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Ebenezer Reid Rennie M.M.

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

S/41537 Private

5th Battalion Queens Own Cameron Highlanders, 26th Infantry Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division

Age: 19

Date of Death: 14.10.18

Buried: Cement House Cemetery XVII.D.10

Family History: One of five sons and the second youngest son of William and Annie Rennie, 20 Tryst Road, Stenhousemuir. He was employed at the Clydesdale Bank in Larbert before he joined up at the age of 18 in June 1917.

He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field when a despatch runner during the fighting around Meteren in July 1918. This is listed in the Edinburgh Gazette, Page 4191, 14 November 1918. His brother Peter, serving with the Gordon Highlanders was the first man from Larbert to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Of the other brothers one was serving with the Argyll’s in France, one was with the Army Service Corps in Palestine and the youngest was in training in England.

The action leading to his death

Allied advances in Flanders in the autumn of 1918, the Advance to Victory, had forced the Germans to evacuate the Lys Salient and retreat in front of Lille and Douai. The result of the fighting to the 14 October was that a deep dent had been made in the German line. With a view to saving Lille and the industrial areas from destruction the Allies planned to encircle the city and so cause the Germans to abandon it. To this end an attack was planned by the Belgian and British forces for the 14 October.

The 9th (Scottish) Division was assigned the Courtrai - Lendelede Railway, after reaching this they were to consolidate the crossings over the Lys between Courtrai and Harlebeke. The greatest obstacle, apart from the Germans, was likely to the Wulfdambeek stream, the village of Rolleghem Cappelle and dense masses of wire. The attack was to be led by the 28th Brigade with the 26th Brigade in support and zero hour was 5.35am and to be supported by a creeping barrage. The 5th Cameronians were in support of the 8th Black Watch. The barrage began at 5.32am and the infantry moved off three minutes later. The 8th Black Watch encountered stiff German resistance around the area of Mogg Farm however, they overcame this and moved forward. The Cameronians, owing to a thick fog, were delayed but eventually found themselves in the front line near the village of Rolleghem Cappelle and continued their advance for a further 400 yards east of Winkel St Eloi were they joined the fighting in support of the black Watch. On their way ’A’ Company had captured four 4.2” howitzers and ‘B’ Company one 8” howitzer and ‘C’ Company six 4.2” howitzers. Around noon the Battalion went forward to take the Laaga Capelle Wood and Steenbeek village however, the Germans had brought up reserves and desperate fighting ensured. With the enemy retiring through the wood the Battalion consolidated positions with two Companies in the line and two in support.

(Linesman Map. Although a modern map it shows the area of he action which has not changed that much)

Body Exhumed

Ebenezer was originally buried at Winkel St Eloi Churchyard however, the bodies buried here were exhumed after the war and moved to Cement House Cemetery. Ebenezer's grave had a large stone at the foot of the grave and facing the head. It could not be moved as it was in a cement bed. One assumes it was left in location when his body was moved.

Medals Awarded

Military Medal, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.


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