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James Moodie

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

33984 Private

15th Battalion, Royal Scots, 101st Infantry Brigade, 34th Division

Age: N/K

Date of Death: Killed in Action on 22 October 1917

Buried: Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 11 to 14

Family history: He was the husband of Mary Moodie of 6 Forth Street, Falkirk. They had a child of five years of age. Before enlisting in April 1916 he was employed at the Grangemouth Soap Works. Wounded at Arras in April 1917, he returned to the front on 15 October 1917.

The action that lead to his death

On the 21 October 1917, the divisional front was from Aden House to Gravel Farm, approximately 1000 yards. The 16th Royal Scots were on the left, next to the 23rd Manchesters of the 35th Division. The 15th Royal Scots were next to them, each with two companies in front, and two companies in support. Both battalions suffered many casualties on their way up, and during the day and night previous to the attack. On the right of 15th Royal Scots, a company of the 20th Northumberland Fusiliers held about 350 yards to Bower House.

The two battalions of the Royal Scots had a bad day. Major C Anderson, Second-in-Command, from whose account follows:

‘Our positions were simply a line of shell holes full of water. The conditions were past speaking about, mud and filth up to the neck.. The attack commenced at 5.35am, and we advanced on a two company front, ‘A’ on the right, ‘B’ on the left, ‘C’ in support, and ‘D’ in reserve. The enemy put down a heavy barrage.'

The War Diary has this entry of an incident at 6am, Major Anderson thinks the officer was 2nd Lt. Simpson who was killed later in the day:

‘The left company reached a point near their objective, which was a line of pill-boxes, which appeared to be deserted but was occupied by enemy machine gunners, who had an easy target of our men floundering in the mud, and only a very few of the company came back, fourteen in all, and no officers. The whole affair was a disaster as far as we were concerned; communication was broken between HQ and the companies, and between companies themselves.' The War Diary records:

The casualties of the battalion are recorded as 7 Officers and 228 other ranks.

Medals Awarded

British War Medal, Victory Medal

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