-1918.

Select a story link or scroll down to browse those stories hosted on this site.

The 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 get in touch.


Private Harry Semmons Donkin Kings Royal Rifle Corps (d.17 May 1918 )

My uncle Harry Donkin died in a hospital in Maidstone of his wounds on 17 May 1918. He was 19 years old. I have started to research his war record and know that:

He enlisted in West Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, in the King's Royal Rifle corps with service number 19574. He was transferred to the Royal Scots at some point (I have a photograph of him in this regimental uniform) with the service number 302284. He died of his wounds in a hospital somewhere in Maidstone. Although he is recorded by the commonwealth war graves as being in the 9th battalion of the Royal Scots, he appears in 'Soldiers Died' under the 1st Battalion 'depot' as Harry Doukin (the n being mistaken for a u). On the medal roll index he originally appears as Dorkin but this has been corrected to his proper name of Donkin. The family apparently requested his medal in 1923 and one was issued at that time. I am interested to know where he served, where he was wounded and the nature of his injuries. I understand I will need to find out when he transferred from the Rifles to the Scots. Many thanks for your help.

Kathryn Moor


Sjt. William Wolstenholme MM. & Bar 2nd Btn. Royal Scots

I am in possession of 4 documents & 4 medals relating to my Grandfather Williamm Wolstenholme, who died when I was a small child. All the papers tell me about his military service are that:
  • Promoted Sergeant 4.9.1915.
  • 31.7.17 Mentioned for Gallant & Distinguished Conduct in the Field
  • Routine B(o?)rders No 2958 11.8.17 Capt Edgar
  • 20.8.17 Awarded Military Medal for Gallantry at Ypres
  • Brought to Notice for Gallant & Distinguished conduct in Action 21-28.3.1918 J K Murray Capt
  • Awarded Bar to M M 5.1918. J K Murray Adjt.
After the war he started a bakery business & was also a Baptist Minister. I am told that he never spoke about his war service, the papers & medals only came to light after his death. I would like to know if it is possible to find out the exact circumstances which led to his citations?

Cynthia Budd


Pte. Andrew Bouglas 2nd Battalion Royal Scots (d. 26/09/1917)

Unfortunately I don't know much about my Uncle Andrew Bourgas, as he was killed at the early age of 22. My only information was gleaned from the Commonweath War graves casualty web site. As his remains were never found his name has been inscribed on The Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing. It is located 9 kilometers north east of Ieper town centre, on the Tynecotstraat, a road leading from the Zonnebeekseweg. God rest his soul.

Andrew B.Drummond


Lt William B. Moyes 20 Sqd. (d.7th Apr 1917)

Lt Moyes, a former construction engineer from Edinburgh, was killed whilst flying with Capt Mahony-Jones when their aircraft was shot down by Maximilian Muller of Jasta28 on the evening of the 7th of April 1917. The FE2d was brought down over the Front lines whilst returning from the second bombing raid of the day on Mouvaux aerodrome. The allied aircraft came under attack from a formation of Albatros scouts, Mahony-Jones turned back to assist Lt Lawson whose FE2 had been hit. Moyes and Mahony-Jones engaged the enemy allowing Lawson to land behind the British Lines.

Lt W.B.Moyes and his pilot were laid to rest in a German cemetery, after the war they were transferred to the CWGC cemetery at Bailleul.

  • Moyes had served in the ranks of the 9th and 6th Battalions of the Royal Scots before gaining a commission in the RFC, he was 24 years old.

  • 205173

    Pte. John Larkin 2nd Btn. Royal Scots (d.9th Apr 1917)

    John Larkin was my great uncle he died on the 4th of April 1917 taking the village of Les-Mofflaines from the Germans.

    I have found the cemetery in France where he is buried and intend to visit his grave very soon. I will be the first member of the family to visit his grave since his death. I found all his information om the Commonwealth War Grave Commission web site.

    Bill Harden


    Pte. Reginald Binns 2nd Btn. Runner Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.30th July 1916)

    Reginald Binns, born in Leeds, was my Great Grandmother's brother. He joined up in March 1916, along with his brothers, Clifford and Sydney. Clifford and Reginald both joined with Kings Own Scottish Borderers before being transferred to the Royal Scots Fusiliers. Before his posting in June, Reginald married his fiancée, Edith Argyle. He was then sent to France with the 2nd Battalion. He was assigned the job of a runner, meaning he had to run between trenches to carry messages, often with German fire waiting for him.

    As far as I know, the Royal Scots were involved in the Battle at Guillemont, France. An offensive was launched on 30th July, 1916. A group of Royal Scots Fusiliers were caught by German troops and killed. I believe Reginald was killed either here, or in a nearby battlefield as he went missing, presumed dead on this day. He was 23 years old. His body was never found, and his name is commemorated at Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme. However, recent research has led me to believe that his body is buried in an unmarked grave in Guiellmont Road Cemetery.

    His wife, Edith remained a widow for over 7 years, before marrying Thomas Sandells. They together had a child who they named Reginald. In addition to this, Clifford also had a son who he named after his brother Reginald. However, this Reginald was killed at the Battle of Monte Cassino, 1944.

    It was only after visiting Theipval last year that I began my research into Reginald, with only a photo and family memories. I would greatly appreciate any help into Guillemont or the 2nd Battallion, Royal Scots Fusiliers.

    Filippa Lockwood


    Sjt. John Hood Clark 12th Btn. Royal Scots (d.12th Oct 1917)

    John Clark was my grand father. I don't know too much about him only that he was a son of Mr & Mrs Alexander Clark from Aberdeen and that he was killed in the Ypres salient and is remembered on the Tyne-cot Memorial in Belgium. Have I relatives of this family in Aberdeen who could tell me more, I wonder?

    Philip Howard


    L/Cpl. James Lawson Cairns DCM. MID. 9th Btn. Royal Scots

    Lawson Cairns was posted to France, departing by train from Edinburgh and arriving at Le Havre on February 26th 1915. He was made a Medical Orderly on 22nd March 1915 and continued in this role throughout the war. His niece has 2 diaries written in pencil starting on 26.02.1915 and ending on 2nd Dec. 1917. He survived the war & received the DCM when he stayed with a wounded man for 2 days and a night in "no-mans' land. He was also mentioned in dispatches. He was gassed sometime during the war and his health was damaged in later life. He refused a commission as he was anti-war. His niece has transcribed the diaries and intends to donate a copy to the Royal Scots' Museum at Edinburgh Castle.

    Margaret Donaldson


    Pte. John Edward Gledhill 1st Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.26th Sept 1917)

    My Great Uncle, John Gledhill perished at Polygon Wood on the 26th Sept 1917 during the 3rd battle of Ypres. He is mentioned in the War records as killed in action; however his body was never found and he is remembered at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium. What is unusual is that my mother's family never knew of his existence. It was as if he had never been born. He was the eldest of 4 Gledhill brothers that went to war, and he was the only one that never returned. I just feel that like many other soldiers who gave their lives, John Edward Gledhill, should not be forgotten.

    If anyone knows any further information about John Edward Gledhill, I would like to hear from them.

    Allan Dawkins


    Dvr. Robert Baxter "Racka" Rackstraw 6th. Reserve Battery Royal Horse Artillery

    Robert Baxter Rackstraw ( 2nd Right )

    My father, Robert Baxter Rackstraw, was in France for part of the war, he was in the 2/4th Battalion Royal Scots No 4973, 4th Res and was transferred to the Royal Field Artillery, No91930 driver, 6 Res Battery, after being claimed by his older brother, George Stevens Rackstraw. Date of the transfer was 16th July 1916. When he was in the Royal Scots he was based at Terling Camp, Witham and when the transfer was complete he was based at Forrest Row, Sussex.

    George Stevens Rackstraw(Sitting Hat On) & Robert Baxter Rackstraw (Standing Hat On).

    C.H. Rackstraw


    Pte Ernest Forster 19th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers (d.1st Aug 1918)

    Forster, Ernest. Private, 19/1729 & 353131, Killed on 1st August 1918. Aged 19 years.

    Remembered on the Soissons Memorial, Aisne.

    Son of James and Elizabeth Forster, of 39, Douglas Terrace, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

    19th Battalion Service History shows him as having been attached to 2/9th Royal Scots.

    From the 19th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers Roll of Honour.

    Dave Willis


    Pte Richard Moore 19th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers (d.18th Jun 1918)

    Moore, Richard. Private, 326224, Killed on 18th June 1918. Aged 19 years.

    Buried in Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, Pas de Calais, in grave I. A. 35.

    This Richard Moore is believed ident with Pte 19/1141 Richard Moore. This is the only Richard Moore shown on CWGC records in the 12th Royal Scots. 19th N.F. Btn history states he was attached to 12th Royal Scots and was killed with them. Also his parents home address supports this theory.

    Son of Mary and the late Robert Moore, of Shieldfield, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

    From the 19th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers Roll of Honour.

    Dave Willis


    Pte. Herbert Callister Royal Scots

    My grandfather served with the Royal Scots during the 1st World War, Private Herbert Callister, I know he received the Silver War Badge D/A/551, also the Victory Medal and Campaign Medal (I am unable to read the references for these from the Medal Index Card). I would like to discover which Battalion of the Royal Scots he actually served with, but have such little information.

    Editor's note: The Medal Roll reference from his card reads, D/101 B17. page 1735.

    Marilyn Mercer


    Pte. Harold Bown Warhurst 15th Service Battalion Royal Scots (d.1st Jul 1916)

    I don't know a lot about Harold Warhurst. He was my grandmother's cousin and worked as a Junior Clerk in a Cotton Waste Mill in Manchester before joining up. He was killed on the first day of The Battle of the Somme. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial there. He was just 20 years old. Poignantly his only possessions found after his death, which were returned to his parents were a writing pad, a letter and his disc.

    Gloria Rathbone


    David Slattie 7th Btn. Royal Scots Greys (d.28th Jun 1915)

    My 2nd Cousin 2 x removed on my mother's maternal Grandmother's side. David Slattie, born 1897. He joined the Royal Scots Greys (7th Lothian’s). He died 28.6.1915 during the Gallipoli Campaign at Helles aged 18. The first battle of Krinthia took place on the 25th April 1915 and he died on the third day of it. His name is on panel 26-30 at the Helles Memorial Cemetery, Turkey.

    Daniel Collins


    Peter Stalker Miller 2nd Btn. Royal Scots Fusliers

    My grandfather, Peter Stalker Miller, was a Scottish soldier in the 1st World War involved in the French trenches. My Mother was born in 1923 - shortly afterwards, maybe 3 years. Her Mother Lilian died and because of the horrors of the War in the trenches her father was never seen again. If anyone knows anything about Peter I would be grateful. My Mother will be 90 this year and has longed to find some trace of her Dad- date and burial of Peter is all unknown

    Update: Peter enlisted as a private in the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers (RSF) (Regimental No 204679) and at some point, transferred to the Highland Light Infantry (Regimental No 330872) , though was probably still in the RSF as late as 1918. If Peter served for most of the war in the 2nd RSF, he could have fought at Ypres, Somme and Flanders and in battles at Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Festubert, Givenchy, Loos and Pilkem Ridge. So, it is quite likely that Peter saw a significant level of action during WW1. At the end of the war, he was awarded the Victory Medal and the British Medal. Does anyone have any more information on my great grandfather Peter Stalker Miller? Thank you for anything further

    Sister Chrysanthi Green


    Lt.Col. Richard Charles Dundas MID 11th Btn. Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) (d.25th Sep 1915)

    Lt Col. Richard Charles Dundas served with the 11th Battalion the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) and was killed in action during the Battle of Loos on the 25th September 1915.

    S. Flynn


    Lt.Col. Richard Charles Dundas Royal Scots (d.25th Sep 1915)

    Richard Charles Dundas was killed in action in the Battle of Loos



    Pte. Daniel Keohane 2nd Btn. Royal Scots (d.19th Jun 1915)

    Daniel Keohane was my great uncle. I am very proud of him and his service record. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to have Daniel Keohane mentioned in this wartime memory.

    Leo Berube


    Pte. James Scott 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.25th Sep 1915)

    James Scott aged 20, served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France 1915. Son of Mr. and Mrs. James Scott of Springwell Cottage, Gullane, East Lothian, James is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

    Vin Mullen


    Pte. G. Stewart 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.26th Sep 1915)

    G. Stewart served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France. he is buried in Hawick Wellogate Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen


    Pte. John Smith 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.13th October 1915)

    John Smith served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France in 1915. He is buried in Assevillers New British Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen


    Pte. Robert Frater Jacks 1st Btn. Royal Scots (d.14th Oct 1915)

    Robert Jacks served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France in 1915. He was killed at the age of 22. Son of Richard Jacks of Edinburgh. Robert is buried in Assevillers New British Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen


    Pte. Allan Boyle 1st Btn. Royal Scots (d.21st Oct 1915)

    Allan Boyle served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France in 1915. he is buried in Assevillers New British Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen


    Pte. W. Sweeney 1st Btn. Royal Scots (d.24th Nov 1915)

    W. Sweeney served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France in 1915. He is buried in Edinburgh, in Newington or Echo Bank Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen


    Pte. John Gallacher 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.1st Sept 1915)

    John Gallacher served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France 1915.He is buried in Ration Farm Military Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen


    2nd Lt. Robert Troutbeck MacIver 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.11th Sep 1915)

    Robert Troutbeck MacIver served as a 2nd Lt. with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France 1915. He was killed aged 18. Son of Maude C. Sanderson (formerly MacIver) of 12 Mulberry Walk, Chelsea, London, and the late Robert Rankin MacIver. Robert was born at Rothay Bank, Ambleside, Westmorland.and is buried in Ration Farm Military Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen


    Pte. George Duncan 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.25th June 1915)

    George Duncan, age 20 was killed whilst serving with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots. he was the ason of George and Janet Duncan of 15 Glover Street, Craigee, Perth. George is buried in Merville Communal Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen


    Pte. Charles Dalton 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.28th June 1915)

    Charles Dalton served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France 1915. He is buried in Ration Farm Military Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen


    Pte. Duncan Blackstock 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.31st June 1915)

    Duncan Blackstock served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots in France 1915. He is buried in Ration Farm Military Cemetery.

    Vin Mullen

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    Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-19: Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)

    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.

    Somewhere in Blood Soaked France

    Alasdair Sutherland

    This book follows the life of a crofters son from the Highlands of Scotland to Edinburgh and beyond and is a very rare example of a Brave man who secretely kept a diary during his military service from the Campaigns in Dardenelles, Egypt, the Somme, Ypres and every other battle he fought in, most not as memorable and probably long forgotten but every bit as Bloody. Angus's diary gives a modest and unique version of events he lived through and also the horrific conditions which he had to face on a daily basis. The author Alasdair Sutherland paints a bigger picture of what really took place on those diary entry dates looking back in time to the battlefields filling in the detail and giving the diary more depth and perspective. This is a unique story brought to life by a very knowledgeable author who researched the subject in great detail.

    Somewhere in Blood Soaked France

    Alasdair Sutherland

    From the heat and dust of the Dardanelles to the mud of the Western Front, Corporal Angus Mackay had one constant companion, his diary. He wrote of the battles and campaigns he fought in, names that would go down in history: Gallipoli, the Somme, Ypres and Arras. Serving in the the 1st/5th Battalion (Queens Edinburgh Rifles) Royal Scots and later the 88th Brigade Machine Gun Corps, he left a record of one man's extraordinary and tragic war. In Somewhere in Blood Soaked France, Alasdair Sutherland reveals this previously unpublished account of the First World War, complete with historical context, orders of battle and extracts from official war diaries. This rare source - it was an offence to keep a record in a case of capture - offers a stirring insight into the bravery of Mackay and his companions, who were not afraid to die for their country. 'If I go under it will be in a good cause, so roll on the adventure.'

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