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Remembering 100 Years Ago

Remembered on Dull War Memorial

Archibald Forbes     267819


Private 6th (Perthshire) Battalion Black Watch


Born Aberfeldy 1885

Resided Perth


Son of Mungo and Isabella Forbes Croftnamuick Smithy Camserney


Killed in Action 10th April 1918

Remembered with Honour Loos Memorial Panel 78 to 83

The Battalion had been in Burbure barely a week before the enemy attacked the Portuguese troops then holding the sector between La Bassee Canal and Armentieres. The action began at 4.30 a.m. on April 8th and was so heavy that the Portuguese troops holding the front line were driven back in confusion. Every available man in reserve was needed and, consequently the 51st Division was once again ordered into the battle. On April 8th the Battalion moved to Robecq, and the following day to Pacaut, going into line that day on the west bank of the Lawe River with the 7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders on its right.

Action followed action in the neighbourhood of Lestrem, Paradis and Pacaut for the next forty-eight hours. The fighting was very severe, and the Battalion lost heavily. The enemy greatly outnumbered the Allies, and the nature of the country, intersected as it was by a river, marshes and small canals, made organised resistance extremely difficult. Though the men were mostly fresh and untried, and though they fought under officers whom they had only known for a few days, their conduct and steadiness were exemplary.

James Menzies   266910

Private 6th (Perthshire) Battalion Black Watch

Born Dull

Resided Glasgow.

Son of Gilbert  and Maggie Menzies Dull

Brother of Archie Menzies, also 6th Black Watch

​Killed in action 20th July 1918

Remembered with Honour La Neuville Aux Larris Military Cementry

The 6th Battalion led the attack of the 153rd Brigade. Three companies were in the front line, A on the right, C in the centre, and B on the left, D company being in support. At 6 a.m. the attack was launched. The men advanced with great dash, following the barrage, and in a few moments had disposed of a large number of the enemy. After advancing about six hundred yards, the leading platoons found that the wood became very dense, and the attack was held up for a short time by heavy machine gun fire; undeterred, however, the companies pushed on and fought their way forward with great gallantry, and by 10 a.m. the 6th had reached its objective.

Here the Battalion remained practically all day exposed to heavy machine gun and artillery fire. The 6th Seaforths, who originally had been detailed to carry on the advance, had been withdrawn elsewhere, although no information of this change ever reached the 6th Black Watch.

The fighting on the 20th was exceptionally fierce and was carried out under natural difficulties. Foot by foot the men fought their way through the thick wood and undergrowth of the Bois de Courton until they reached the open country beyond, but by that time the ranks had been greatly thinned, and the companies were reduced to groups of men still organised and undaunted. On the left the 6th were in touch with some French Colonial troops, and here Lieutenant McCorquodale with some French Senegalese troops attempted to push on into the open country beyond the wood, but were unable to do so, and eventually fell back on their former position. Shortly after this the French on the right retired and, as little was known of the situation on this flank, the position became rather precarious; the companies, therefore, were reorganised and the line withdrawn a short distance into the wood.

Throughout the whole of the 20th, enemy aeroplanes, flying low over the wood, fired at every target they could see. During the evening, the 6th Seaforth Highlanders took over the line, and the Battalion was withdrawn to a position in the wood some little way back.


Donald MacLeish    266218

Private 6th (Perthshire) Battalion Black Watch

Born 1884 in Aberfeldy


Son of the late Robert and Margaret MacLeish of Aberfeldy


Killed in Action at the Bois de Courton 27th July 1918

Buried in Marfaux British Cementry, Marne, Plot VIII, Row J, Grave 5


“At 6 a.m. on July 27th, the battalion attacked, D company on the right and A on the left, B and C being in support. By 7 a.m. the 6th had taken its objective with comparatively little opposition. The 7th Black Watch and 7th Gordon Highlanders passed through to continue the advance, the 6th then consolidated its position and remained there that night. Next day, July 28th, the Battalion continued its advance and at 4.30 p.m. attacked the village of Chambrecy, thereby entering its last and most desperate battle in this sector.”

Before relating to the events which occurred during the next two days, it may not be out of place to quote the following instruction which appeared in the 6th Battalion Orders on July 19th, before the first fighting in this area.

“All ranks will be warned that the attack will be made before the eyes of the French army, and it is expected that they will maintain the prestige of the British army.”

It may fairly be said that every man in the Battalion carried out the spirit of this order,

William Robertson    59166

Private D Company 17th (Bantam) Battalion Royal Scots


Born Dull 1900

Son of Alexander and Elisabeth Robertson, Meadow Cottage, Boltachan.

A Printers Apprentice.


Killed in Action 29th September 1918.

Buried in Zantvoorde British Cemetery, Belgium. Plot 1. Row G. Grave 24



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