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William Robb Wallace

Updated: Apr 1, 2023


40428 Private

‘B’ Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Scots, 8th Brigade, 3rd Division

Age: 20

Date of Death: 12.4.18

Buried: (Royal) Berkshire Corner Cemetery Extension Panel 1


Family history: Son of Henry and Catherine Wallace, 13 South Street, Bo’ness. He had a brother, David, and four sisters, Catherine, Marion, Janet and Isabella. He was unmarried and prior to enlisting was employed as an apprentice iron moulder by A. Ballantine and Sons, New Grange Foundry, Bo’ness.


He enlisted in in December 1914, in the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots and was assigned to ‘B’ Company. He went to France in 1916 and in early 1917 was slightly wounded at the Battle of Arras.

The action leading to his death

This action took place well outside the confines of the Ypres Salient. However, the missing are commemorated on the (Royal) Berkshire Corner Cemetery Extension.

The 2nd Royal Scots became involved in what was to be termed the Battle of the Lys or as the Germans called their offensive Operation Georgette. On the 12 April the Battalion, as part of 8th Brigade, were ordered to relieve 154 Brigade along a line that ran from Lawe south of Locon and up to La Tombe Willot. By 6am the Battalion was in position and by 10am the Germans were laying down a sustained and heavy artillery barrage that paralysed the whole area from Locon to Hinges. At 1.15pm the Officer commanding the 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, on the Battalions left, reported that the enemy had broken through at the north end of Locon, and that the right Company of the Royal Scots Fusiliers had been surrounded and cut off. Similarly two companies of the 2nd Battalion Royal Scots had been cut off and annihilated. By 1.45pm both Battalions had become fragmented with a few men trying to fight their way out of Locon. The remnants of the Battalion gradually withdrew to the area of Avelette Bridge.


Casualties for the 12 April were Officers, 1 killed and 8 wounded and missing. Other Ranks, 14 killed, 107 wounded and 247 missing.

(Linesman Map. This is a modern map showing the area of the action.)


Medals

The British War Medal, Victory Medal

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