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The Royal Scots Fusiliers

The Royal Scots Fusiliers can be traced back to 1678.
Battalions during the Great War 1914-1918.

Items from the Home Front Archive

4th Royal Scots Fusiliers
4th Royal Scots Fusiliers

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Poem by  Pte. James Kane
Poem by Pte. James Kane

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Sketch by Sjt. J Bonnar, Royal Scots Fusilers
Sketch by Sjt. J Bonnar, Royal Scots Fusilers

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Poem by Sgt J Bonnar, 2nd Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers
Poem by Sgt J Bonnar, 2nd Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers

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Autograph by Sjt J Bonnar
Autograph by Sjt J Bonnar

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Poem by Jimmy Kane
Poem by Jimmy Kane

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Poem by Sgt J Bonnar, 2nd Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers
Poem by Sgt J Bonnar, 2nd Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers

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Poem by Sgt J Bonnar, 2nd Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers
Poem by Sgt J Bonnar, 2nd Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers

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Instructions for gas mask.
Instructions for gas mask.

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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 Fusiliers 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.


Captain Frederick George Roberts MC, DCM 1/5th Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers

Served in the Boer war with the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers, as a sergeant. Awarded the DCM in 1900. In 1901 was promoted to Colour Sergeant in the 12th Mounted Infantry for further distinguished service in the field. Awarded the Military Cross for the defence of Dueidar (Egygt, 1916) when a Turkish force, 1,000 strong, with onegun, attacked Dueidar, the most advanced defensible post, which was held by 100 men of the 5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, under the command of Captain Roberts, 5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers. The citation states that this officer, who throughout showed conspicuous skill and ability, succeeded in repelling two determined attacks on the position at 6.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. respectively. Both attempts cost the enemy dear. Served in Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine and France Retired 1923

Anthony Conroy


Lance Corporal Joseph Henry Hills MM and 2 Clasps 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers

My Grandfather was an orphan and went straight from the orphanage to the army. He was born in 1898 and was therefore to young to fight at the beginning of the war. I do not know very much about his active service other than the dates of his citations for the Military Medal. The first was 21st October 1918, the second was 13th March 1919 and the last was on the 17th June 1919. I believe that the last was awarded for action with the BEF in Archangel fighting for the White Russians. I believe that my Grandfather is the only member of the Royal Scots Fusiliers to have been awarded 2 clasps to the Military Medal.

Alan Wild


Pte. Allan Treadwell Royal Scots Fusiliers

My Grandfather Alan Treadwell joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers on 8th February 1915. He went to France with the British Expeditionary Force on 23rd March 1915, was wounded and discharged from the Army on 22nd July 1915. His discharge papers (which I have in front of me) state he was discharged due to `mis statement as to age in enlistment!` He was 16 years of age when he was discharged!! He served 3 Months in France.



Cpl. Matthew Nielson Bowman 2nd Btn. D Coy Royal Scots Fusiliers

Matthew Nielson Bowman of Irvine Scotland was born in 1883, was a corporal in the 2nd Battalion, Company D of the Royal Scots Fusiliers during WWI. On his arrival in France he was attached to the 9th Infantry Brigade which in turn was subordinate to the 3rd Division. He was captured by the Germans and spent time in a POW camp. The Red Cross Archives in Geneva attest that he was captured March 23, 1918 at Ham, France. He was a prisoner of war in German hands, present in the camp of Soltau coming from Aachen (according to a German list dated 23.9.1919). Family anecdotes say that he was captured when he was shot in the knee and that he was made to work in the salt mines while he was a prisoner. Like many veterans, he never liked to talk about his wartime experiences.

Eleanor Clouter


Sjt. William Elias Skidmore DCM 2nd Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.30th Jul 1916)

Willia Elias Skidmore's name appears on the war memorial of Marston Montgmery church, Derbyshire and I have been asked to write a short artice on him for their parish magazine. I have gained some details, that he gained the DCM during the battle of Festubert 1915 and his date of death. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. The family kowledge is that he was killed at the battle of Guillemont, but this was of course after his date of death [30/07/1916] and I have come across mentions of the Royal Scots being engaged in the battle of Delville Wood during July, and also in Chris McCarthy's 'Day-by-day' Somme account that the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers were engaged on 30 July 'astride the Trones-Guillemont track' and ultimately 'were cut off and eventually overrun'. [p.63] This rather sounds like the place where William Skidmore met his death. Would anyone be able to shed more light on this particular action?

Simon Barber


Pte. James Geddes 2nd Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.27th Mar 1917)

I am the only grandson of James Geddes and since my mother and uncle are now deceased I would like to find out more about him, perhaps his service record and how he died. I only know he was killed at Arras on the 27th of March 1917.

G. Mackenzie


Drummer. Reuben Septimus Williams 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers (d. 23rd Aug 1914)

Reuben Williams was reported as being presumed dead in France and this is stated on his Death Certificate. We know he died fighting on the North Side of the Mons Canal there is a A War Office Artist painting of the 1st. Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers in that area. He has no known grave but his name is inscribed on the La-Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial on the right bank of the River Marne at Fienne et Marns France.

Arthur Allen Vickery


Pte. John McCaig 1st/5th Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.19th Sept 1915)

John McCaig enlisted in Troon Ayrshire and after initial training was sent to Gallipoli. Unfortunately, my grandfather`s brother was one of those destined to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was killed in action 19th September 1915. His body was never found, he is mentioned on the Helles Memorial to the Missing overlooking the Dardenelles.

I try to imagine a young Scotsman from a rural area, probably hardly having travelled anywhere before enlisting in the Army and then finding himself on board a troopship heading across the Mediterranean bound for Turkey. Foreign travel was the preserve of the rich in those times,it must have been the greatest adventure of his life!

George McCaig


L/Sjt. George Young 17th (Service) Battalion (Rosebery's) The Royal Scots (d.18th Oct 1916)

My Great grandfather, Lance Sergeant George Young, tried to enlist for the Great War in Aberdeen where he lived, in March, 1915 but failed the regulation height of 5 feet 3 inches, as he was "too wee". He was recommended by the recruiting officer for enlistment in Edinburgh for Lord Rosebery's newly formed 17th (Service) Battalion.

The 17th (Service) Battalion (Rosebery's) was formed in Edinburgh in February, 1915 as a Bantam Battalion; Glencorse April, 1915; Selkirk May, 1915; Masham June, 1915 serving with 106th Brigade; 35 Division; France and Flanders February, 1916.

George was wounded on the 29th of April, for the first time. He would be promoted twice in August. George would then be wounded again on the 17th of October and died of his wounds the following day, 18th of October at 106th Field Ambulance. George is buried in Habarcq Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region, France. Grave/Memorial Reference : VIII.E.5.

George was born in Birmingham, date of birth unknown, son of William and Elizabeth Young, of Birmingham. He was survived by wife Margaret Young (nee Main) and daughter Ethel Harper Young (my granny), born 12 Jan 1913. RIP.

Keith Adamson


Pte. James "Snowy" Brown 8th Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers

My grandfather, James(Snowy) Brown enlisted when he was very young, some say at sixteen. He received the three medals better known as Pip Squeak and Wilfred. I have just inherited two of the three medals, (Squeak and Wilfred). The other is lost and may never be found. Although these medals have no financial value I treasure them and think how brave these young men must have been to face such horror at such a young age -God only knows what they went through. I can only imagine the shock and horrors that these men saw and lived. I can only say that I am indeed glad that it wasn't me.

Kevin Kirkwood


Pte. Henry Moore 1/4th Battalion

Henry Moore, born Oct. 1899 in Kirkintilloch, Scotland served with the RSF in France as a Lewis gunner.

The RSF was mobilized in Edinburg Aug. 1914 and sent to France Apr. 1918; returned from France May 1919.

Henry lived in Glasgow after the War, then sailed from Glasgow to Canada in 1923 and then on to the Detroit, Michigan USA area.

Harry Moore


Pte. John Duffy att. 258 Tunnelling Company RE. Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.31st Jul 1917)

I am trying to trace details of my grandfather's service in the First World War prior to him being killed in action 31-7-1917. I have only recently found paper work that indicates he was attached to the 258th Tunnelling Company. I am now researching 258 Tunnelling Company and found this web page. I would be grateful if you could give me any information on the 258th Tunnelling company regards

james duffy


Pte. Reginald Binns 2nd Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.31st Jul 1916)

Reginald Binns was one of four children born to the Binns family, Leeds UK. All 3 brothers - Clifford, Sydney and Reginald joined up for the war through Leeds Pals, but Reggie was sent to join the Royal Scots Fusiliers. As a fast runner, he was appointed as a runner. This was a job that involved being sent to run through No Mans Land with messages to other trenches. He was inevitably killed in 1916.

Both his brothers survived and returned to Leeds after the war. Clifford married Gladys May and they had a son whom they named Reginald after the first, Clifford's brother. Tragically, aged just 19, Reginald Binns II died in Italy on 04/02/1944 whilst serving in the second world war. The first Reginald Binns is commemerated at Theipval memorial in France, whilst the second is at Casino Memoria, Italy



Pte. Robert Cooper Walker 4th Battalion Royal Scots Fusilers

My Grandfather Bob Walker, served in the Great War with his 4 brothers James, Alexander, John and Peter. As far as I know all 5 brothers survived the war. Bob who was first with the 5th Battalion Royal Scots and was wounded, when he recovered he joined the 4th Battalion Royal Scots Fusilers. He died in November 1977.

Bob Walker


Colour Sjt. Alexander McNeil McIntyre 1/4th Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers

I recently had a trip to the battlefields of WWI in Northern France (Vimy, Ypres etc) and went there completely oblivious to the fact that I was walking in my Great Great Uncle's footsteps. It was only in April 2011 that I was told of the medals which my grandmother has from him. She has two of the three that he should have, The British Victory medal, War medal and the 1914/15 Star, the latter I don't know what happened to. My Grandmother had been told that he had died in the war but I was sceptical as I could find no record of his death. In July 2011 I had another shot and found that he had survived. It wasn't until late August/early September when I found out that he had emmigrated to the USA to start a family.

David Nisbet


Pte. Patrick Mellon 2nd Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.13th March 1915)

Patrick Mellon was my Great Uncle. I have no specific information except that my Mother always kept an 'In Memoriam' card in his memory. He was 36 years old when he was killed at Neuve Chapelle. He lived in Limonds Wynd, Ayr

James Wilson


Fus. John Maltman MM. Royal Scots Fusiliers

John Maltman in 1919

My Grandad John Maltman served with the Royal Scots Fusiliers

John Liddle Maltman


Pte. Abraham "Louis" Edgar MM. 11th Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers

My father Abraham Edgar, joined the Durham Light Infantry in 1914 but was discharged when it was discovered he was just 16. As soon as he was 18 he re-enlisted, this time in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. I would imagine he went to France in 1917 but am confused as to whereabouts he went.

He spoke little of his experiences - he was a very emotional and traumatised man. However, we were told by him that on one occasion he was going to be shot at dawn for disobeying an order to go through the wire to rescue men on the other side. He had been through the wire many times on that particular day and was dog tired. He was told that because of this refusal he would be shot the next day. He was too tired to care. However, after some time he was woken up and asked, again, if he would go through the wire. This time he agreed to go and was able to rescue several men including an injured officer.

He was awarded a Military Medal for this action and the officer he rescued was awarded a Military Cross. (I think that's what he said it was). The date of Gazette is not known but is marked No.59. The registered paper is 68/121/772 Schedule No. 214199.

He married in the late 20s and moved to the South Coast. In the late 1970s he went with my mother to visit my sister in Leeds who drove them to the area they had come from (Newcastle area) where we were all amused by a photo they took of my father pointing to his own name on a War Memorial for those killed in action. He lived to 80 years of age.

I would love to know where he won his medal and more about the officer involved, who incidentally gave him a silver Omega pocket watch as a memento. This, and my father's medals are now owned by my eldest son.

Pauline Scutt


Pte. John McIlhone Royal Scots Fusiliers

My Great Grandfather, John McIlhone, served in the Boer War and upon declaration of war with Germany in August 1914 joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was stationed at Fort Matilda in Gourock prior to embarking for France.

He fought at the first major battle at Mons. He was then badly wounded at Neuve Chappelle on 17th of March 1915 spending 6 weeks at a Base Hopsital near Rouen. After this he was transfered to the Machine Gun Corps. He was wounded again in early 1916. In 1917 he received a 10 day pass home to Edinburgh and in March 1918 a 14 day pass. Upon returning to France in March 1918 he was wounded for the fourth time and duly hopsitalised. He survived the War and returned to Edinburgh.

John McIlhone


Pte. Samuel Cunningham 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.23rd July 1916)

The Cunningham family were told by a mate of Samuel's that he died by a bullet in the back of the head. I think that he was only trying to spare Sam's mother the horrific truth about how he died. The circumstances surrounding Sam's enlistment into the army were tragic in themselves. He was one of 9 children, 4 daughters and five sons. Legend has it that his father Tom had no time for him, and was known to go into drunken rages and beat his wife and possibly sons. Sam must have lied about his age to get into the army, enlisting when he was only 15.

The saddest thing about Sam's death is that for 90 years, no one in the family ever enquired about or visited his memorial, until in April 2006, something compelled me to start searching for him, and I found him, thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. He was killed in action, aged 17 years, his body never found. His memorial is on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 3C. I also found an article about his memorial online, in the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald from 1916, with a photograph of him in uniform.



Sgt. Herbert Stringer 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.22nd Oct 1914)

Herbert Stringer is a distant relative who was unfortunately killed in the early stages of the First World War in Belgium. We have inherited a number of his possessions including his "soldiers small book"; a card from Lt Colonel Walsh notifying his wife of his death, and a hand written letter from his friend in the Royal Scots Fusiliers dated 26th October 1915 (a year later?) to Mrs Stringer detailing how and where he died.Fascinating history but very sad. We also have the brass plaque from what must have been his belongings box. We know that his daughter' Lily, (who died aged approx 97 in 2005), had given his uniform and medals to a theatre.

In 2004, while Lily was still alive we went to the Menin gate, found Herbert's memorial and placed a Red Rose on it, we took a photo and gave it to Lily as she had never been able to visit. Herbert was killed in a small village called Geluveld, which we also visited while we were in Belgium. Brave men, very brave.


Pte. Arthur William Woodworth

While carrying out some family history research, I came across an interesting and rather unfortunate story about my great uncle, Arthur Woodworth during the Bristol bombing in 1940. Firstly however I would like to give you some background information on Arthur so you can set a picture of what he had done in his life before 1940.

Arthur Woodworth was born in Shepton Mallet, Somerset on the 16th November 1884. He moved to Hotwells, Bristol with his family before the turn of the century as his father William had a job at Bristol Docks. Unfortunately at 14 years of age Arthur and his father William got into some trouble stealing bicycles and Arthur was convicted on the 2nd May 1899 and sentenced at the Petty Sessional Court Bridewell to 4 years and 6 months as an inmate of the Kingswood Reformatory School. The School was for boys convicted of criminal practices for sentences of 3 years or more. The crime was reported in the Bristol Mercury. William Woodworth got two months hard labour at Horfield Prison for his involvement. The Superintendent of the Reformatory School in 1902 was a Mr B.Andreys, who was an ex army officer and this may have been why following his release, Arthur joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers as a private, where he was stationed in India from 1905. In the 1911 census Arthur was shown as a Musician in the 1st Battalion stationed at Roberts Heights Pretoria Transvaal, South Africa.

As a full time soldier (Reg No 8583) he returned to Europe in March 1914 and in August embarked on a war that they said would be over by Christmas. He was one of some 120,000 regular troops who were in the British expeditionary army. The RSF were one of the first British formations to move to France. Arthur served with the 1st battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers in the 1st World War and was present at many battles including: Battle of Le Chateau; 1st Battle of the Marne; 1st Battle of Aisne; 2nd Battle of Ypres, which witnessed the first use of a new German weapon on the western front – poisonous gas! He also was present at The Battle of the Ancre in the freezing winter 1916/17; The 3rd Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Lys. On Armistice Day he was at Romaries according to his army records. How he managed to keep alive and even sane I don’t know!

In 1919 his battalion had to renew the old regimental experience of duty in Ireland during the Irish civil war. He landed in Dublin on the 13th May 1919 and the battalion was stationed in Tullamore barracks, Tullamore until 1921 when the British and Irish Governments would agree on the future political structure of Ireland. Some time after this Arthur left the Army and we have stories of him and some ex- army colleagues busking on Castle Street for a living. In 1939 it is no surprise that Arthur would want to do his bit for King and Country again. He joined up with the Auxiliary Fire Service as a firewatcher. German heavy bombers could carry a thousand incendiary bombs and according to the Home Office a single bomber could start up to 150 fires over a 3-mile area. Arthur would spot fires over the Bedminster area and pass on information to the fire service.

One cold November evening in 1940, while not on duty, Arthur ventured up the Greenway Bush Pub, Southville for a few beers with his mates. I can only imagine it would have been a busy evening and the pub was full. Main topics of conversation were probably the recent bombing in Bristol and I’m sure some old First World War stories were told as well. It was late in the evening when the dreaded air raid siren disturbed the pub and people started evacuating for the local air raid shelter. Arthur got up from his seat needing to go to the toilet. Could he hold on during the raid or should he use the pub’s facilities? He decided to use the pub toilet. A German bomb destroyed the pub and the only casualty was poor Arthur. What an unfortunate call of nature. Arthur died on the 24th November 1940 aged 56 and is buried at Arnos Vale cemetery.

Simon Bennett


2nd Lt. William Henry Mill 1/5th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.12th July 1915)

William, or Willie as he was known to his family, was the only son of William Henry Mill, an Edinburgh lawyer, and his wife, Caroline, and was brother to four sisters, Caroline, Helen, Jane and Ruth. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy, and on leaving school enlisted with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, gaining his comission in 1914. He sailed from Liverpool on the S.S Mauretania with his Battalion and the 1/4th on May 1915, arriving at the huge harbour of Mudros on Lemnos, before sailing on to Gallipoli, landing there on June 7th. His battalion took part in the Battles of Gully Ravine and Achi Baba Nullah. Hand-written notes in his pocket Bible, recovered from his body, show him at rest camp on June 19th, in support trenches on June 25th, 27th, 29th and 30th, and in the support trenches at 'Clapham Junction' on July 3rd. His last entries show him in a rest camp on July 7th and 8th.

Under-lined passages from the Bible clearly show that he took support from the book and was determined to do the right thing. He was killed in action on July 12th, in the Battle of Achi Baba Nullah, aged 19. His body was recovered and lies in a marked grave not far from where he fell, in Redoubt Cemetery. His parents visited the grave shortly after the war but as far as I know it was not re-visited until his sister Jane, my Grandmother, travelled there around 1965. I have his pocket Bible and one of his lapel badges, recovered from his body, and his medals.

Tim Coleman


Pte. John Meiklejohn 1/4 Battalion, B Company, No7 Platoon Royal Scots Fusiliers Ã?� 

John Meiklejohn, 1/4 Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, was my grandfather. He was wounded at Gallipoli and again in Palistine and survied the War and went on to be a police officer. Does anyone recognise any of their family on this picture if so who are they and what happend to them?

Nick Wood


Cpl. Charles Duffield 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers

Charles Duffield was my Great Uncle. He served in the Great War after enlisting as a drummer boy in the Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1904. At the outbreak of WW1 he was sent with his regiment in October of 1914 to Belgium. He was engaged in various bloody and important battles and at some point, which is at this time unknown as I am still researching, was wounded in combat and sent to one of the RSF training battalions after recovering. He left the army on 1/6/18 with a full honourable discharge and his Silver War Badge. He was a holder of the 1914 Star with silver rossette on the ribbon, later became known as one of The Old Contemptibles. Upon leaving the army he had been promoted to Sergeant.


Pte. John Perrie 1/5th Btn Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.13th Jul 1915)

John Perrie was just 24, when killed in action during the 2nd battle for the Kereves Dere, Helles, Gallipoli.

Andrew Nedelka


Pte. Robert Macfarlane 12th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers

My grandfather, Robert Macfarlane, was a miner in Tarbolton, Ayrshire. He may have been in the Territorial Forces prior to World War 1. He was in Egypt and in the Palestine Campaign and then the 12th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers who were part of the 31st Division, 94th Infantry Brigade who served in France until the end of the war.

Neil Thomas Black


Pte. Thomas Ballantyne 1/5th Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers (d.25th Apr 1916)

Thomas Ballantyne was the son of a slater, Andrew Ballantyne, and the youngest of his two sons. The 1st/5th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers was a territorial unit based in Ayr and Thomas sailed with his comrades for Gallipoli on the 21st May 1915 where he fought in the battles of Gulley Ravine, Achi BabaNullah and Krithia Nullahs, in one of the bloodiest campaigns ever known. Thomas survived, unlike many others, and was evacuated to Abbassia, near Cairo on 7th and 8th January 1916. By April, Thomas had moved to defending the Suez Canal and was posted to an oasis at Dueidar where his battalion repelled the advancing Turks. Sadly Thomas was one of the wounded and died shortly after on 25th April 1916, aged 22. He is buried in the war cemetery in Port Said, Egypt.


Pte. Arthur Harris 2nd Battalion, D Coy Royal Scots Fusilliers

Arthur Harris joined 8th/9th Service Battalion, York and Lancs Regiment in 1914 – Regimental Number. 14432. His medal record card shows he entered the "Flanders Theatre of War" on 27th August 1915. This is the date of his arrival in Boulogne as part of the 8th and 9th Service Battalion of the Y&L's to join the 23rd Division, a division of the the so-called "New Army".

In 1916 (probably July) he was transferred to D Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers after an action on the Somme in which almost all of his original company were killed, effectively wiping-out the unit. His Royal Scots Fusiliers service number was 43468. He was wounded in action several times but along with all of his eight brothers he came home safely.

His rank was Private throughout his service. His discharge documents show both of his service numbers and his military occupation at discharge as "Officer’s Servant" (Batman). His military commendation says "First-class shot". His Lt Col’s recommendation for employment says "Smart and Intelligent".

I'm his very proud grandson. I remember him well with much love as a gentle and wise counselor whose influence on me is as strong today as it ever was.

David Brown


Pte. William Clark Young 1st Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers

My grandfather William Young served in the First World War, I know nothing of that service other than the letter I inherited thanking him for his service

William Young

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