Category Archives: Scots Guards

Private Peter Scott

Private Peter Scott (service number 3759) served with the 1st battalion Scots Guards. He is entitled to the Egypt Medal (no clasp)

1882 Egypt Medal no clasp

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He was born on January 15th, 1860 Old Monkland, Coatbridge, Lanark County, Scotland

On November 14th, 1876 he enlisted with the Scots Fusilier Guards in Edinburgh, Scotland. He joined the regiment on November 21st in London. He was a deserter who enlisted under the name of Andrew Falconer

Trade: Cooper              Height: 5’ 7”                Hair: Hazel

Eyes: Light brown      Religion: Presbyterian

He was imprisoned from November 10th to 20th 1880 for assaulting a police officer while drunk.

From March 1880 until July 1882, he was hospitalized eight times gonorrhoea, syphilis and herpes.  He left hospital 3 days before their departure for Egypt.

December 20th 1881, the battalion was sent to Dublin Ireland. They returned to London in March of 1882.

July 30th 1882: The 1st battalion of the Scots Guards sailed from Albert Docks in London, England on the ship Orient. The Scots Guards Regiment was part of the Guards Brigade with the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards and the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. Their commanding officer was Prince Arthur the Duke of Connaught (Queen Victoria’s 7th child).

August 12th: The battalion disembarked in Alexandria, Egypt

August 18th : From Alexandria they embarked to Ismaila. They arrived on August 22

August 24th: Guard’s brigade was held in support at Tel-El-Mikuta. They did some repair and clearing the Canal.

September 13th: Battle of Tel-el-Kebir.

He was hospitalized in Malta from September 14 until the 19th for dysentery. Since he was in Malta on September 14th, he could not have been at Tel-El-Kebir the day before for the battle explaining why he did not receive the clasp. His service file does not mention that he is entitled to it.

He came back to United Kingdom on October 14th. The regiment came back to United Kingdom on November 14th so I think he never left Malta after his hospitalization there.

He was hospitalized again in London from November 28th until December 22nd for hemorrhoids.

He was transferred to Army Reserve 2nd Military District on July 1st, 1883. He married Jane Mackenzie the next day July 2nd at St-Mary’s Church in Dundee, Scotland. He was stationed there until May 31st, 1884.

He was discharged on November 13th 1888 after completing 12 years for his short service period. His conduct was listed as “fair”.

Drummer Ernest Sheppard

Drummer Ernest Sheppard  served with the 1st battalion Scots Guards during the 1882 Egypt Campaign. he is entitled to the Egypt Medal (clasp Tel-El-Kebir) and the Khedives Star 1882.

He was born on January 15th, 1860.

On July 10th, 1874 he enlisted at the Westminster Police Court with the Scots Fusilier Guards in London. He was 14 years and 6 months old boy,. He was 4’ 9”, had grey eyes and light brown hair.

His father was Giles, mother Eliza, sister Emilia and brother Frederick George, they were living at 24 Octavo Street in London.

He was appointed Drummer on September 26th, 1880. The band was composed of 25 members, of those 13 were drummer.

Picture showing a Scots Guards Drummer in Alexandria, Egypt on AUgust 12th 1882

Alexandria August 12 1882 b

Picture of showing 2nd battalion Scots Guards band uniform in 1885

Music band 2

July 30th 1882: The 1st battalion of the Scots Guards sailed from Albert Docks in London, England on the ship Orient. He was one of thirteenth Drummer who served with the regiment in Egypt.

August 12th: The battalion disembarked in Alexandria, Egypt

August 18th: From Alexandria they embarked to Ismaila. They arrived on August 22nd

August 24th: Guard’s brigade was held in support at Tel-El-Mikuta. They did some repair and clearing the Canal.

September 12th: The Guard’s Brigade was called-up is support to Graham’s Brigade at Kassassin

September 13th (early morning): Battle of Tel-el-Kebir. The Guard’s Brigade including the Scots Guards were held in reserve, by the time the regiment reached enemy’s parapet the battle was almost over.

The Scots Guards Regiment was part of the Guards Brigade with the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards and the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. They were all under the command of His Royal Highness Prince Arthur the Duke of Connaught (Queen Victoria’s 7th child)

He came back to United Kingdom on November 14th.

Egypt Medal with clasp Tel-el-Kebir

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He was appointed Lance-Corporal on December 31st, 1884

He was promoted to the rank of Corporal on April 1st, 1885

He was discharged medically unfit due to palpitations of the heart July 8th, 1886 in Richmond Barracks in Dublin, Ireland. His conduct was listed as “exemplary”

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Private and police constable John Campbell

Private John Campbell  served with the 1st battalion Scots Guards during the Boers War and in World War One. Between those two conflicts he served as a police constable with the city of Glasgow, Scotland. He is entitled to the Queen South Africa Medal clasps Belfast, Orange Free State, Belmont, the King South Africa Medal, the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1903 Visit to Scotland Medal.

Private John Campbell medals

Campbell 4

John Campbell was born in Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland on March 9th, 1875, His father was James Campbell and his mother was Janet Hamilton.

1881 Scotland Census: He was living at 11 Castle Street in Paisley, Scotland. He had 4 sisters and 2 brothers

1891 Scotland Census: He was living at 105 Causeyside in Paisley, Scotland. He had 6 sisters and 3 brothers

He enlisted in the 1st battalion Scots Guards on December 28th, 1893. He said that he had some previous military service with the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders. He joined the regiment in London on January 3rd. He was a laborer

Height: 5’ 10’’               weight: 135 lbs.           eyes: hazel       hair: dark brown

On June 12th, 1894 he completed his certificate of education 3rd class

July 1st, 1895: He was found sleeping at his post and was confined to his room. On August 6th, he was convicted to 49 days of prison. He returned to duty on August 24th.

Boers’ War

October 16th, 1899: The 1st Battalion Scots Guards was inspected by the Prince of Wales at Chelsea Barracks

October 21st: The battalion left Chelsea barracks and entrained at Nine Elm Station. They were part of the Guards Brigade with the 1st Division. They embarked on the Nubia and arrived in Cape Town, South Africa on November 13th.

November 21st: At 4h00 the battalion started advancing toward Belmont (12 miles).

Map showing Scots Guards position before the attack on Spur Hill

Red rectangle shows the objective – Red Arrow show the path the regiment followed for the attack

Belmont map 1

November 23rd: At 2 a.m. the battalion paraded and advanced to the rendezvous point at 3:15 a.m. The battalion launched its attack on Spur Hill, near Belmont at around 4 a.m.. Near the top, confronting a fierce Boers’ opposition they fixed bayonet for last push. Private John Campbell was severely wounded at both arms and on his side in that charge. During that particular attack the Scots Guard suffered many casualties 3 officers and 51 other ranks dead, 23 officers and 220 other ranks wounded.

Drawing showing Scots Guards assault on Spur Hill

XY2-1016860 - © - Classic Vision

He was sent back to United Kingdom and transferred to the 3rd battalion on January 17th, 1900

He was sent to South Africa and transferred to the 1st battalion on May 23rd.

He received his first Good Conduct Pay on March 18th 1901

He was back in United Kingdom on August 22nd 1902. Shortly after his arrival, he was transferred to the 3rd battalion (reserve) on September 9th.

He joined the Renfrewshire police on September 8th and he was stationed in Port Glasgow.

On January 5th, 1903 he was caught drunk on duty and was absent from the station from 7:20 am until 3 pm the next day. He was fined 2 days without pay.

He was part of a detachment sent to the City of Glasgow for the Royal visit in Scotland around May 14th. He would receive his King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal 1903 in March of 1904.

The Royal Proclamation for the Royal visit in Scotland

Glasgow proclamation

November 27th: He was caught drunk on duty a second time and this time he struck Sergeant McLean. He was dismissed the next day.

He reengaged with the Scots Guards on December 25th, 1905 to complete 16 years term.

On December 31st, 1907 he married Rosina McKellar in Glasgow. She was a servant and born in 1884. He was working with the Caledonian Railway Company as a railway brakeman

He was discharge from the army on December 24th, 1909

1911 Scotland Census: He was living with his wife at 116 Barclay Street in Paisley, Scotland. They had no kid.

World War One

He re-enlisted in the Scots Guards on July 2nd 1915. At the time he was living at 17 Barclay Street in Paisley, Scotland. Together with his wife Rosina, they had no children.

He entered France on October 7th and was transferred to the 2nd battalion on October 26th.

January 1916: The battalion spent the whole month near the villages Meville, they were shelled most of the day but this was very ineffective.

September 15th: Both battalions were part of a major attack that was not a success. It lasted until the 17th. They were sent to rest of the 18th. (2nd battalion 16 killed, 125 wounded and 28 missing)

The battalion launched a second attack to gain the missed objective of Leboeuf and Gueudecourt of September 15th, they suffered even more casualties 42 killed, 200 wounded and 88 missing

January-February 1917: No major fighting during that period but just a series of skirmishes and artillery bombardment.

March: The Germans retrieved their troops from the Hinderburgh Line and they provoked a series of small attacks from the British on their lines. Both Scots Guards regiment saw some fighting during that period.

June: Second Battle of Ypres

He was on leave to United Kingdom from July 9th 1917 to the 19th. He was then absent without permission from July 21st to the 23rd. He was fined with 3 days forfeit pay.

July 22nd: Germans launched a gas attack that continued until the 26th. On the 25th, Scots Guards launched their attack to raid the German lines. 6 killed. 28 wounded and 132 gassed

July 31st. Third Battle of Ypres. The 2nd battalion launched its attack at around 6:30 am, 38 minutes after 0 hours and suffered less casualties. He was wounded to the head by a gun shot. He was later admitted that day to the 47th Casualty Clearing Station. He was transferred to the 57th General hospital in Boulogne the next day and then to another hospital in Boulogne on August 9th.

October 8th: The 2nd battalion relieved the 1st and got into their position to lead next day’s attack. They are going to be relieved on the 13th.

November 24th: The battalion was sent to the lines for the Battle of Cambrai and take Bourlon Woods. They suffered many casualties but much less than their previous engagement.

November 30th: The Germans counter-attacked and both battalions were thrown back in the battle in order to stop the Germans advance. They were taken out of the lines on December 11th and had a quiet rest of December.

On February 9th, 1918, he was transferred to the 3rd battalion (reserve) and sent to England.

On March 6th, 1919, he was transferred back the 1st battalion and was discharged in London on June 11th.

He died on January 27th, 1932. He was struck by and engine of a railway train at Wallneuck Junction. He had a fracture skull, compound fractures and multiple injuries to the body. He was a foreman with a railway company

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Private George Charles Flynn

Private George Charles Flynn  served in the 1stbattalion of the Scots Guards Regiment during the Boers’ War. He is entitled to the Queen South Africa with clasps Belfast, Orange Free State, Cape Colony. He is also entilted to the King South Africa with the clasps South Africa 1901 and 1902.

He was born in June of 1876 in Cork, United Kingdom

Trade : seaman     Religion : Roman Catholic   Hair : brown

Height : 5′ 8″    Weight : 150 lbs         Eyes : grey

He is not listed in the 1881 United Kingdom census.

June 11th, Served as escort for the guns in the Diamond Hill attack

Private George Charles Flynn enlistment papers

October 16th, 1899: The 1st Battalion Scots Guards was inspected at Chelsea Barracks

May 23rd, 1900 : He left for South Africa with the regiment

April 29th,1901 : They arrived back in Bloemfontein

May 12th: The regiment entered Kronstad

May 31st: The regiment entered Johannesburg

June 5th : The regiment entered Pretoria

June 11th : The battalion served as escort for the guns in the Diamond Hill attack

August 4th : Entered Middleburg

August 26th : Battle of Belfast

July 10th, 1902 : The battalion entered Bloemfontein for garrison duty until the end of the war

September 9th : Left Bloemfontein for Cape Town. Embarked on the Winifridian on September 13th and arrived in Southampton on October th

October 6th : They received their Queen South Africa medal from the hands of His Royal Highness

February 4th, 1903: He received the King South Africa medal

May 10th, 1910 : He left the army

Typical Boers War medals pair

Private John William Holland

Private John William Holland enlisted in the 2nd battalion of the Scots Guards Regiment. He is entitled to the India General Service Medal clasp Hazara and the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. His service number was 3060.

He was born in 1841

He started serving in the 19th Foot regiment in May of 1855 until May 1859 as a Boy in the regiment. He was 14.

May 9th, 1859 he enlisted in London as a private in the 19th Foot Regiment.

Hair : hazel         Eyes : brown      Height : 5’ 9”

He served in the East Indies from May 30th, 1859 until December 24th, 1871 (12 years and 4 months). During his posting in the East Indies he was hospitalized 14 times compare to only 4 times for the rest of his military career. Soldiers posted in station like the East Indies were much more subject to get ill because of living conditions much more difficult than in United Kingdom and also local disease.

Private John William Holland Medical records from his service file

June 10th, 1872: Deprived of two days’ pay for being absent without a leave

June 1st, 1873: he transferred to the Scots Fusiliers Guards Regiment.

September 1879: Discharged from the army. He served for 19 years and 148 days. On his Discharge paper his trade is musician so he was probably a bandsman with the regiment.

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Private John William Holland Long Service and Good Conduct Medal

Corporal John Easton

Corporal John Easton served in the 2nd battalion Scots Guards during the 1885 Egypt Campaign. He is entitled to theEgypt Medal clasp Suakin 1885

he was born October of 1849 in Glasgow, Scotland

Religion : Presbyterian          Trade : blacksmith     Height : 5′ 11″

Eyes : grey                   Hair: dark brown        Weight : 138 lbs

November 20th, 1869: He enlisted in the Scots Fusiliers Guards in Glasgow, Scotland.

Between March 17th, 1871 and August 11th 1874 he was imprisoned 11 times for the same motive; absence without a leave

September 30th, 1873: Hospitalized in Dublin for syphilis and again on September 1st, 1876 for the same disease but this time in London.

September 28th, 1879: Married to Alice Mattews

October 9th: Re-engaged to complete his 21 years

July 28th, 1882: Appointed Lance-Corporal and back to the rank of Private on January 24th, 1883.

July 6th: Hospitalized in Windsor for ulcer

July 27th, 1884: He was appointed Lance-Corporal a second time and he was appointed Corporal on July 25th.

February 21st, 1885: The battalion paraded at Wellington Barracks before embarking for Egypt

Suakin 3

March 9th: Posted to an outpost position near Suakin (nightly harassment)

May 8th: The battalion received their Khaki clothing (first time in the regiment)

May 16th: The battalion embarked for Alexandria

July 8th: They eft Egypt for Cyprus where they arrived on July 11th and were back home on September 11th

November 20th, 1888: Promoted to Lance-Sergeant

May 1st, 1889: He was promoted Sergeant

October 12th, 1891: He was permitted to continue in service beyond 21 years

He was discharged on June 22nd, 1892. He had served for 22 years and 215 days

September 22nd, 1927: He was still claiming a pension and it was revised for the last time on that day.

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Private John Neilson

Private John Neilson served with the 2nd battalion Scots Guards in Egypt in 1885. He is entitled to the Egypt Medal 1885 clasp Suakin and the Khedive’s Star.

He was born in 1864 in Cockpen, Midlothian, United Kingdom

He enlisted on June 4th 1883 in Edinburgh, Scotland in the Scots Guards

Height: 5’ 8”       Weight: 129 lbs.               Hair : Brown

Eyes: Hazel         Religion: Presbyterian

September 1st, 1884: he was appointed Lance-Corporal

February 21st, 1885: He paraded at Wellington Barracks before embarking for Egypt

March 9th : The regiment was posted to an outpost position near Suakin, They were harassed by the enemy during the night.

May 8th : He received his Khaki clothing. it was the first time the regiment used that color before that their tunic was the well-known scarlet red.

May 16th : The 2nd battalion Scots Guards regiment embarked for Alexandria

July 8th : He left Egypt for Cyprus where they arrived on July 11th. They stayed there until September 10th

September 11th : Back home. He was stationed in Dublin upon his arrival

November 10th: He was promoted Corporal

September 1886: He was stationed in London

February 3rd, 1887: Judge by a District Court Martial and reduced to the rank of Private for striking a soldier

October 10th, 1888: He was hospitalized for 193 days due to syphilis

May 30th, 1890: He was appointed Lance-Corporal

June 3rd, 1895: He left the army completing his 12 years for Short Service

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Private John Neilson’s medals (Obverse and reverse)

On the picture you clearly see that he wore his medals many times because of the damage done to the Egypt Medal(left) by the Khedive’s Star(right). This is the unfortunate result of the impact of the strong bronze made Star on the smoother silver made Egypt medal.

Private Lawson Crichton

Private Lawson Crichton served in the 1885 Egypt campaign at Suakin with 2nd battalion Scots Guards. He is entitled to the 1882 Egypt medal (clasp Suakin 1885) and the Khedive’s Star 1884-86. His enlistment number was 5361.

He was born October of 1861 in Glasgow, Scotland

1861 United Kingdom Census: Listed as living at 4 Dunlop Street in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire

Father : William Crichton     Mother : Agnes Crichton

He had one sister

1871 United Kingdom Census: Listed as living at 6 Robertson Place in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire

He had on sister and two brothers

1881 United Kingdom Census: Listed as living at 41 Robertson Place in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire

Trade : Coal miner

March 19th, 1883: Enlisted in the Scots Fusiliers Guards in Glasgow, Scotland.

Religion: Presbyterian        Trade : Engine man

Height: 5′ 10″     Weight : 163 lbs.      Eyes : blue      Hair: brown

August 1883: Hospitalized for gonorrhoea

April 1885: Hospitalized

February 21st, 1885: Paraded at Wellington Barracks before embarking for Egypt

March 9th: Posted to an outpost position near Suakin (nightly harassment)

May 8th: Received their Khaki clothing (first time in the regiment)

May 16th: Battalion embarked for Alexandria

July 8th: Left Egypt for Cyprus where they arrived on July 11th. They stayed there until September 10th

September 11th: Back home

October 1887: Hospitalized for gonorrhoea

1901 United Kingdom Census: Listed as living at 65 Canal St in Paisley, Renfrewshire

Trade: Cloth Finisher. He is married and have four children

Wife: Mary           Daughter : Mary, Agnes and Jane           Son : William

Served at home with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from March 31st, 1915 until March 24th, 1916 (not entitled to medals). His number was 4820

His WW1 Medal Index Card showing service only in United Kingdom

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Color Sergeant William Frederick George Glegg

Color Sergeant William Frederick George Glegg served in the 2nd battalion Scots Guards during the Boers War and with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment after 1906 and during WW1 . He is entitled to the Queen South Africa Medal (clasps Witterbergen, Transvaal and Cape Colony), the King South Africa Medal (clasps South Africa 1901 and 1902) and the Army Long service and Good Conduct Medal. His enlistment number was 9868.

Born on April 1868 in Renfrew, England

Trade : solicitor      Religion : Presbyterian   Hair : auburn

Height : 5’10”          Weight : 142 lbs          Eyes : brown

1871 UK Census Listed as a scholar living with his parents in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire

1881 UK Census : Listed as a scholar living with his parents in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire

October 13th 1892 : Enlisted for short service in London, United Kingdom in the 2nd battalion Scots Guards

July 20th, 1893 : Appointed Lance-Corporal

November 1st, 1895 : Promoted Corporal

August 31st, 1896 : Appointed Lance-Sergeant

November 25th, 1897 : Promoted Sergeant

June 7th, 1899 : Married to Edith Bellitta Saunders (their address was 10 Robert road)

March 15th, 1900 : Embarked on the Britannic in Southampton, arrived at Port Elizabeth, South Africa on April 8th.

May 29th : The 2nd battalion covered the retreat of the Grenadiers Guards at Biddulphsberg

June 3rd : Arrived at Ticksburg and stayed there for a few days

August 5th : Reached Harrismith and stayed there until august 28th. For the next 6 weeks they did a lot of marching covering 492 miles by October 19 and back to Harrismith by October 30th :

November 20th : Left Harrismith to escort a convoy. Back on December 1st. Stayed there until mid-April 1902.

July 35th, 1902 : Assembled at Volksrust and left to Durban by train on September 11th. Because of a derailment they were delayed by a day and embarked on board Michigan on September 27th

October 27th: Arrived in Southampton, England and missed the Guard’s parade

October 28th : He received his Queen South Africa Medal

January 24th, 1903 : He received the King South Africa medal

King South Africa medals roll

January 12th, 1906 : Posted with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

April 20th, 1908 : Promoted to the rank of Colour-sergeant

January 1st 1911 : Recommended for his Long Service and Good conduct medal. UK Census taken in Preston : Listed as a Colour Sergeant and with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

William Frederick George Glegg 1911 census

October 12th, 1913 : Discharged at Preston

April 7th, 1915 : Enlisted for service at home with Loyal North Lancashire Regiment the rank of colour sergeant no 20566.

June 2nd, 1918 : Promoted Warrant officer class II

March 13th, 1919 : Transferred in the Army of Occupation. He is not entitled to the British War medal meaning that he did not serve in France before November 11th, 1918. As a member of the Army of occupation, he was probably sent to France and Germany.

December 18th : Demobilized

April 24th 1924 : Died in Preston, Lancashire, England

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Private James Smith

Private James Smith (service number 5736) served in the 2nd battalion Scots Fusiliers Guards from 1856 to 1876. He did not served in any armed conflict or military campaign. He is entitled only to the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Born in April of 1834 in Glasgow , Scotland

Height : 5’ 8”             Hair : Dark brown

Eyes : Hazel              Trade : printer

April 4th, 1856: Enlisted in the 2nd Battalion Scots Fusiliers Guards

September 1858 : The 2nd battalion was stationed for a year in Dublin, Ireland

December 21st, 1861: Due to the Trent Affair (Fenians) in Canada, England decided to reinforce her military presence in Canada. The 2nd battalion Scots Fusiliers Guards left for Canada on the SS Parana (December 19th according to the official history of the regiment). They arrived in Sydney Harbour, Nova Scotia on January 6th. They then sailed to Halifax and then St-John New-Brunswick where they disembarked on January 19th.

On February 9th, they then took a sleigh ride from St-John to Rivière-du-loup, Quebec where they entrained and went to Montreal.

Drawing of the sleigh ride to Rivière-du-loup from the book The Scots Guards 1642-1914

They arrived in Montreal on February 11th and were billeted at Victoria’s Barrack.

October 10th, 1864: Him and the battalion were back in United Kingdom. He served abroad for almost 3 years.

Picture of Victoria’s Barrack in Montreal, Canada (1866)

April 4th, 1865: He reengaged for a period of 11 years.

May 23rd, 1876: He took his discharge from the Army. He served with the Scots Guards between the two major conflicts of the period (Crimea – Egypt 1882).

August 15th : He received his Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. He is not entitled to any other medal.

Typical uniform for British soldiers in Canada 1865

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Private William Williams

Private William Williams served in the 1st battalion Scots Guards during the 1882 Egyptian campaign at the battle of Tel-El-Kebir. He is entitled to the Egypt medal clasp Tel-El-Kebir and the Khedive’s Star. His enlistment number was 3717.

Private William Williams served in Egypt with Private James Stuart, you can read his story here.

Born August of 1859 in Cheltenham, Gloucester, England

Religion : Church of England Trade : servant Eyes : grey

Height : 5′ 7″ Hair: brown Weight : 138 lbs.

October 14th, 1876 : Enlisted in the Scots Fusiliers Guards in London. He tried to enlist in the Scots Fusiliers Guards in Gloucester on October 9th but he was turned back.

Served at home from October 9th 1876 until July 29th 1882

From his medical service record he was hospitalized in London in 1877, in Aldershott in 1878 and in Dublin in 1880.

July 30th : Sailed from Albert Docks in London, England on the ship Orient

Drawing showing the departure of the Orient (probably from the Illustrated London News)

August 12th : Disembarked in Alexandria, Egypt

The 1st battalion Scots Guards at Alexandria August 12th, 1882

August 18th : From Alexandria embarked to Ismaila. Arrived on August 22nd

August 24th : Guard’s Brigade were held in support at Tel-el-Mikuta. Started repairing railway and clearing the Canal.

September 12th : Guard’s brigade called-up as support to Graham’s brigade at Kassassin

September 13(early morning) : Battle of Tel-El-Kebir. Guard’s Brigade including the Scots Guards were held in reserve. By the time the regiment reached enemy’s parapet the battle was almost over.

Pictures of the Tel-El-Kebir battlefield – taken after the battle

1st battalion Scots Guards was part of the Guards Brigade with the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards, 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards. They were all under the command of His Royal Highness Prince Arthur the Duke of Connaught (Queen Victoria’s 7th child). The official history does not mention why the Guards Brigade were held in reserve but some historians are murmuring that Prince Arthur was invited by Garnet Wolseley, the commander-in-chief of the British Forces in Egypt, to participate in that campaign, only because of his political contacts he could bring him. It is also believe that the limited tactician hability of the Prince prevented him to be sent to the front lines.

I guess General Wolseley figured out it would have been a bad career move having to explain to Queen Victoria why one of her son had been killed in Egypt so he kept him in the Reserve Line.

Returned from Egypt on November 15th 1882 and continued to served at Home until October 9th 1888 completing his 12 years service period.

Typical Scots Guards uniform for the Egyptian Campaign of 1882

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Egypt Medal with the clasp Tel-El-Kebir

Private James Hopkinson M.M.

Private James Hopkinson MM served in the 2nd battalion Scots Guards during WW1. He is entitled to the Military medal, the 1914 Star, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the Defence Medal. His enlistment number is 8385.

August 31st, 1912: He enlisted in the 2nd battalion Scots Guards

From July to September 1914: The battalion was stationed at the London Tower in London.

October 4th: The battalion left Lyndhurst Camp and marched to South Hampton. They embarked on the HS Lake Michigan and SS Sistern. They sailed to Dover Harbour on the 5th. They spent the day of the 6th waiting in the harbour and sailed to Belgium on that day at 7 pm. They arrived in Zeebrudge at 6 am on the 7th. They were part of the 20th Infantry Brigade with 1st Grenadier Guards, 2nd Border Regiment and 2nd Gordon Highlanders

Scots Guards leaving the London Tower

SG leaving London Tower

October 9th: They reached the town of Antwerp where they could hear the sound of artillery.

October 15th: First day of the first Battle of Ypres

October 17th: They were put on the Front Line and they launched their first attack the next day. To this would follow a series of fierce and heavy fighting and engagement with the Germans.

October 25th: From the book The Scots Guard in the Great War 1914-1918 “Lord Dalrymple and his C.S.M. counted over 120 shells bursts within 100 yards round them in two minutes” The next, when mustered, there 12 officers and 460 men left in the battalion.

By the end of the month the battalion had lost almost half of its strength that it had when arriving in Belgium at the beginning of the month. They had lost 391 men and only 472 were left to fight.

October 29th: There was an attack at night and battalion was sent to far, they were fired by other British troops upon during their retreat because of the night and the rain. They were withdrawn with extreme difficulties and that night only 150 men were mustered. Some men rejoined the battalion the next day.

October 30th: The fighting had continued and by that day there was only 200 men left in a battalion of a strength of 1002 men 4 weeks before. They continued fighting with depleted forces until November 11th when they received their first reinforcing draft.

December 18th: They launched an attack with a bayonet charge in the German trench; they lost almost 50 % of their men during that attack. He was wounded in action (Gunshot wound to the thigh). He was admitted to hospital on December 21st. He was transferred to the 3rd battalion (Reserve Battalion) on December 21st and discharge from hospital on December 26th.

April 1st, 1915: Transferred to the 2nd battalion (Active Service) and back in the field.

May 8th: Hospitalized at the 14th Stationary Hospital in Wimereux for measles. He was transferred to the 18th East general hospital in Cambridge, UK on May 17th. August 17th: Discharged from hospital.

May 17th: He transferred to the 3rd battalion and to the 2nd battalion on August 17th

August 5th: The battalion left the 20th Brigade to join the newly formed Guards Brigade. It became operational around mid-September.

September 25th: The first day of the Battle of Loos. They marched into the town of Loos around 2:00 pm and were relieved the next day. They suffered less casualties than the 1st battalion, 129 casualties.

October 8th: Their trench section were attacked by the Germans and they were sent to support the Grenadiers Guards which were facing a superior enemy in numbers

October 15th: In the days before the battalion was preparing a gas attack. Germans launched a gas attack at 4 am on the 15th. Scots Guards launched their counter-attack at 5 am, the battle would last 3 days and they suffered 102 casualties for that period.

January 1916: The battalion spent the whole month near the villages Meville, they were shelled most of the day but this was very ineffective.

September 15th: Both battalions were part of a major attack that was not a success. It lasted until the 17th. They were sent to rest of the 18th. 2nd battalion 16 killed, 125 wounded and 28 missing

The battalion launched a second attack to gain the missed objective of Leboeuf and Gueudecourt of September 15th, they suffered even more casualties 42 killed, 200 wounded and 88 missing

January-February 1917: No major fighting during that period but just a series of skirmishes and artillery bombardment.

March: The Germans retrieved their troops from the Hinderburgh Line and they provoked a series of small attacks from the British on their lines. Both Scots Guards regiment saw some fighting during that period.

June: Second Battle of Ypres. July 22nd: Germans launched a gas attack that continued until the 26th. On the 25th, Scots Guards launched their attack to raid the German lines. 6 killed. 28 wounded and 132 gassed

July 31st: Third Battle of Ypres The 2nd battalion launched its attack 38 minutes after 0 hours and suffered less casualties.

October 8th: The 2nd battalion relieved the 1st and got into their position to lead next day’s attack. They are going to be relieved on the 13th.

November 24th: The battalion was sent to the lines for the Battle of Cambrai and take Bourlon Woods. They suffered many casualties but much less than their previous engagement.

November 30th: The Germans counter-attacked and both battalions were thrown back in the battle in order to stop the Germans advance. They were taken out of the lines on December 11th and had a quiet rest of December.

January 3rd, 1918: Wounded (gas) and admitted to the 3rd Field Ambulance. He rejoined on January 24th.

End of March: Start of the German spring offensive. From March 21st up to April 15th, the battalion got 34 killed, 149 wounded and 5 missing

End of April-May: no major attack occurred during that period but the casualties for that period were 9 killed, 67 wounded and 2 missing.

End of June: Battalion received American reinforcement and they were to be trained to gain some combat experience.

August 21st: They were relieved from the line on that day but were called back 2 days later, the 23rd. They were then thrown into the battle relieved on the 25th. For those 2 days they suffered 16 killed and 94 wounded.

August 23th: They were stationed near St-Léger and the battle of the last 100 days of the war started. The battle lasted two days.

September 3rd: They took the trench near Vraucourt the day before and they launched their attack at 5:20 am on the morning of the 3rd. They came within 1000 yards of crossing the canal du Nord.

September 26th: Battle of Cambrai. Both battalions had been practising the crossing of the channel while in reserve at rear in the days before. At 7:10 am on the 24th, the 1st battalion launched its attack, the 2nd followed at 9:05 am. They reached their with o total casualties of 3 killed, 12 wounded and 1 missing.

October 10th: Battle of the Canal du Nord, at 5:00 am they launched their attack and they advanced 4 miles during that day for very minimal loss. The push continued on the 11th and was halted that evening. At 2 pm on the 12th, the Germans had withdrawn the regiment then proceeded forward until the evening of the 13th. They suffered 15 killed and 59 wounded for those 3 days.

Mid-December: They entered Germany as the Army of Occupation. They were stationed in Sulz from December 22nd to January 1st.

January 1st 1919: They arrived in Cologne

February 1st: They were back in Sulz. They left Cologne on March 6th and embarked on a motorized convoy, they reached Wimbledon United, Kingdom on March 10th.

February 11th: He was awarded Military Medal (London Gazette) and received the medal on March 18th.

Private James Hopkinson WW1 Medals Index Card

He received his 1914 Star on February 28th and his WW1 pair May 11th

March 23rd: He transferred to the Regular Army on demobilization

May 7th, 1921: Mobilized and attached to the 1st battalion

August 31st, 1924: He reengaged for four years

August 4th, 1927: He married Lettie Lodge in Leeds

August 30th, 1928: He was discharged from the army

He served for three years in United Kingdom between 1939 and 1945, probably with the Veterans Guards

He died in 1975 (April-May-June)

If you know more information on this gentleman, please leave me message so I can add it to his small biography.

Private John Grierson Kerr

Private John Grierson Kerr served in the Scots Guards during WW1. He is entitled to the 1914 Star with clasp, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His enlistment number is 4723. He is also entitled to the Silver War badge.

Born on October 23rd 1879 in Liverpool, England

Trade : Clerk      Religion : Presbyterian        Eyes : Hazel

Height : 6 ‘0”      Weight : 151 lbs.                 Hair : Sandy

December 19th, 1902: He enlisted in Liverpool, England in the 2nd battalion Scots Guards

November 25th, 1905: He was imprisoned by the Commanding Officer. He returned to duty on December 3rd.

December 19th: Transferred to the 3rd battalion Reserve

May 22nd, 1914: He married Catherine Mary Simpson

August 4th: The regiment received the order to mobilize. August 9th: The Brigade route march

Private John G Kerr Medals Index Card WW1

August 13th: The battalion entrained in the morning. They embarked on the SS Dunegan Castle and sailed to France at noon.

August 14th: They arrived in Le Havre, France at 1 pm, disembarked and marched 6 miles to Honfleur Camp.

August 15th: They left Camp Honfleur at 9pm to Le Havre Station and entrained at 4 am on the 16th in route to Le Nouvion.

August 17th: They marched in direction to Boué where the 1st Guards Brigade was assembling with the 1st Coldstream Guards, 1st Black Watch and the 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers.

August 23rd: They arrived in Belgium and it is on that day that they’ve heard the first sign of war, an artillery barrage. They were sent to the trenches on the 24th, expecting an attack.

August 26-27th: For the first time for the war, the battalion was put on the Front Line. Their actual first contact came on the 27th when they were shelled by artillery on that day.

September 6th: Baptism of fire for the battalion, they came under enemy fire but they had to retire

October 21st: The battalion was in trench near Poperinghe and they were attacked by the Germans. They were involved in heavy fighting until the 24th. They made 250 Germans prisoner on the 23rd and endured a German artillery attack on the 24th.

October 31st: First day of the First battle of Ypres.

November 8th: Heavy shelling, followed by a German infantry attack that broke the British line. The German remained in the trench just right of the Scots Guards.

November 11th: According to the regimental diary, they came under a terrific artillery barrage that started at 6:30 am and lasted for 3 hours followed by a German infantry attack. Many men of the regiment did not escape the German attack.

Scots Guards were pulled out of the line on November 17th and rested until December 20th. The battalion casualties for that period alone were 114 killed, 158 wounded and 435 missing. From The Scots Guards in the Great War page 44 “The German bombardment was terrific, Lord Darymple and his CSM counted over 120 shells bursts within 100 yards round them in two minutes” 

January 10th, 1915: The British bombarded the Germans with such intensity that according to the battalion diary, the ground seemed alive with shelves.

January 13th: They were pulled out of the Front Line after 4 months of fierce and intense fighting with little rest between the battles.

January 25th: They heaviest engagement since their return to the Front Line. The Germans bombarded their trenches for 30 minutes and then detonated 2 mines under them, many casualties.

By March the heavy fighting is less considerable and you see in the battalion log book that they do have more rest behind the Front Line. Although there are still some heavy engagements, the number of encounters is less than what they saw for the first five months of the war.

March 2nd: Returned to England and transferred to the 3rd battalion.

May 10th: He deserted until June 5th and was convicted to 42 days for absence without a leave on June 18th.

May 25th: He arrived back to France

November 16th: He returned to England

December 18th: He was discharged after serving for 13 years

I am not sure what happenned to him but it was a very uncommon practice to discharge someone without physical wounds so early in the war. Considering that he died at the age of 54 in a mental institution, I think he was a case of severe “shell shocked” or as we call it today, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

July 30th, 1934 : Died at the Rainhill Mental Institution

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John Grierson Kerr cause of death 1934

Private Frank Ritchie

Private Frank Ritchie served in the Scots Guards during WW1. He is entitled to the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was killed in action on June 16th, 1916. His enlistment number was 10247.

Born in Brechin, Forfarshire, United Kingdom in June of 1887

Trade : Male nurse       Religion : Presbyterian      Height : 5’10”

Weight : 175 lbs.            Hair : Black             Eyes : Grey

September 9th 1912 : Enlisted in Fofar, Scotland in the 1st battalion Scots Guards.

September 9th, 1914 : Transferred from the Reserve list

February 24th, 1915 : Landed in France with the 1st battalion

March 17th : Hospitalized at the 3rd Field Ambulance. Transferred to the 13th General Hospital in Boulogne on March 30th. Transferred to Chatham Hospital on April 1st and discharged on April 23rd.

May 5th : Married to Wilhemina Malcom. She was living at 96 High Street, Stonehaven.

August 17th : Embarked in Southampton. Arrived at Guards Base Depot on August 28th.

November 9th : Hospitalized for influenza at the 22nd Casualty Clearing Station.

June 16th, 1916 : Killed in action on that day. The War Diary of the 1st battalion Scots Guards reveals that, on that day, the battalion was attacked by German artillery with shrapnel and high explosive, 15 Guardsmen were also killed on that day.

He is remembered at Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium (panel 11). This sadly means that his body was never recovered or they were not able to properly identify him.

October 24th, 1920 : His widow received his 1914-15 Star. She received his WW1 pair on March 19th, 1921. A Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll were also sent to her sometime after that date.

If you know more information on this gentleman, please leave me message so I can add it to his small biography.

Private Frank Ritchie WW1 Medals Index Card

Menin Gate Memorial

Private Joseph George Leonard Warren

Private Joseph George Leonard Warren served with the Scots Guards before and during WW1. He is entitled to the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal and the Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

1901 United Kingdom census: aged 14, living with his family and a tailor assistant. He was the eldest child of the family.

August 22nd, 1904: He enlisted in London in the 3rd bn Scots Guards

January 12th, 1906: He was promoted to the rank of Lance-corporal

July 2nd: He was granted the Good Conduct Badge

October 1st: He was transferred to the 2nd battalion.

1911 United Kingdom census taken in Paddington South list him as single and a servant with the Scots Guards. (Batman for an officer)

October 4th, 1914: He was transferred to the 3rd bn.

January 1st 1915: They assembled at 11:30 pm, they were deployed in 4 lines at 3 am on the 2nd and launched their attack. This was the first of a series of attack that lasted until January 25th, when they were pulled out of the front line. During that period they suffered 331 killed, 123 wounded and 241 missing for a total of 395 casualties.

January 10th: The British bombarded the Germans with such intensity that according to the battalion diary, the ground seemed alive with shelves.

January 13th: They were pulled out of the Front Line after 4 months of fierce and intense fighting with little rest between the battles.

January 25th: They heaviest engagement since their return to the Front Line. The Germans bombarded their trenches for 30 minutes and then detonated 2 mines, many casualties.

By March the heavy fighting is less considerable and you see in the battalion log book that they do have more rest behind the Front Line. Although there are still some heavy engagements, the number of encounters is less than what they saw for the first five months of the war.

April 2nd: Transferred to the 2nd battalion and entered theatre of war in France the next day.

May 10-19th: The Battle of Festubert. The battalion was not put into the front line until the 15th when they launched an attack around 3:15 am that day. By the end of the day of the 17, they had suffered a total of 401 casualties. The battalion was pulled of the line on the 18th.

June 7th: He was admitted at the 3rd Stationary hospital in Rouen for influenza. He was discharged on June 9th.

August 5th: The battalion left the 20th Brigade to join the newly formed Guards Brigade. It became operational around mid-September.

August 18th: He joined Headquarters Guards Division

September 25th: The first day of the Battle of Loos. They marched into the town of Loos around 3:40 pm on September 27th. They launched an attack and would be relieved three days later on the 30th. They suffered a total of 469 casualties during that short period.

October 8th: Their trench section were attacked by the Germans and they were sent to support the Grenadiers Guards which were facing a superior enemy in numbers

October 15th: In the days before the battalion was preparing a gas attack. Germans launched a gas attack at 4 am on the 15th. Scots Guards launched their counter-attack at 5 am, the battle would last 3 days and they suffered 102 casualties for that period.

December 24th: Some members of the battalion fraternized with the enemy during the night.

January 1916: The battalion spent the whole month in between the villages of Laventie and Meville, they were shelled most of the day but this was very ineffective.

Spring: It was a calmer period in comparison to what they had seen before, on March 30th the battalion was heavily shelled and they suffered 99 casualties on that day alone.

End of March-April: During that period they were in Ypres. It was one month of very active German artillery bombardment; they were relieved on April 24th. The shelling continued in May and June

June 30th: They were relieved from the trenches by the Grenadier Guards.

July 1st: First day of the Battle of the Somme

July 3rd: Relieved from the trenches by the Grenadier Guards. The month of July was a month of intense German bombardment.

September 15th: Both battalions were part of a major attack that was not a success. It lasted until the 17th. They were sent to rest of the 18th. 2nd battalion 16 killed, 125 wounded and 28 missing

The battalion launched a second attack to gain the missed objective of Leboeuf and Gueudecourt of September 15th, they suffered even more casualties 42 killed, 200 wounded and 88 missing

January-February 1917: No major fighting during that period but just a series of skirmishes and artillery bombardment.

March: The Germans retrieved their troops from the Hinderburgh Line and they provoked a series of small attacks from the British on their lines. Both Scots Guards regiment saw some fighting during that period.

April 24th: He married Grace Barnes

June: Second Battle of Ypres. July 22nd: Germans launched a gas attack that lasted until the 26th. On the 25th, Scots Guards launched their attack to raid the German lines. 6 killed. 28 wounded and 132 gassed

July 31st: Third Battle of Ypres The 2nd battalion launched its attack 38 minutes after 0 hours and suffered less casualties.

October 8th: The 2nd battalion relieved the 1st and got into their position to lead next day’s attack. They are going to be relieved on the 13th.

November 24th: The battalion was sent to the lines for the Battle of Cambrai and take Bourlon Woods. They suffered many casualties but much less than their previous engagement.

November 30th: The Germans counter-attacked and both battalions were thrown back in the battle in order to stop the Germans advance. They were taken out of the lines on December 11th and had a quiet rest of December.

December 6th, 1918: He transferred to the 3rd battalion.

February 19th, 1919: He transferred to the 1st battalion.

March 6th: He was transferred to the 2nd battalion.

May 4th: He was demobilized and posted with the 3rd battalion on May 5th. He re-enlisted in Wimbledon to serve in the 2nd bn. Scots Guards and served until August 4th, 1923.

May 21st, 1925: He was awarded his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (with gratuity) AO 187/25

July 19th: He was discharged on that date and he started receiving his pension the next day. He only served at home in the Post-war period. He is described as a most excellent man in every way, clean, honest and intelligent. He was the servant to CO for many years.

From 1931 to 1953: Listed as living in City of London and Westminster with his wife Grace

He was part of the London Branch Scots Guards Association from 1952 to 1956

He died in 1974 (April-May-June)

If you know more information on this gentleman, please leave me message so I can add it to his small biography

Private Joseph George Leonard Warren WW1 Medals Index Card