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woodie

8th Seaforth Highlanders

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Hello everyone,

I am looking for information on my great uncles battalion 8th seaforth highlanders.His service number is s/9488 and he was killed in action 17-08-1916.I am aware his battalion was part of the 15 scottish division,44 infantry brigade, but thats all the info i can get. I am interested to know what battle they might have been ingaged in when he was killed, etc.

Heres hoping.

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Hello everyone,

I am looking for information on my great uncles battalion 8th seaforth highlanders.His service number is s/9488 and he was killed in action 17-08-1916.I am aware his battalion was part of the 15 scottish division,44 infantry brigade, but thats all the info i can get. I am interested to know what battle they might have been ingaged in when he was killed, etc.

Heres hoping.

Hi. This is from " British Battalions on the Somme", Ray Westlake. " 8th(Service) Batallion 44th Brigade 15th ( Scottish ) Division. Moved forward to front line ( 17/8)- in action at switch elbow- detachment joining 7th Cameron Highlanders and driving enemy back. Relieved and to Scots Redoubt (20/8). " There were 210 casualties from 17- 20 August.

Your Gt Uncle was killed on the Somme at a time when repeated actions were driving the German army back.

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During the Somme battles, the 8th Seaforth were involved in various raids on enemy lines, and on 17-19th Aug '16 they held the captured Switch Line against heavy counter-attacks on those days. Sounds like your great-uncle may have been killed on this occasion.

Pvte S/9488 Bert Wm Woodhouse was born and enlisted at Edmonton. Soldiers Died in the Great War lists 12 casualties of the 8th Bn Seaforth on 17 Aug'16. He was indeed killed in action, and I see that he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.

Ian

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Thanks so much for the info, very helpfull. Goin to try and get his records and medals.

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According to the divisional history, the 7th Camerons were engaged in fighting off a counter attack to their advance at 0855 on that morning, which took the 'Elbow' of the elbow switch (trench).

The counter attack retook the Elbow and was only stopped through the swift actions of Captain McCrae and 2 Lt Orr ( both 7th Camerons) who formed a trench block just east of the Elbow.

'When the attack was made, the Camerons had run out of bombs and endeavoured to defend the captured trench with the only weapons at their disposal, the picks and shovels they were using to consolidate it, and which, as a last resort they threw at the advancing Germans. Luckily two plattons of the 9th Gordons were on the spot carrying up trench boards. With their assistance and that of some men of the HLI, a chain was formed, and bombs passed up to the new front line.'.....

Gallantly and well did the Camwerons hold on to their gains, and their efforts were not unavailing. At 2pm a company of the 8th Seaforths, 44th Brigade, arrived on the scene and with it and his own battalion Col Marsh (7th Camerons) proceeded to organise a further attack on the Elbow Switch. Launched about 4 o'clock, this was completely successful, the Elbow being retaken and consolidated with very little trouble. In this work a company of the 9th Black Watch, under Capt. Binnie, did most excellent work in conjunction with the Seaforths and Camerons'

Seeing this success, there was a further attack from the HLI trench, by Lt Anderson and a dozen HLI who 'joined in the struggle', with Pte McGarvie of D coy doing good work in capturing a German MG post. A block was established 120 yds east of the elbow, and consolidated.

'By 7.30pm everything was satisfactorily organised, and the captured trench securely held by a mixed party of HLI and Seaforths. During the night all was quiet. Patrols frojm the 8th Seaforths covered the whole of the new front, and found nothing unusual. Several small parties of the enemy were seen cowering in shell holes, but these invariably fled on the approach of the patrols'

In total in August 1916, the battn lost 34 KIA,191 WIA and 24 MIA amongst the ORs

Hope that gives you an idea of what was going on.

Regards

Adam

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