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Robert McColgan


2437 Private

No.2 Company, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, 4th Guards Brigade, 2nd Division

Age: 28

Date of Death: 26.10.14

Buried: Menin Gate Memorial Panel 11

Family history: Husband of Mary McColgan, Drum Terrace, Bonnybridge. They had three children, one of whom was to die age 5 on 20 February 1917. Mary was to die on 5 December 1922 and the remaining two children came under the care of the NSPCC. Prior to being called up from the reserve Robert was employed as a kilnburner at the brickworks of the Bonnybridge Silica and Fire Clay Company. He was the first reservist to leave Bonnybridge.

The action leading to his death

The battalion was engaged in the First Battle of Ypres and on 26 October in an attack towards Reutel in conjunction with the assistance of the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards. Both battalions advanced to the attack at 5.30am but could not make any headway against the German machine gun fire. The position was difficult as it was the apex of a salient and the Germans could fire from three sides. By 1pm No.2 Company had taken two farm houses but were forced to retire from one of them. Battalion casualties were 1 officer killed, other ranks 9 killed and 42 wounded.

(Linesman Map. Although this is a map showing the trench lines at December 1917, the ground had not changed.)

Medals Awarded

1914 Star & Clasp, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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