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  cap badgePrivate Hugh Henderson

1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry
Service No: 8042

Hugh Henderson grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of William and Margaret Quinn Henderson. Brother of William Henderson. Hugh's Pension Record states his wife died on the 14/05/1906. His Pension was awarded to Guardian Mrs Elizabeth Cunningham of 78 Dundyvan Rd, Coatbridge on the 14/07/1915. His daughter Margaret born 26/12/1904 is also listed. Also stated on the Pension Record is Hugh used William (his father and brothers name) as an alias.

Born / Resided

Strabane, Co.Tyrone / 78 Dundyvan Rd, Coatbridge.

Died

Killed in Action on the 21/12/1914 at the defence of Givenchy

Enlisted

Hamilton 1914

Employed

Tube Worker in the Imperial Tube Works.

Age

37 / DOB - 27/04/1877

Buried / Remembered

Le Touret Memorial (Panel 37 and 38), Pas de Calais, France.

Cemetery / Memorial Information

The Le Touret Memorial commemorates over 13,400 British soldiers who were killed in this sector of the Western Front from the beginning of October 1914 to the eve of the Battle of Loos in late September 1915 and who have no known grave. Almost all of the men commemorated on the Memorial served with regular or territorial regiments from across the United Kingdom and were killed in actions that took place along a section of the front line that stretched from Estaires in the north to Grenay in the south. This part of the Western Front was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the first year of the war, including the battles of La Bassée (10 October – 2 November 1914), Neuve Chapelle (10 – 12 March 1915), Aubers Ridge (9 – 10 May 1915), and Festubert (15 – 25 May 1915). Soldiers serving with Indian and Canadian units who were killed in this sector in 1914 and 1915 whose remains were never identified are commemorated on the Neuve Chapelle and Vimy memorials, while those who fell during the northern pincer attack at the Battle of Aubers Ridge are commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.

Additional Information

Hugh and he Battalion were in Ambala, India in August 1914 and were part of the Sirhind Brigade, 3rd (Lahore) Division. They moved to France via Egypt, landing at Marseilles on the 02/12/1914 (some weeks after the other Brigades of the Division). The defence of Givenchy 20th - 21st December 1914 : The epicentre of the bombardment was the front held by the Sirhind Brigade, on which on this occasion the German had an extra ace to play. The Brigade was of course still in the process of recovering and reorganising after the fighting of the previous day, and as such its front line was being held by a very mixed set of units. A Company of the 1st Highland Light Infantry, two double Companies of the 1/4th Ghurkas and two machine gun teams from the 125th Rifles held the line. On their left came another Company of the 1st Highland Light Infantry and two double Companies of the 1/1st Ghurkas. Parts of the 1st Highland Light Infantry, 1/1st Ghurkas and 125th Rifles were not far behind, in local reserve on the Festubert road. Givenchy would acquire a terrible reputation as being a place for that most feared of trench fighting technique, and the explosion under the brigade’s trenches was the harbinger of many horrors yet to come. The timing of the explosions had been set in order to give the German engineers daylight in which to test the electrical circuits and to make any improvements needed before the switches were thrown. The Sirhind Brigade had been caught out by the very thing that all British units had been warned to look out for : the Germans digging saps out from their front line towards the British. From the sapheads closest to the brigade’s parapets, just three metres away, German engineers had tunnelled below and quietly laid the charges .It was not until later than an assessment could be made of the exact effect of the German mines, but it was immediately evident that it had been very grave. On the brigade’s right front, one of the of the double companies of the 1/4th Ghurkas were simply erased, apparently without survivors. The greater part of half a company of the 1st Highland Light Infantry suffered the same fate. Hugh was 1 of 174 of his Battalion killed during the failed attempt to dislodge the Germans at Givenchy in December 1914 just 4 days before the 1st Christmas of the War and just 19 days after Hugh arrived in France. Hugh is listed as 4TH BATTALION on the Memorial. He is also remembered on the St Patrick's Church, St Augustine's Parish (book) and Stewarts and Lloyds Rolls of Honour (see photos). See photos for Hugh's name on the Le Touret Memorial, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Ireland Catholic Parish Register, his Ireland Casualties of WW1, Hugh's name in the De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, Hughs Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his CWGC Grave Registration, his name on the Le Touret Memorial Panel List, the Highland Light Infantry Cap Badge, Hugh's Pension Records x 2 and his Attestation Papers from the 24/04/1908 x 4.

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