Alexander William Lawrie likeness

  cap badgeLance Corporal Alexander William Lawrie

9th (Service) Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
Service No: S/4768

Alexander William Lawrie grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of William Morton Lawrie (22/07/1859-21/03/1928) and Agnes Alexander Lawrie ( /04/1861-1927) of 107 Alexander St, Coatbridge. His father William was an engine fitter and his mother was English born in Liverpool. Alexander was the youngest of 3 brothers, all of whom fell. He also had 4 sisters, one of whom Jeannie (Jane) was a teacher in Coatdyke School. His brothers were Signalman John Lawrie of the Royal Naval Reserve who drowned on the 24/11/1916 and the eldest Private William Lawrie of the 11th (Service) Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who Died of Wounds on the 12/10/1916. From 1901 Census - Address - 30 Alexander St, Coatbridge - William Lawrie aged 40, Agnes Lawrie aged 39, Jane Lawrie aged 9 (03/10/1891-1983), William Lawrie aged 7, John Lawrie aged 5, Alexander Lawrie aged 3, Mary Lawrie aged 1 (03/09/1899-1988).

Born / Resided

Coatbridge / 107 Alexander St, Coatbridge

Died

Killed in Action on the 31/07/1917 at Frezenburg on the opening day of the Battle of Pilkem (part of the 3rd Battles of Ypres, Passchendaele)

Enlisted

Coatbridge 03/09/1914

Employed

Clerk in the Clyde Tube Works

Age

20

Buried / Remembered

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 37), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Cemetery / Memorial Information

The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, often referred to simply as the Menin Gate, bears the names of more than 54,000 soldiers who died before 16 August 1917 and have no known grave. Between October 1914 and September 1918 hundreds of thousands of servicemen of the British Empire marched through the town of Ypres's Menin Gate on their way to the battlefields. The memorial now stands as a reminder of those who died who have no known grave and is perhaps one of the most well-known war memorials in the world. It commemorates casualties from the forces of Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and United Kingdom who died in the Salient. In the case of United Kingdom casualties, only those prior 16 August 1917 (with some exceptions). United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. New Zealand casualties that died prior to 16 August 1917 are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery and Messines Ridge British Cemetery.

Additional Information

All 3 brothers died within 9 months of each other. See Directory for Alexander's brothers John and William's pages. Also see Pension Records for all 3 brothers whose Pensions were awarded to their mother Agnes. Alexander enlisted on the 03/09/1914 and arrived in France on the 14/07/1915. The Battalion arrived at Boulogne on the 08/07/1915 and were part of the 44th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division. Alexander was posted missing at Frezenburg 17 days after arriving. This was the opening day of the Battle of Pilkem, 31st July – 2nd August 1917. This was the opening day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), 31st July – 10th November 1917 : The British finally got what they had wanted since 1914 : the opportunity to attack at Ypres and breakout of the confines of the salient of trenches around it. Often known as the 3rd Battle of Ypres or Passchendaele, the offensive began with encouraging gains but terrible summer weather soon bogged it down. By August the offensive was clearly failing in its objectives and had descended into attritional fighting. New techniques by both sides led to agonisingly slow forward movement for the British, at enormous cost in casualties to both sides. Bad weather in October led to the battlefield becoming an impossible quagmire. An Officer described Alexander as "a god-fearing lad and a good soldier". The Battalion casualties from the 29/07/1917 to the 04/08/1917 - 1 Officer killed and 26 other ranks killed, 11 Officers wounded and 207 other ranks wounded, 22 other ranks missing. A total of 267 (see photos for each Battalion of the Division's losses). The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates casualties from the forces of Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and United Kingdom who died in the Salient. In the case of United Kingdom casualties, only those prior 16 August 1917 (with some exceptions). United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the Memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. New Zealand casualties that died prior to 16 August 1917 are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery and Messines Ridge British Cemetery. The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial now bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. Alexander is also remembered on the Coatbridge Technical College, Coatbridge High School, Coats Parish Church and the Stewarts and Lloyds Rolls of Honour (Clyde Tube Works) and at the Family Plot in Old Monkland Cemetery x 2 (see photos). See photos for Alexander's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clippings x 2, his name on the Menin Gate Memorial x 2, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his CWGC Grave Registration, his name on the Menin Gate Memorial Panel List, the Black Watch Cap Badge and Alexander's Pension Records x 3 (all 3 Lawrie brothers listed).

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