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Frederick James Milne

S/17025 L/Cpl

8th/10th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, 44th Infantry Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division.

Age: 23

Date of Death: 31.7.17

Buried: Menin Gate Memorial Panel 38

Family history: Son of George and Mary Milne, 8 Gibsongray Street, Bankside. He was one of three sons. Prior to enlisting in June 1915, he was employed as a patternmaker at the Falkirk Foundry. His Medal Index Card shows that he was initially recruited to the Royal Army Medical Corps but later transferred to the Gordon Highlanders in January 1917.

The 10th Battalion Gordon Highlanders left Parkhouse Camp, Salisbury on 8 July 1915 and entrained for Folkestone were they embarked on the SS Victoria landing in France on 9 July at Boulogne The 10th battalion began their trench induction on 20 July 1915, attached to the 7th London Regiment. They joined the 15th (Scottish) Division on August 1, 1915. The 10th Gordons were part of 44th Infantry Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division, a K2 division. The 8/10th was an amalgamated battalion of the 8th Battalion, 26th Brigade, 9th Scottish Division and the 10th Battalion of the 44th Infantry Brigade. This amalgamation took place from May 1916 and the battalion became numbered 8/10th Gordons, 44th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division.

The action leading to his death

On 31 July 1917, the 8th/10th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, were located at Gully Farm before the Frezenberg Ridge in the Ypres Salient. They were the leading battalion with the right flank on the Ypres-Roulers railway and attacked on a frontage of 350 yards with two companies, each with two platoons in line and two in support.

(War Diary 8th/10th Gordons showing objectives for day one on 31 July. Blue, Black and Green line)

The third company moved in a similar formation in rear of the two foremost. The fourth company brought up the rear in artillery formation, and with it moved two machine guns and a Stokes mortar. A company of tanks was allotted to the 44th and 46th Brigades, which had the task of capturing the first and second objectives. On the front of the 8/10th Gordons the second was just over a mile from the start-line. It ran across what was called the Frezenberg Ridge, actually only a few feet above the plain. The morning was overcast, so that it was still dark. Apart from the usual machine-gun fire, there was hand to hand fighting short of the first objective.

(Linesman Map)

Amid the stumps of a copse known as Wilde Wood the fighting was very sharp. The first objective was secured at 4.25am and the same experience was repeated in the advance to the second objective. The Gordons met a number of machine gun posts protected by concrete ‘pill-boxes’ By 5.55am the second objective was secured.

Sometime during the advance to the first and second objectives Frederick was killed in action. His burial place was lost in the subsequent fighting.

Medals Awarded

British Medal, Victory Medal

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