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Colin Hunter Stein

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

2nd Lieutenant Colin Hunter Stein. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Polmont, Falkirk
IWM HU 118521 2nd Lt Colin Hunter Stein

2nd Lieutenant

7th Battalion, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 10th Brigade, 4th Division

Age: 21

Date of Death: 24.5.15

Buried: Menin Gate Memorial Panel 42 to 44

Family history: Son of John Gilchrist - of Messrs John Gilchrist Stein & Co. Ltd., brick manufacturers, of Castlecary and Bonnybridge, and Annie Stein (nee Henderson), of Millfield, Polmont. Colin was educated at the High School of Glasgow, and was studying for a BSc in Engineering at the University of Glasgow on the outbreak of the war. He had been connected with the University of Glasgow OTC for about five years, and he joined the University contingent of the 6th Cameron Highlanders. He was gazetted to the 7th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on 1st January 1915, and on the 2nd May 1915, he joined the Battalion in Flanders.

The action leading to his death

On the 24 May the Battalion relieved the 1/Royal Warwicks in the line extending from Wieltje to St Julien road some 400 yards south with the 2/Dublin Fusiliers on their left and the 1/Royal Scots Fusiliers on their right. The 5/Border’s, attached to the Argyll’s for trench instruction, provided fifty per cent of the battalion strength.

2nd Lieutenant Colin Hunter Stein. Ypres Salient. Flanders. Linesman map.
Linesman Map.

At 2.15am the Germans released gas which was accompanied by a heavy artillery barrage which was kept up for a few hours. The Germans attacked the British line and took the trenches held by the 2/Dublin’s on the left. Some of the newer Border men retreated when the gas attack began but the more experienced and majority of the Border men held the line, although the causalities were very heavy. Major McCracken, commanding ‘D’ Company, was sent back to La Brique for the battalion Medical Officer and to bring up support in the form of ’B’ Company of the 2/Seaforth Highlanders. Casualties from the shell fire had continued throughout the day, many of the casualties occurred amongst the men who had retired when the gas attack began. They had become further gassed by the moving gas cloud and had been caught in the German barrage that had moved from the British front line to the support line. The battalion trenches were now also subject to enfilade fire and in the early hours of the morning of 25 May they withdrew to new trench lines some 300 yards to the rear.

Medals Awarded:

1915 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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