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Andrew McKerracher

Tyne Cot Cemetery. Tyne Cot Memorial. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Falkirk District
Tyne Cot Memorial. Authors image

44715 Private

35th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, Divisional Troops, 11th Division

Age: 22

Date of Death: Killed in Action 9.10.17

Buried: Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 160

Family history: Son of Malcolm and Marion Cockburn McKerracher, 79 Grahams Road, Falkirk. He had a sister and two brothers Malcolm serving with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, and James with the RAMC. Andrew was a member of the Soldiers’ Christian Association and had, before enlisting, frequently spoken at the Grahamston Evangelistic Mission, Millar Hall. Prior to enlisting, on the outbreak of the war in 1914, he was employed by Baird’s Tan Works. Andrew had seen service in Egypt, Gallipoli and Flanders.

History of Minty Farm Regimental Aid Post

It is thought that the name ‘Minty Farm’ originated from the period when the blockhouse was occupied by a unit from Wiltshire. The farm was used as a German blockhouse until captured during Third Ypres by the 6th Gordon Highlanders of 51st Highland Division on 31 July 1917. It was then used as a Battalion HQ.

Minty Farm. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Falkirk District
Linesman Map. Minty Farm location is highlighted

The 51st Division continued to the Steenbeek and dug in 250m short of the river during which time they came under fire from two machine guns located on the other bank. Private (later Flight-Sergeant) George Imlach Macintosh dealt with them for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

The action leading to his death

The 35th Field Ambulance were located at Minty Farm. The farm was under constant fire as a forward Regimental Aid Post. On the 9th October they were dealing with wounded from the attack launched at 5.20am that day. The wounded, according to the War Diary, began arriving at Minty Farm from 8.30am. They were dealing with casualties wounded by machine gun and shell fire. 35th Field Ambulance had casualties from the shell fire on the duck board walks, used in moving the wounded and supplies etc. As stretcher bearer Andrew was caught in this shell fire.

War Diary entry recording Andrew's death

His Commanding Officer wrote to his father: 'Dear Mr McKerracher, I should have written to you before, but owing to the constant moves I have been unable to do so. I wish to express, on my behalf and the officers of this unit, their sincere sympathy with you and your family in the great loss you have sustained. Your son was killed instantaneously on October 9th, when collecting wounded. His body was recovered and buried by his comrades at Mon de Rasta, which is a little east of the Steenbeck. I have know your son for a long time, as we were both in Gallipoli together. He was one of my best men, always willing and ready to go when duty called. Amongst his comrades he was popular, his good nature and unselfishness endearing him to all.' Andrew's grave was subsequently lost and he is listed as missing on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Linesman map showing the location of Mon du Rasta

Minty Farm Cemetery was begun in October 1917 and used until April 1918. There are 188 UK, 1 German and 4 unnamed burials in the cemetery. Read more about the evacuation and treatment of the wounded here

Minty Farm. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Falkirk District
Minty Farm Cemetery next to the farm

Medals Awarded

1915 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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