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Arthur Neil Gillespie

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Private Arthur Neil Gillespie, Falkirk District. Ypres Salient, Flanders
Private Arthur Neil Gillespie.

S/5944 Private

‘A’ Company, 10th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 27th Infantry Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division.

Age: 24

Date of Death: Killed in Action 15.10.15

Buried: Menin Gate Memorial Panel 42 to 44

Family history: Son of David and Agnes Gillespie, 16 Boyd Street, Falkirk. Husband of Margaret Jamieson (formerly Gillespie) 220 Wallace Street, Falkirk. Before he enlisted he was employed as a moulder at the Camelon Iron Works. His brothers John and Hugh were serving in the 2nd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

The action leading to his death

On the 10 October 1915, the Battalion held the trenches numbered 27, 28 and 29 at the Bluff. This was one of the best places in the Salient for observation and was therefore one of the first places that mine warfare developed. The Ypres-Commines canal runs south from Ypres and the spoil from the canal works was thrown up on either side to form what became known as the Bluff and further along Spoilbank. The trench lines were established in the area between Verbrandenmolen and the Bluff at the end of 1914 by French troops.

Linesman Map. the Bluff. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Falkirk District
Linesman Map

The trenches here being numbered rather than named when the British took over. The dispositions of the 10/Argyll’s saw three companies ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ occupy trenches the trenches and ‘D’ Company was in reserve in dugouts at Spoilbank. ‘A’ company had two platoons in the firing line and two platoons in support in dugouts on the Bluff. On the evening of 12 October, the Battalion was relieved by the 6th Battalion Royal Scots fusiliers who took over trenches 27 and 28 leaving 10th Argyll’s holding trench 29 with ‘A’ company and the other companies in reserve in Canal Bank and Spoilbank.

The Bluff. Ypres Salient. Flanders, Belgium. Falkirk District. 10th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
Sketch Map from 10th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders War Dairy October 1915. showing the trenches they occupied at the Bluff.

At 6am on 13 October the Germans exploded a mine underneath an old crater in trench 29 and the War Diary records:

War Diary 10th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. The Bluff. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Falkirk District
War Diary 10th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

Arthur was blown up in the mine explosion. He would have known Private David Burt from Camelon

and Private John Dow of Falkirk

who joined the Regiment and went to France at the same time and were killed in the same action.

His brother Corporal John Gillespie wrote to Arthurs wife advising him of her husband’s death writing that he had ‘died a hero fighting for his King and country.

Medals Awarded:

1915 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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