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Robert Rae

3/6875 Private

2nd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 19th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Division

Age: 19

Date of Death: 21.10.14

Buried: (Royal) Berkshire Corner Memorial Panel 9 and 10

Family history: He was one of four sons and four daughters of Adam and Christina Rae, 111 Main Street, Bainsford. Prior to joining the Army as a regular on 14 January 1914, he was employed as a moulder at Mungal Foundry.

His brother L/Cpl Alexander Rae, 2nd Battalion Argyll’s, was killed in action on 31 December 1915 and is buried at Cambrin Churchyard Extension, Grave E.10. Another brother, Adam, who also belonged to the same Battalion was seriously wounded in 1916. A fourth brother Driver John Rae was serving with the Army Service Corps in Surrey.

The action leading to his death

The 19th Infantry Brigade was engaged in heavy fighting with advancing German troops around Le Maisnil which lay to the south of the Salient around Fromelles. During the fighting the Battalion had 5 Officers and 200 Other Ranks killed, wounded and missing. Roberts body was subsequently lost and he listed as one of the missing.

(2nd Battalion Argyll's War Diary Map)

(Linesman Map. Modern map showing the area of the fighting in 1914)

His brother Adam, serving in the same Battalion as Robert, wrote to his parents: ‘I am very sorry to break the news about Robert. He was killed on the 21 October, being shot through the heart, as I was told by the Sergeant-Major. He was reported killed by the men who lay next to him, but you will get it through the War Office. It will be a very hard blow to you, but duty is duty.’ He seems to hold out some hope to his parent; ‘It is just possible that he might have been captured by the Germans, but one of the officers also reported him killed.’ He concluded his letter: ‘May God spare us all and give us a safe return.’ Adam was to be seriously wounded in 1916.

Medals Awarded

1914 Star with Clasp, British Medal, Victory Medal

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