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William Younger

25731 Pte

40th Company, Machine Gun Corps (infantry)

Age: 35

Date of death: Killed in action 13th April 1918

Buried: Ploegsteert Memorial, Panel 11

Family history: He was living as a lodger with Alexander and Margaret Myles and their two children at Waggon Road, Polmont. Before enlisting he was employed as a miner at Craigend Colliery. His brother Thomas and wife Jane lived at Mossgreen Place, Kelty, Fife. he listed them as his next of kin.

He originally joined the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders but transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.

A word of warning - the CWGC registers are sometimes incorrect with regard to MGC companies vs battalions. I would suggest there is a good possibility that there is a mistake in this instance (considering the date of death), and it may well be 40th Machine Gun Battalion of the 40th Division. The 40th Division was involved in the Battle of the Lys.

One other thing, 40th MG Battalion was made up of the former 119, 120, 121 and 244 Machine Gun Companies between late February and March 1918.

On the 13th April 1918, the BEF was engaged in the Battle of the Lys or what the Germans termed Operation Georgette. the battlefield stretched some thirty seven kilometres from La Bassee Canal northwards past Armentieres and to the very gates of Ypres. It was during this battle that Field Marshal Haig issued his famous backs to the wall order of the day. British and Commonwealth casualties totalled some 82,000 dead, wounded and missing. The Ploegsteert Memorial lists the missing, not just from the Ypres Salient, but also from the fighting before Armentieres, where it is likely that William Younger was killed.

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