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William Purslow Naysmith

Updated: Apr 1, 2023


565 Private

2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, 10th Brigade, 4th Division

Age: 25

Date of Death: 4.1.15

Buried: (Royal) Berkshire Corner Cemetery Extension III.C.22


Family history: Son of Andrew and Isabella. He was the husband of Agnes who he had married in 1913 and lived in Blackness. They had an adopted son Hugh and a daughter Beatrice. Agnes remarried 158270 Sergeant Thomas Samuel Plumb, Royal Garrison Artillery, on the 10 September 1917.


Already a regular in the Seaforth Highlanders, William landed in France on the 24 August 1914.

The action leading to his death

The Battalion was in the line at La Petite Douve at what the War Diary refers to as the ‘Douve Trenches’. The trench conditions were appalling with constant flooding and the men having to stand in water up to their knees despite constant bailing, pumping and draining of the water. The positions were also subjected to enemy artillery of all calibres heavy, medium and light guns causing damage to the trench parapets and causing several casualties. Despite this they managed to create two machine gun emplacements on the left and right flanks of their positions. The War Diary recorded that casualties on the 4 January 1915 were one man killed and one wounded.

(Linesman Map)

Medals Awarded

1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal


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