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  cap badgePrivate James McAulay

12th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry
Service No: 8476

James McAulay grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of John and Mary Owens McAulay. James' older brother Private John McAulay (8473) of the 12th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry lived, worked, enlisted and fell with his brother. They both resided with Mr Andrew Brannen at 17 Coatbank St. Both fell at the Battle of Loos. James 1 day after his older brother. John is NOT LISTED on the Memorial. From the 1891 Census - Address - 13 Burnbank Crescent, Coatbridge - John McAuley aged 41, Mary McAuley aged 40, John McAuley aged 18, James McAuley aged 16. From the 1901 Census - Address - 31j2 Ellis St, Coatbridge - John McAulay aged 51, Mary McAulay aged 50, James McAulay aged 26. James' and his brother John's Pensions were claimed by Mr Brannen but were refused.

Born / Resided

Coatbridge / 17 Coatbank St, Coatbridge

Died

Killed in Action on the 26/09/1915 on the 2nd day of the Battle of Loos

Enlisted

Coatbridge 1914

Employed

Puddler in the Phoenix Iron Works

Age

40 / DOB - 05/01/1875

Buried / Remembered

Lens Eastern Communal Cemetery (16),Pas de Calais, France.

Cemetery / Memorial Information

Lens was very severely damaged in the war, particularly in the summer of 1917, and it has now been largely rebuilt. The Communal Cemetery was used and extended by German troops. There are now nearly nearly 30, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, a small number are unidentified. All died in September, 1915, and October, 1916.

Additional Information

The Battalion arrived at Boulogne on the 10/07/1915 and were part of the 46th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division. James arrived in France on the 28/07/1915. James (and his NOT LISTED brother John) were Killed at the Battle of Loos which claimed so many Coatbridge men. 87 men from the Coatbridge Memorial fell during and from injuries from the Battle of Loos : 25th of September – 15th of October 1915 : The first genuinely large scale British offensive action but once again only in a supporting role to a larger French attack in the Third Battle of Artois. British appeals that the ground over which they were being called upon to advance was wholly unsuitable were rejected. The battle is historically noteworthy for the first British use of poison gas. On the opening day (morning) : In the centre the 15th (Scottish) Division : In this sector the gas cloud hung back, causing delays and some losses to the advancing troops. Although the infantry had only 200 yards to cross from the heads of the Russian saps, the gas and smoke only covered them for the first 40 yards – and as men emerged into the clear, two German machine-guns swept twice across the advancing line, causing many casualties. The afternoon and evening : 15th (Scottish) Division was in some difficulty, despite having succeeded in capturing Loos itself. Men were helplessly pinned down on the forward slope of Hill 70, and the artillery support that had been called for since 10.50am was only just beginning to happen. The enemy made a determined attempt – having reinforced this area – to envelop the troops lying out in the open and to force them towards the second German line. Scottish Regiments lost a huge amount of brave men at Loos. Here is a list of Infantry Battalions who lost more than 500 men at the Battle of Loos from 25/09/1915 to 16/10/1915 - 7th Cameron Highlanders 687, of which 19 Officers, 9th Black Watch 680, of which 20 Officers, 6th King’s Own Scottish Borderers 650, of which 20 Officers, 10th Highland Light Infantry 648, of which 20 Officers, 7th King’s Own Scottish Borderers 631, of which 20 Officers, 8th Devons 619, of which 19 Officers, 8th Royal West Kents 580, of which 24 Officers, 8th Buffs 558, of which 24 Officers, 12TH HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY 553, OF WHICH 23 OFFICERS, 8th Black Watch 511, of which 19 Officers, 5th North Staffordshire 505, of which 20 Officers, 8th Seaforth Highlanders 502, of which 23 Officers. There are just 3 digits difference with their Service Numbers. James' Grave has the surname as McAULEY as does the Coatbridge Memorial and the CWGC. Also see the brothers Service Medal and Award Rolls and James' Army Register of Soldiers Effects (McAULAY). See Newspaper clipping for a letter to Mr Brannen from the Captain of the No 2 District Record Office in Hamilton. James' Grave photo donated by Mick McCann at britishwargraves.co.uk. He is also remembered on the St Patrick's Church Roll of Honour (see photos). See photos for James' Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clippings x 2, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 3 (brother John listed on 2), his Headstone Report, Lens Eastern Communal Cemetery (James' Grave is the first one in the photo), James' CWGC Grave Registration x 2, James' and his brother John's Pension Records x 2 and the Highland Light Infantry Cap Badge. Finally I've added John's CWGC Grave Registration, his Headstone Report and his Medal Index Card.

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