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  cap badgePrivate Robert McFarlane

12th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry
Service No: 17963

Robert  McFarlane grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of James and Catherine McDonald McFarlane of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. Brother of Mrs Ellen Plunkett of 160 Garngadhill, Townhead, Glasgow. Robert's brother Private Bernard McFarlane of the 2nd Battalion Cameronians Died of Wounds on the 16/03/1915. From the 1891 Census - Address - 69 Bank St, Coatbridge - James McFarlane aged 38, Catherine McFarlane aged 38, James McFarlane aged 19, Catherine McFarlane aged 15, Elizabeth McFarlane aged 13, Bernard McFarlane aged 9, Edward McFarlane aged 5, Robert McFarlane aged 3, Ellen Jane McFarlane aged 1. From the 1901 Census - Address - 79p Bank St, Coatbridge - James McFarlane aged 49, Catherine McFarlane aged 49, Edward McFarlane aged 15, Robert McFarlane aged 13, Ellen McFarlane aged 11, Agnes McFarlane aged 9, Maggie McFarlane aged 5, boarder John Saunders aged 33.

Born / Resided

Wishaw / 15 Buchanan St, Coatbridge

Died

Killed in Action on the 25/09/1915 on the opening day of the Battle of Loos

Enlisted

Coatbridge

Employed

Tube Worker in the British Tube Works

Age

27 / DOB - 16/10/1887

Buried / Remembered

Loos Memorial (Panel 108 to 112), Pas de Calais, France

Cemetery / Memorial Information

The Loos Memorial commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay, from the first day of the Battle of Loos to the end of the war. On either side of the cemetery is a wall 15 feet high, to which are fixed tablets on which are carved the names of those commemorated. At the back are four small circular courts, open to the sky, in which the lines of tablets are continued, and between these courts are three semicircular walls or apses, two of which carry tablets, while on the centre apse is erected the Cross of Sacrifice.

Additional Information

Robert and the Battalion arrived at Boulogne on the 10/07/1915 and were part of the 46th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division. Robert was Killed in Action on the opening day of the Battle of Loos where many other Coatbridge Memorial men paid the ultimate sacrifice on that 1st day. 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. 87 men from the Coatbridge Memorial fell during and from injuries from the Battle of Loos. See Directory for Robert's elder brother Bernard's page. Also remembered on the Stewarts and Lloyds Roll of Honour (see photos) and in the St Augustine's Parish (book) Roll of Honour. See photos for Robert's Medal Index Card, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his CWGC Grave Registration, his name on the Loos Memorial Panel List, his name on the Loos Memorial and the Highland Light Infantry Cap Badge.

Photos
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