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David Rutherford

250803 Private

13th Battalion Royal Scots, 45th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division

Age: 33

Date of Death: 26.8.17

Buried: Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 11 to 14

Family history: He was the second son of Thomas and Jane Rutherford, Bankhead, Bo’ness. He had three brothers, Charles, James and Thomas, and a sister Catherine. He was unmarried and lived with his parents. Prior to enlisting he was employed at the sawmill of John Denholm and Company, Bo’ness, as a woodyard worker.

He enlisted in the 5th Battalion Royal Scots on 6 December 1914, and went to France on 6 May 1916. He was sent to 90 Field Ambulance on 5 February 1917 and then onto a Casualty Clearing Station suffering from Haemorrhoids spending time in Base Hospitals in Etaples and Wimereux before spending 26 February to 23 July 1917 in the UK. On recovering at home he went back to France on 24 July 1917, joining the 13th Battalion on 11 August 1917 from the Base Camp at Etaples.

The action leading to his death

The 22 August found the division preparing for an attack on the German positions at Frezenberg Ridge. For five days prior to the attack, harassing fire was kept up every night by both the artillery and machine-guns and in addition all known strong points had been targeted by the Heavy and Field Artillery. The attack was launched on 22 August at 4.45am under the cover of a creeping barrage and fire from thirty-two machine guns. The Germans very quickly replied with counter fire and with heavy machine gun fire which met the assaulting battalions of the 45th Brigades. On the right of the attack the fate of the leading companies of both the 13th Royal Scots and 11th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders would never be known. Two hours after the attack had started the left front company of the Royal Scots had been reduced to nine men and one Lewis gun team. The few remaining men of the Royal Scots and Argyll’s were rallied in a line north-west from Railway Dump along the road running to Beck House. The Royal Scots made repeated attempts throughout the day to get forward by jumping from shell-hope to shell-hole but without success. The battalion being relieved after dusk on 23 August.

(Linesman Map)

David was posted as missing and his family notified. It was not until 18 July 1918 that his death was officially confirmed to his family.

(National Archives)


The British War Medal, Victory Medal

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