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James Baird

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

10826 Private

1st Battalion, Royal Scots, 81st Brigade, 27th Division

Age: 23

Date of Death: Killed in Action 11.5.15

Buried: Menin Gate Panel 11

Family history: Son of John and Janet Taylor Baird of 112 Gairdoch Street, Carron, He had a brother George and a sister Margaret. He enlisted in the regular army joining the Royal Scots at Glencorse Barracks on 14 December 1910 aged 18 years, two months and before this was employed as a moulder. During his service he qualified as a Signaller.

His half-brother 2624 Private Robert W Shields, 7th Argyll’s was killed in action on 26 April 1915 and is buried in Seaforth Cemetery, Cheddar Villa, Grave A.6.

The action leading to his death

The Battalion had landed in England, travelling from India, in October 1914 and on 19 December embarked for France. From 16 April 1915 they were in the line near Inverness Copse and the War Diary recorded that they remained in the trenches until 4 May. On the 2 May they received orders to fall back to Hooge taking up positions 200 yard east of Hooge in the grounds of Hooge Chateau. They were relieved by the 2nd Camerons on 4 May and went into camp near Vlamertinghe. Here they refitted, rested and took the opportunity to have a bath. The War Diary recording:

On the 8 May the Battalion moved to Zouave Wood at Hooge and on the 9 May were ordered back to the GHQ line coming under heavy shell fire from the Germans who, as the War Diary recorded ‘..had the range of this line to a nicety’ The Battalion then went forward to Zouave Wood and relieved the 2nd Gloucesters at Sanctuary Wood.

(Linesman Map showing trench positions at Zouave and Sanctuary Woods)

On the 10 May enemy shell fire and gas caused the left of the line to break and seeing the Germans about to occupy the position ‘B’ Company was rushed into position and the Germans fled in disorder. Battalion casualties for action on 10 May were two men killed and thirteen wounded with one subsequently dying of their wounds. On the 11 May the trenches were heavily shelled but nothing of significance happened nor were there any casualties. So, it can be assumed that James subsequently died of his wounds on 11 May.

Medals Awarded

1914-15 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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