9th Battalion, The Black Watch was raised at Perth on 13 September 1914 as part of Kitchener's Second New Army and joined 44th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division. More than 50% of the original volunteers came from Lanarkshire. They trained at Aldershot, Liss, Chisledon, and commenced final training at Tidworth in May 1915. They proceeded to France landing at Boulogne on 8 July 1915.


They were in action in the the Battle of Loos in 1915. In spring 1916, they were involved in the German gas attacks near Hulluch and the defence of the Kink position. They were in action during the Battles of the Somme, including the Battle of Pozieres, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette and the capture of Martinpuich, the Battle of Le Transloy and the attacks on the Butte de Warlencourt.


In 1917 they were in action in the First and Second Battle of the Scarpe, including the capture of Guemappe during the Arras Offensive. They then moved north to Flanders and were in action during the the Battle of Pilckem and the Battle of Langemark.


On 7 February 1918 they transferred to 46th Brigade still with 15th (Scottish) Division and fought in the First Battle of Bapaume. After suffering very heavy losses in the First Battle of Arras, they were reduced to a cadre and on 21 May 1918 they transferred to 118th Brigade, 39th Division. On 17 June they transferred to 16th (Irish) Division and returned to England. They absorbed the 15th Battalion and transferred to 47th Brigade, still with 16th (Irish) Division. They returned to France, landing at Boulogne on 28 July 1918 and fought in the Final Advance in Artois.


Of the thirty-two officers who appear in the photograph, twelve were killed in action or died of wounds before the end of the war. At least twelve were wounded – several on more than one occasion. Seven were decorated for gallantry.


In addition to those mentioned Major Michael William Henderson, Lieut James Hunter Cameron and Captain Cyril Stratford Tuke fell at Loos with over two hundred of their men.


With thanks to Derek J Patrick.


For more information, click the following link:


The Black Watch in Action.


The photograph was taken at Parkhouse Camp, Salisbury Plain, June 1915 and shows the original officers including those who fell at Loos on 25 September 1915.


Back Row: [L.to R.] 2nd Lieut. Octavius Leslie BEARN [KIA 23/4/1917]; 2nd Lieut. Leonard Graeme MORRISON [KIA 23/4/1917]; 2nd Lieut. R. ANDREW [Wounded 25/9/1915]; 2nd Lieut. W. J. LESLIE [Wounded 25/9/1915]; Lieut. E. R. WILSON [Wounded 25/9/1915. MC 1916]; 2nd Lieut. J. CAMPBELL [Wounded 25/9/1915]; Lieut. S. NORIE MILLER [MC and MID 1917. Wounded 9/4/1917]; 2nd Lieut. Andrew SHARP [KIA. 25/9/1915]; 2nd Lieut. W. S. MCINTYRE.


Centre Row: [L. to R.] 2nd Lieut. James MILLAR [KIA 25/9/1915]; 2nd Lieut. D. J. GLENNY [Wounded 25/9/1915]; 2nd Lieut. L. MURRAY-STEWART; Lieut. James Campbell HENDERSON-HAMILTON [KIA 25/9/1915]; 2nd Lieut. R. H. ROBERTSON; 2nd Lieut. R. STIRLING [Wounded 25/9/1915 and 8/91916]; 2nd Lieut. John Donald Gardner MILLER [DOW 15/11/1915]; Lieut. G. A. RUSK [Gassed 29/4/1916. Wounded 8/7/1916]; 2nd Lieut. A. O. DENNISTOUN [Wounded 25/9/1915]; Lieut. John CRIGHTON [KIA 25/9/1915]; Lieut. W. STORY-WILSON [Wounded 26/6/1916, 9/4/1917 and 28/3/1918. MID and Italian Silver Medal for Gallantry 1917].


Front Row: [L. to R.] Capt. John Murray BELL [KIA 25/9/1915]; Lieut. and Quartermaster W. CLARK [MC 1916. MID 1917]; Capt. J. H. STEWART-RICHARDSON; Capt. A. K. MCLEOD [Wounded 25/9/1915]; Major J. STEWART [MID 1916]; Lieut.-Col. Thomas Owen LLOYD [CMG 1916]; Lieut. and Adj. Richard Ernest HARVEY [DOW 25/9/1915]; Capt. John GILCHRIST [DOW 29/8/1915]; Capt. S. D. STEVENSON; Lieut. F. A. BEARN, RAMC [Wounded 25/9/1915 and 18/8/1916. MC 1916. DSO 1917]; Capt. Donald Hatt Noble GRAHAM [KIA 25/9/1915].


Front: 2nd Lieut. Robert William REID [DOW 17/5/1916].

 9th Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

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