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Thread: Alexander Will - 13th (Scottish Horse Battalion) of the Black Watch

  1. #1

    Alexander Will - 13th (Scottish Horse Battalion) of the Black Watch

    Hello,

    I am trying to find out information about Alexander Will who served with the 13th (Scottish Horse Battalion) of the Black Watch in WWI. The information that I have was that he was wounded on 4th November, 1918 - a week before Armistice. After he was demobilised he volunteered to join the Royal irish Constabulary and sadly became the first Black and Tan to be killed on 11th July 1920 while defending the Rathmore barracks at County Kerry.

    My husband and I have a war and social history museum on the south coast of Western Australia. We have the Reward of Merit Royal Irish Constabulary Medal awarded to Alexander Will posthumously. Our museum is called Recollections of War and we aim to tell the stories of the people behind the items we display.

    If anyone here could tell me more about Alexander's service with the Black Watch to add to his story, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Many thanks,
    Kathryn.

  2. #2
    Administrator Chalky's Avatar
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    I can't find any individual records on Alexander but what I do have is the History of the 13th.

    This gives you an idea of the commitment and sacrifice of the men of the short lived 13th Battalion.

    Please click on the link below which will take you to information.

    13th Bn Scottish Horse

  3. #3

    Thank you

    Many thanks for that information Chalky. I assume from reading the relevant chapter that Alexander was most likely wounded in the Battle of the Sambre which I shall now research.

    Thanks again,
    Kathryn.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ronmarsden's Avatar
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    Kathryn,
    War diaries for the 13th Royal Highlanders ISBN 9781474527941 Naval & Military Press 15.
    Ron.

  5. #5
    Administrator Chalky's Avatar
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    Hi Kathryn and welcome to the Forum which I should have said in my first post to you.

    We have a member on the forum who resides in Ireland and has just written a book about the soldiers from Armagh that died in WW1.

    He may have the contacts to find out a bit more about Alexander in the RIC (RUC now).

    There is a lot of information on the web about the Battle, but no I can't locate any specifics to the actions of the 13th Scottish Horse, however, purely out of interest, the two YouTube videos below give you an idea of what it was like on the morning of the 4th November 1918.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkjZsTBMar4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAX4EqL_CbU

    The Long, Long Trail site:

    https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/batt...ce-in-picardy/

    I will keep looking.

  6. #6

    Another title

    Many thanks. I have just located a second recently published book which may have some relevant details too:

    ISBN 978-178623-367-7

    "So once more it was bundle and go!" by James Scott Anderson.

    Hopefully between the two of them I will get a feel for what members of the Battalion were doing at the time Alexander was in service.

    Thanks again,
    Kathryn.

  7. #7
    Thanks again Chalky. The Youtube videos were both most interesting and both have links with our museum and/or Australia.

    We have a very small framed portrait of Wilfred Owen in the museum that was given by Wilfred to the grandfather of the girl I bought it from. The story goes that her grandmother was a fan of Wilfred's poetry so when her grandfather met Wilfred and explained this, he sent her the little portrait. I knew that he had been killed a week before the Armistice but until watching that, hadn't realised it was in the same battle that Alexander Will was present - another link. To then hear that the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company took part in the same action was also news to me.

    How sad seeing the number of graves in the Sambre cemetery and realising how close those men came to surviving the war.

    Wilfred Owen portrait.jpg

  8. #8
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    Try this man, he is a researcher at the National Archives and is Scottish Horse expert and has a considerable database on the history email him at paulbaillie@tiscali.co.uk

  9. #9
    Many thanks for the contact details, nemesis. Will follow up.

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