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Ross Dalgetty


49920 Private

12th Battalion, Royal Scots, 27th Infantry Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division

Age: 19

Date of Death: 19.4.18

Buried: Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 11 to 14

Family history: Second son of Thomas and Margaret Swanston Dalgetty, nee Thomson, Roslyn, Burnhead Road, Larbert. He had an older brother, two younger brothers and five sisters. He was employed as a clerk with James Jones & Sons sawmillers.

Derby Scheme - On his attestation form Ross is categorised as a ‘Group B’ man. Men who attested under the Derby Scheme, who were accepted for service and chose to defer it were classified as being in “Class A”. Those who agreed to immediate service were “Class B”.

(Section of Army Form B.2512 Short Service Attestation for Ross Dalgetty)

The “Class A” men were paid a day’s army pay for the day they attested; were given a grey armlet with a red crown as a sign that they had so volunteered; were officially transferred into Section B Army Reserve; were given a completed Army Form W.3914 with their own details and group number; and were sent back to their homes and jobs until they were called up.

On 9 June 1916, the Secretary of the War Office announced that, “From midnight last night, no man can attest and join a group unless either he was born in 1898 and is not yet 18 years of age, or unless he was rejected on medical grounds subsequent to 15 August 1915. For lads born in 1898, voluntary attestation will remain possible up to the day before their 18th birthday. After that, they cannot attest and join their group. For those who were medically rejected subsequent to 15 August 1915, voluntary attestation into the groups will remain possible until 31 August 1916”. On 6 September 1916 a start was made in posting notices announcing the formation of a new “Group B”. This was to be open for voluntary attestation of those born in 1899, with the assurance that they would not be called for service until they reached 18.

He attested on the 19 January 1917 and was mobilised on 10 February and was posted to the 29th Territorial Reserve Battalion for his initial training. On 30 June 1917, he was transferred to the 53rd Territorial Reserve Battalion and then on 9 July 1917 to the 201st Territorial Reserve battalion awaiting his transfer to a Base Camp in France. On reaching France he was transferred to the 12th Battalion, Royal Scots on 23 February 1918 and joined them in the field on 3 March 1918.

The action leading to his death

The German spring offensive of 1918 had them possession of Wytschaete, Wulverghem, Neuve Eglise, Bailleul, and Meteren, had also brought them close to the Kemmel Ridge, the retention of which was vital to the British being able to hold Ypres and Poperinghe. The 9th (Scottish) Division were in a pronounced salient and holding the Vierstraat line with another about 800 yards behind it known as ‘The Cheapside line’. They had been split into three sectors with the 27th Brigade, which included the 12th Royal Scots, on the right, 146th Brigade in the centre, and the 26th Brigade on the left. Each sector was held by one battalion, deployed in depth and in between the two lines, two companies of each battalion being earmarked as garrison, and the remaining two being at the disposal of brigade commanders for counter-attack. On the right the 12th Royal Scots held the line with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers in close support and the 11th Royal Scots in reserve. Thirteen Lewis Gun detachments of the 5th Battalion (Tank Brigade) were in supporting positions on Vandamme Hill.

(Linesman Map showing trench positions as at 13 May 1918)

The Battalion War Diary records that:

During the week of the 18 to 26 April, no serious attack developed however, the troops were subjected to incessant and sever shelling and the casualties amongst the troops in and behind the Vierstraat line were heavy. In the notification of his death in the Falkirk Herald mention is made of a letter from Ross’s company commander who wrote: ‘He was in a bad part of the line. He and twelve others were instantaneously killed by a shell.’

Medals Awarded

British War Medal, Victory Medal

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