Alexander Mitchell likeness

  cap badgePrivate Alexander Mitchell

12th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry
Service No: 1895

Alexander Mitchell grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of John and Margaret Mitchell of 6e Douglas St, Coatbridge. Husband of Agnes Mitchell (07/05/1895- ) of 162h Main St, Coatbridge. Father of Agnes born 17/10/1914. Alexander's younger brother Private Joseph Mitchell of the 10th/11th Highland Light Infantry was in hospital wounded at the time of his death. He died of his wounds on the 03/11/1916 just over 2 months after Alexander fell. From the 1901 Census - Address - 280 Hilltown, Dundee - John Mitchell aged 29, Maggie Campbell Mitchell aged 28, William John C Mitchell aged 8, Alexander Mitchell aged 6, Joseph Mitchell aged 3. Alexander's Pension was awarded to his wife Agnes on the 06/03/1917. Daughter Agnes also listed.

Born / Resided

Dundee / 162h Main St, Coatbridge

Died

Killed in Action on the 28/08/1916 at the Battle of Pozieres (part of the Battles of the Somme)

Enlisted

Coatbridge 10/11/1914

Employed

Clyde Tube Works

Age

21

Buried / Remembered

Bazentin-le-Petit Communal Cemetery Extension (J. 1), France

Cemetery / Memorial Information

Bazentin was in German hands until 14 July 1916 when the 3rd and 7th Divisions captured the two villages (and the communal cemetery) and held them against counter-attacks, and the 21st Division captured Bazentin-le-Petit Wood. The ground was lost in April 1918 during the great German advance but recaptured on the following 25 August by the 38th (Welsh) Division. The COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION was begun immediately after the capture of the village and used until December 1916 as a front-line cemetery. It was enlarged after the Armistice when 50 graves were brought in from the battlefields of Bazentin and Contalmaison. It contains 185 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 53 of the burials are unidentified and 59 (mainly of the 1st Northamptons) destroyed by shell fire are now represented by special memorials. One British soldier was reburied in this cemetery from Sailly-Laurette German Cemetery.

Additional Information

The Battalion arrived at Boulogne on the 10/07/1915 and were part of the 46th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division. Alexander arrived at Boulogne with the 11th Battalion on the 13/05/1915. He fell at the The Battle of Pozieres, 23rd July – 3rd September 1916 : Pozieres was a small, straggling village on the main Albert-Bapaume road. It is situated on high ground that gives the occupier observation southwards along the road towards Ovillers, La Boisselle, Albert and beyond; to the east across to High Wood, Delville Wood and beyond; and westwards to Thiepval. Possession of Pozieres was key to making possible any further advances towards Bapaume, the capture of the Thiepval ridge and the breaking of resistance at High and Delville Woods. The Battle for Pozieres and nearby Mouquet Farm became an epic in its own right, with tenacious German defence keeping determined British-Australian attack at bay for several weeks. This was the first large-scale Australian battle in France and proved to be its costliest in terms of total casualties. This Battle was part of the The Battles of the Somme, 1st July – 18th November 1916 : A Franco-British offensive that was undertaken after Allied strategic conferences in late 1915, but which changed its nature due to the German attack against the French in the epic Battle of Verdun, which lasted from late February to November. Huge British losses on the first day and a series of fiercely-contested steps that became attritional in nature. For all armies on the Western Front it was becoming what the Germans would call “materialschlacht”: a war not of morale, will or even manpower, but of sheer industrial material might. The 15th September 1916 saw the first-ever use of tanks in the step known as the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. The British army in France is now approaching its maximum strength in numbers but is still developing in terms of tactics, technology, command and control. See Directory for Alexander's younger brother Joseph's page. Alexander is also remembered on the Stewarts and Lloyds Roll of Honour and on the Dundee Roll of Honour with his brother. For some reason Alexander and his brother were NOT on the original Roll of Honour but are listed here - https://www.greatwardundee.com/roll-of-honour/search/a-z/?alpha=m#results .See photos for Alexander's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clipping, his CWGC Grave Registration x 2, his Headstone Report, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, another photo of Alexander's grave, Bazentin-le-Petit Communal Cemetery Extension, Alexander's Pension Records x 2 and the Highland Light Infantry Cap Badge.

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