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2nd Battalion, The Royal Scots Fusiliers



2nd Battalion, The Royal Scots Fusiliers were in Gibraltar when war broke out in August 1914. They returned to England, landing in September 1914 and joining 21st Brigade, 7th Division who were concentrating in the New Forest in Hampshire. The Division landed at Zeebrugge in the first week of October 1914, to assist in the defence of Antwerp, they arrived too late prevent the fall of the city and took up defensive positions at important bridges and junctions to aid in the retreat of the Belgian army. The 7th Division then became the first British Troops to entrench in front of Ypres, suffering extremely heavy losses in the The First Battle of Ypres. By February 1915 the Division had been reinforced to fighting strength and they were in action at The Battle of Neuve Chapelle, The Battle of Aubers, The Battle of Festubert, The second action of Givenchy and The Battle of Loos. On the 19th of December 1915 the 2nd Royal Scots transferred with 21st Brigade to 30th Division. In 1916 they were in action during the Battle of the Somme, in which the Division captured Montauban. In 1917 they took part in the pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the Arras Offensive and The Battle of Pilkem Ridge. In 1918 They were in action on The Somme and in the Battles of the Lys. On the 7th of April 1918 the Battalion transferred to 120th Brigade, 40th Division and on the 26th of April moved to South African Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division. they fought on the Somme, in the Battles of the Lys and The Advance in Flanders, capturing the Outtersteene Ridge and seeing action in in the Battle of Courtrai and the action of Ooteghem. On the 13th of September 1918 they transferred to 28th Brigade still with 9th (Scottish) Division. They were resting in billets at the Armistice. 9th (Scottish) Division was selected be part of the occupation force and on the 4th of December they crossed into Germany to take up a position at the Cologne brideghead on the Rhine. In late February 1919, the original units were demobilised, being replaced by others and The Division was renamed the Lowland Division.


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Those known to have served with 2nd Battalion, The Royal Scots Fusiliers during the Great War 1914-1918.

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205107

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.



205184

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?



205204

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.



205824

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



209175

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



209356

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.



211658

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.



213311

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.





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