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5th (1st Reserve) Battalion, Gordon Highlanders


Shortly after the start of the war, the Army Council made the decision to duplicate the Territorial units in which a majority of the men had volunteered for foreign service. The new unit of the 5th Gordons was originally called the  5th (1st Reserve) Battalion, Gordon Highlanders. This recruiting for the Reserve Battalion began in September 1914 and in January 1915 the local newspaper printed a roll of the men who had volunteered. In March 1915 an additional roll was published with other smaller lists appearing in the months before and after that date.

An examination of the names on the list (there are approximately 1000)  reveals the following:

 1. Many of the men did eventually serve overseas either with the 5th Battalion or another Territorial Battalion
 2. A number were transferred, after June 1916 when the rules were changed, to one of the Regular Battalions
 3. Many were rejected due to bad health or age
 4. Some did not serve overseas and spent the war on home service guarding ports, railways or prison camps, or were  transferred to units such as the Royal Defence Corps, or the Labour Corps. These are often the most difficult to research as they received no medals and unless their service record has survived, they are virtually untraceable.


Aberdeenshire needs 2500

The Army Council's decision to duplicate units of the Territorial Force to take the place of those which had volunteered for foreign service...affects the counties of Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine to a marked degree.
The 5th, 6th and 7th Battalions of the Gordon Highlanders will have to be duplicated, and a new force of some 2500 is needed for Aberdeenshire alone to complete the established units, at present stationed at Bedford, for foreign service, and to fill up the reserve battalions.
The new units will be organised with the following objects:-
To take the place, when called on, of the general service unit if the latter is ordered abroad.
To act as a feeder to replace wastage in the general service unit.
To carry out the above function, the reserve unit will be composed of all men from the general service unit who cannot go abroad, and recruits enlisted both for general and home service.

Note: I may in time be able to include all the additional information I have found on most of these men. In the meantime, if you would like further details, please contact me at cmorrisey@hotmail.com



(Names in Bold later joined the 5th Battalion overseas.)


  Lieut-Col J L Reid  Capt & Hon Major J T Smith   Capt A McD Younie 
  Capt William Stephen   Capt W Johnston   Capt J H Hay
  Capt John Arbuthnott   Capt J Chalmers   Lieut G A Buchan
  Lieut H Lumsden   2nd Lieut Alexander Manson   2nd Lieut James Rice
  2nd Lieut William L Scott   2nd Lieut John Harvey Loutit   2nd Lieut James H Garland
  2nd Lieut Albert J Guthrie   Chaplain (Lieut-Col) J Halliday   Surgeon (Major) J Middleton
  Sergt-Major L Lawrence   Quartermaster Sergt J Ross  1552 Sergt-Piper George Thomson
  Sergt W Cruickshanks   Col-Sergt Mitchell   Col-Sergt Walker
  Sergt Duncan   Sergt Barton  903  Sergt George G Pennant
  Sergt Gill   Sergt Craighead   Sergt Chisholm
  Corpl Malcolm Corsie    



These names are include here in the order they appeared in the newspaper, which is roughly by order of enlistment. 



Re-numbering    Name   Town   Address  
       Patterson, H   St Fergus    
     240483   Jamieson, Robert   Monquhitter    
       Henderson, Leslie D   New Deer    
       Duthie, A   Fraserburgh Albert St   
       Gray, J   Fraserburgh  School St   
 2222   240485   Ritchie, John   Fraserburgh    
       Coull, W M   Peterhead    
  2219     Robertson, George   Kintore    
       Mackintosh, J R   Cawdor    
  2238     McLeod, William Hardie   Peterhead  James St   
       Middleton, G S   Tarves    
  2228   240487   Sim, John   Fraserburgh   52 School Rd  
 2231     Buchan, Arthur   Sandhaven   Shore St  
       Williamson, H   Sandhaven    
       Coutts, George   Ellon    
  2240     Chalmers, George M   St Fergus   Underton  
  2237     Henry, Samuel, L   Maud   Shevado  
  2227   240486   Mitchell, John   Fraserburgh   1 Albert St  
  2246     Davidson, William   Peterhead   6 Love Lane  
       Gibson, A   New Deer    
  2255     Finnie, G   Fraserburgh  Mains, Cardno   
  2256     Cantlay, William   Auchnagatt   Clochoan  
  2260     Duncan, William   Ellon  Auchmacoy  
  2259     Rennie, George   Aberdeen    
  2263     Ellis, John   Peterhead   10 Balmoor Tce   
    S/43343   Cassie, William   Fyvie   Gight  
  2269     Matthew, Henry Howie   Fyvie   Lethenty  
       Stephen, G   Peterhead   Maiden St  
        Murray, David   Peterhead   46 Kirk St  
  2289     Stephen, Daniel McL   Peterhead   33 Maiden St  
        Grant, A   Strichen    
        Watt, A   Strichen    
  2284     Neilson, Charles   Lossiemouth    
  2276     Murdoch, William George   Macduff   High St  
  2351     Innes, John   Turriff    
        Mair, A   Turriff    
  2287     Scott, Robert   Crimond    
    S/43080   Pittendreigh, Alfred   Gamrie    
    240512   Meldrum, Alexander   Portsoy    
  2279     Pirie, Alexander   Turriff  Fisherie  
  2283     Duncan, Peter   Turriff    
  2277     Stephen, Andrew   Ythanwells    
  2232     McIntosh, John   Turriff   Fisherie  
  2274     Barron, Alexander   Banff   32 Cluny St  
  2282     Roy, John   Macduff    
  2253   240549   Legge, Forbes   Banff   Denhead  
    240551   Legge, Henry George   Banff    
  2278     Massie, John   King-Edward    
  2350   240547    Stuart, James (Stewart)   Turriff   Fisherie  
  2354   240550   Clark, James A   Portsoy    
        Killoh, J   Banff    
  2275     Dickie, Charles   Turriff    
  2281     Tuck, William Arthur   Turriff  Delgaty Castle   
  2294     Geddes, Alexander   Peterhead  6 Ugie St   
  2295     Kelman, William   New Byth    
      Cassie, William Forbes   New Byth    
  2291     Stewart, William T   Keith   127 Land Square  
  2299     Dyker, Henry Fitzgerald   Buckie    
        McAndrew, Peter W (MacAndrew)   Fyvie    
     S/43081   Mitchell, Robert George   Fyvie    
    S/43056   Warrender, Robert   Longside  Parkhill  
 2310     Calder, William   Mintlaw   Toux  
 2309     Moir, Alexander   Mintlaw   Toux  
  2308     Bissett, Thomas   Peterhead   16 Chapel St  
  2307     Hay, John Smith   Strichen   Hillfoot  
  2306     Sim, D   Peterhead   Bearhill  
  2305   240521   Milne, Alexander George R   Methlick   Hill of Asleed  
  2304     Bremner, Harry   Crimonmogate    
  2303     Stronach, James   Crinonmogate    
  2302     Smith, J   Fraserburgh   High St  
  2301     Taylor, Alexander   Fraserburgh   23 Harbour St  
  2311     McWillie, John   Fraserburgh   15 Albert St  
   2329   240530   Mutch, James   Ellon    
   2330   240531   Watson, Henry G   Ellon    
    S/43057   Sangster, John   Ellon    
  2333   240533   Davidson, John   King-Edward    
        Paterson, R   Ellon    Shivas  
  2334     Buchan, William   Fraserburgh   Commerce St   
  2335   240535   Henderson, George   Tarves    
  2361     Smith, Charles   Skene    
  2312     Leslie, John P   Ellon   Ardlin  
  2313     Third, George   Ellon   Hillhead  

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