5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders
3/5th Battalion at Ripon
Ripon, in Yorkshire, was a major military centre and much of the training of members of the Gordon Highlanders was conducted there. 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Cheyne records in his Diary that he was stationed there in May 1916 prior to receiving orders to proceed to the Front. The 3/5 Battalion, Gordon Highlanders was stationed there from November 1915. These men either had not volunteered for foreign service or were still underage or otherwise not yet fit enough for front-line service. From 1916 many of the men who had elected for home service, had this option removed and were transferred to the active service battalion.
The soldier in the middle of the front row is 2070/240413 Pte William Baird. He appears on the 1914 Roll as having volunteered for overseas service, but it is known he did not go with the Battalion in May 1915. He did go to France in either 1917 or 1918 was captured during the German Spring offensive of March 1918 and spent nine months as a POW. See also additional information here
The names, and possible identifications of the other men are:
Back Row (standing): J Murray (St Fergus); 241197 Lunsden Hepburn, (Turriff); W Adams (Rosehearty); L.Cpl W Burr (Ellon); R Watt (probably 2285 - Strichen); A Scott (Kininmonth); A Paterson (Old Rattray); 241178 William H L Wood (standing, end of middle row) (Peterhead)
Middle Row (sitting): C Ingram (Collieston); 241141 Henry Kelman (Memsie) Killed 1918; A Smith (Fraserburgh); A Fraser (Methlick); Connon J Johnston (Peterhead); 241174 James S Allardyce (Peterhead) Killed 1917; 3300 James Annand (Lonmay) Killed 1916; 241184 George Park (St Fergus)
Front Row: G Simpson (Strichen); 2070 William Baird (Peterhead); A Bruce (Peterhead)
My thanks to Charles Reid of the Gordon Highlanders Museum for providing me with this photograph.
The cemetery at Ripon holds the grave of one other soldier from the 3/5th Battalion:
No. 3499, Pte Alexander Forbes died of pneumonia at Ripon Military Hospital on 7th March 1916. He was born on 29th March 1889 at Cruden, the son of Robert Forbes, a farmer from the district, and Jessie Ritchie. The family fell upon hard times and at the time of Robert's death in 1890 he had been declared a pauper. Jessie later married a widower, John Wallace, who owned a larger farm at West Auchiries, Cruden. Alexander had enlisted in October 1915 and was undergoing training at the camp when he died.
Above: Pte 2289 Daniel M Stephen - front row left - at South Camp, Ripon