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Casualty List : 1st/5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders

Casualties for December 1917 From the War Diaries
(German counter attack after Battle of Cambrai)

Names in Blue are listed in original 1914 Roll.

Date        Number  Rank  Name                      Nature of


3 Dec
260123 Pte  Cook, William
Killed  "A" Coy.  Enlisted Paisley. (CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL)
  266009 Pte  Chisholm, Thomas Killed   "C" Coy. Age 20 Son of Thomas and Jane Chisholm, of 100, Gordon St., Huntly. (CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL) (Previously wounded: Scotsman - 21/3/1917)

  240939 Pte  Garden, John  A  Killed
 "C" Coy. Service return shows age as 21. (CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL)  (3084) Buchan Observer 25/12/1917 - Mrs Garden, 21 Merchant St., Peterhead has received official notification that her grandson has been killed. Previously he has been twice wounded. Prior to the war he was in the  employment of Mr John Fowlie, butcher, Rose St Peterhead.
4 Dec
241121 L.Cpl
Hopkins, James
Killed "C" Coy (CWGC shows "B" Coy) . Age 20. Son of James and Mary Hopkins, of Overbrae Fisherie, Turriff  (CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL). War Book of Turriff: (Crudie & Upperbrae) Farm servant. Killed at battle of Cambrai 4th Dec 1917. (p.191)   
5 Dec
242009 Pte Gordon,   James  Killed B Coy.  Born Tullynessle Son of Robert Gordon and Amilia Barron. Husband of Margaret Murray Brebner. Enlisted Aberdeen. (CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL.) Additional information.
5 Dec
240543 L.Cpl McWilliams, David
"B" Coy. Born Peterhead. (CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL) 2345 Buch. Ob 18/12/1917: Mrs McWilliam 22 Queen St has received official information that her 3rd son has been killed in action. In the official statement a high tribute is paid to him as an N.C.O. Prior to the war L/Cpl McWilliam was a cooper with Messrs A. Wood and Sons, fishcurers. He has other two brothers serving in the Navy.
5 Dec
202560 Pte  Graham, James Killed  "C" Coy "Born Barony enlisted Glasgow. Age on Service returns 37. (CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERVAL.)
3 Dec
Currie, Alexander
Died of wounds
"B" Coy. Age 19. Born St Andrews. Enlisted Dundee. (RED CROSS CORNER CEMETERY, BEUGNY)
6 Dec
240261 Pte  Thomson, George
Killed  "D" Coy. Age 21. Son of George and Mary Thomson, of 37, St. Mary St., Peterhead. (BANCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY)  Buch. Ob.18/12/1917: Reported killed in action. He was a son of Mr George Thomson, 37 St Mary Street and in civil life was a farm servant at Corskellie, Lonmay.
23 Dec
242071 Pte
Mitchel, George Brown.   
Killed "A" Coy. Age 21. Husband of Jessie A. Mitchell, of 19 Gordon St., Aberdeen. (married 16/10/1917) Enlisted Aberdeen. (BANCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY)   
24 Dec
240703 Pte McLeish, Bruce A.C
Missing presumed POW
"C" Coy  Diary shows "Missing believed prisoner". Diary shows "C" Coy was in front line and between 22nd & 26th was improving the front line system of trenches and thickening the wire in front of the line. Previously wounded 16-17 May 1917. Scotsman shows home as Bankroot. No record of death.
28 Dec
203080 Pte Anderson  Norman L
  Killed "A" Coy. Born Durham. Enlisted Necastle-on-Tyne. Age 19 Son of Mrs. Elizabeth Anderson, of III Corbridge St., Byker, Newcastle-on-Tyne. (RED CROSS CORNER CEMETERY, BEUGNY)
3 Dec
Pte  Brown, Harry
Wounded  "A" Coy
3 Dec 
Pte  Clark, George
Wounded  "A"  Coy.  SWB.
3 Dec 291825 Pte  Hillman, Frederick
 Wounded "A" Coy
3 Dec 
S/9718 Pte  Rhinds, Robert
 Wounded "A" Coy. To France 11/11/1915
3 Dec 
260248 Pte  Sherlock, Christopher
 Wounded "A" Coy
4 Dec
291350 Pte  McGregor, Alexander
 Wounded "B"  Coy. Address: Bednagauch, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire.
4 Dec 
260154 Pte  Jarvis, George
 Wounded "B"  Coy. SWB. Enlisted 26/11/1915. Discharged 17/5/1919. P392(xvi)K.R. 2bi AO11/17 (unfit)
4 Dec S/41376 Pte  Campbell, Thomas
 Wounded "B" Coy (Also A & SH)
4 Dec 
240977 L.Cpl  Whyte, James
 Wounded "B" Coy (3207) Buch. Ob. 25/12/1917. Reported as wounded in left leg and thigh, is the only son of Mr James Whyte, gardener, Sandford Lodge, Peterhead. He has been in France since Oct 1915.
4 Dec 
260076 Pte Devine, Edward
 Wounded "B" (Also A&SH)
4 Dec 
260195 Pte  Thomson, Alexander  Wounded  (Also Royal Highlanders)
4 Dec 
242483   Pte  Duncan, Alexander F    Wounded   (5668)
4 Dec   260138  Pte  Miller, William
 Wounded   "B" Coy (Also A & SH)
4 Dec  240547 Sgt  Stuart, James
 Wounded "B"  Coy. Buch. Ob 18/12/1917. Mrs James Stuart 28 St Mary Street has received information that her husband has been wounded and lost his left eye. He is at present in hospital at Newcastle. Previous to the war he was a millwright in the Turriff District. This is the 2nd time he has been wounded.
4 Dec   240593 L.Cpl  Anderson, James  Wounded   "B" Coy 2431. Wounded for 3rd time. In civil life he was a cooper with Messrs P & J Sutherland, fishcurers. He is a son of Mr James Anderson, 1 Roanheads and his wife resides in George St Burnhaven. (2431)
4 Dec   S/18599 Pte  Kemp, Alexander  Wounded   "B"  Coy
 3 Dec  242124 Pte  Leiper, William Wounded  "C"  Coy. Previously wounded 16-17 May 1917 (Aberdeen) SWB.
 4 Dec  S/41397 Pte McKenna, David  Wounded "C" Coy (Also A & SH)
 4 Dec  260225 Pte  McLaren, Archibald   Wounded   "C" Coy (Also Royal Highlanders) 
 4 Dec  1254  L.Cpl Carruthers, Angus Randolph M
 Wounded   "D" Coy (TNA shows him as - 2nd Gordon Highlanders 1254 and 2nd Gordon Highlanders 1254 Private  )
 4 Dec  242367  L.Cpl McDougall, Arthur   Wounded "D" Coy. Previously wounded 16-17 May 1917 (Kirkcaldy) SWB. Enlisted 3/9/1914. Discharged 14/12/1918. (4051)
 4 Dec  241602 Pte Ambrose, Frederick C   Wounded "D"  Coy. SWB Attested 25/10/1915. Discharged 26/3/1918
 4 Dec  S/41272  Pte  Suttie, John M
 Wounded   "D" Coy (Also Royal Highlanders)
 3 Dec  S/41324 Pte  Yates, Frederick
 Wounded   "D" Coy (Also Royal Highlanders)
 4 Dec  S/41310 Pte Ritchie, Henry
 Wounded   "D" Coy  Note: Diary shows initial as A. (Also Royal Highlanders.)
 4 Dec  S/41322 Pte Anderson, Alexander H   Wounded   "D" Coy. (Also Royal Highlanders)
4 Dec   241691 Pte  Unsworth, William
 Wounded   "D" Coy (TNA shows 241661 / 3361) Previously wounded 16-17 May 1917. (Manchester) 
4 Dec   S/41306  Pte  Morton, Alexander
 Wounded   "D" Coy (Also Royal Highlanders)
4 Dec  S/9115 Pte  Oliphant, Myles
 Wounded   "D"  Coy. Originally 10th Gordon Highlanders. To France 9/7/1915.
4 Dec  240249 Pte  Simpson, Robert K
 Wounded   "D" Coy (New Pitsligo) 2113
4 Dec  S/8986  Pte  Stewart, Donald  Wounded   "D" Coy (Also Royal Highlanders)  To France 20/7/1915. (1st GH)
4 Dec   S/18612 Pte  Philip, James
 Wounded   "D" Coy Also Royal Highlanders
6 Dec  240267 Pte Fraser, Robert
 Wounded   "B" Coy Buch. Obs. 25/12/1917 Fraserburgh. Pte Robert Fraser wounded was before enlisting, foreman compositor to Messrs Calder Brothers, printers, Fraserburgh. (1756)
6 Dec  260186 L.Cpl  Mansfield, Alfred
 Wounded  "D"  Coy 
7 Dec  241212 Pte  Clark, James
 Wounded   "B" Coy. Son of Robert Clark, Scotston, Dudwick Ellon. (Killed in action 21/3/1918)
11 Dec  240053 Cpl  Thom, Henry
 Wounded   "B" Coy New Deer (682) 
11 Dec    260085 L.Cpl  Calder, Walter  Wounded   "B" Coy. (Also A & SH.) 
11 Dec    S/41287  Pte  Edwards, David
 Wounded   "B"  Coy. SWB. Enlisted 19/2/1916. Discharged 30/8/1919.  392 (xvii) KR 2bi  AO/11/17 (unfit)
11 Dec  203036 Pte  Smart, William
 Wounded   "B" Coy. SWB. Attested 19/11/1915. Discharged 24/10/1918.
23 Dec  240153 Pte  Mitchell, James
Wounded  "D"  Coy (1501)
23 Dec
Pte Wemyss, Alexander N
"C" Coy (5791)
23 Dec
 Pte McAndrew, Albert
 Wounded 2768 7th GH. To France 2/5/1915. Disembodied 5/3/1919
23 Dec
260045 Pte
McLean, John
"D" Coy. Later Scottish Rifles. SWB
28 Dec
Pte  Adams, Robert
Wounded  "A" Coy
28 Dec
S/17892  Pte  Cook, Stewart
Woundec  "A"  Coy
 30 Dec
240701  Pte  Gray, James A  Wounded  "D"  Coy Wounded for third time (Port Erroll) 2637. To France 5/12/1915. Discharged to Reserves (Class Z) 5/2/1919
SWB=Silver War Badge (for men discharged due to wounds or illness)

Extracts from War Diaries December 1917

In early December the 51st Division was recalled to the front to help deal with the German counter attack that followed the battle of Cambrai.

Location      Date         Summary of Events  

Old British Front Line

2nd Dec On night of 2/3rd patrols were sent out to reconnoiter the ground in front...One patrol encountered an enemy post and sustained two slight casualties. Attempts were made to erect wire in front and to cut gaps in the wire in rear of front line to facilitate access to the front in case of counter attack, but the work was greatly hindered by the clearness of the night which enabled the enemy to observe all movement. Enemy artillery was active throughout the day, the tight of Tadpole Copse being heavily shelled.   
 3rd-4th Dec  Enemy artillery activity continued throughout the 4th and at about 3pm the sectors held by A and B companies were heavily bombarded, as a result of which several casualties were sustained. Orders to evacuate this part of the line were received in the evening.   

Evacuating Line 

5th Dec  Everything of use to the enemy and everything that could be done to obstruct him and delay his getting cover when he came forward to the ground we were evacuating was organised and carried out.  The front line Companies left posts behind for one hour after their leaving, while C and D Coys carried on the process of obstruction.  Battalion HQ was last to leave after the two Coys and posts had successfully withdrawn. While the 153rd and 154th Brigades effected the withdrawal the 152nd meantime held the original British Front Line. The same day the battalion embussed for FAUREUIL where the remainder of the day was spent resting in billets.   
FREMICOURT 6th Dec  The battalion marched to FREMICOURT where a new camp was made. Enemy aircraft visited the area on its way to BAPAUME. Four casualties were sustained from bombs that evening : one killed and three wounded. Protection was forthwith constructed either by sinking the floor of the tents or sandbag revetment,. 
MORCHIES 11th Dec  Battalion front was extended. Work parties commenced and mining platoon started operations in front area. 4 casualties were sustained by party working in Support Line night 11/12th. 

Front Line 

22nd Dec  On this day the battalion took over part of the line from the 4th Seaforths.  On the night of 22nd "A" Coy were at work clearing ROBIN ALLEY.
Front Line 23rd - 26th Dec  The companies in the line improved the front line system of trenches and thickened the wire in front of the line. On the night of 26th an inter-company relief was carried out, "B" Coy taking over from "A" Coy and "D" Coy from "C" Coy. 
28th - 30th Dec
Nothing of importance happened these days. General improvement of trenches was made by the companies.   On the night of the 30th the battalion was relieved by the 6th Black Watch and came back to a camp in BEUGNY.
BEUGNY 31st Dec This day was spent resting and cleaning. Inspections were also held. At night the officers of the battalion had a dinner together and the New Year was brought in in a suitable fashion.
War Diary for November 1917

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Carolyn Morrisey