Donald McIntosh likeness

Donald McIntosh cap badgePrivate Donald McIntosh

2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Service No: 3/6844

Donald McIntosh grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of William and Margaret of 17b Coatbank St, Coatbridge. Donald's brother Private Thomas McIntosh of the 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders was Killed in Action on the 11/04/1917. From the 1901 Census - Address - Bogside Row, Coatbridge - William McIntosh aged 47, Margaret W McIntosh aged 58, Janet McIntosh aged 14, Thomas McIntosh aged 11, Catherine McIntosh aged 9, Donald McIntosh aged 7, William McIntosh aged 5, James McIntosh aged 1. Donald's Pension was awarded to his father and mother.

Born / Resided

Govan / 17b Coatbank St, Coatbridge

Died

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

Enlisted

Glasgow 03/12/1913

Employed

Labourer in the Rivet and Bolt Works, Airdrie / Reservist

Age

21

Buried / Remembered

Cambrin Churchyard Extension Cemetery (G. 4), Pas de Calais, France

Cemetery / Memorial Information

At one time, the village of Cambrin housed brigade headquarters but until the end of the First World War, it was only about 800 metres from the front line trenches. The village contains two cemeteries used for Commonwealth burials; the churchyard extension, taken over from French troops in May 1915, and the Military Cemetery "behind the Mayor's House." The churchyard extension was used for front line burials until February 1917 when it was closed, but there are three graves of 1918 in the back rows. The extension is remarkable for the very large numbers of graves grouped by battalion, the most striking being the 79 graves of the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and 15 of the 1st Cameronians (Row C), the 35 of the 2nd Royal Welch Fusiliers and 115 of the 1st Middlesex (Row H), all dating from 25 September 1915, the first day of the Battle of Loos. Cambrin Churchyard Extension contains 1,211 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 8 being unidentified. There are also 98 French, 3 German and 1 Belgian burials here.

Additional Information

The Battalion arrived at Boulogne as Lines of Communication troops on the 14/08/1914. On the 12/10/1914 they transferred with the 19th Brigade to the 6th Division. On the 31/05/1915 they transferred with Brigade to the 27th Division. On the 19/08/1915 they transferred with Brigade to the 2nd Division. Donald arrived in France on the 11/11/1914. Donald was yet another of the many men from the Memorial to pay the ultimate sacrifice on the opening day of the Battle of Loos. He was 1 of 99 men from the Coatbridge Memorial who fell during and from injuries from the Battle of Loos. The Battalion had 330 casualties at the Battle. SEE PHOTOS x 7 FOR THE BATTALION WAR DIARY ON THE 25/09/1915. The Battle - 6.00am : A diversionary attack north of the La Bassee canal at Givenchy was launched by elements of 2nd Division. At first, the advancing battalions moved easily past well-cut wire and into the German front trench – which they found evacuated. Approaching the second line they were assailed by machine-gun fire and forced to take cover. Shortly after, they were counter-attacked and were among the first units this day to discover that German grenades were much more effective than British ones when it came to close-quarter fighting. Later that day the leftmost 2nd Division attack along both banks of the La Bassee canal met with no success at all, at a very heavy cost in casualties. Its role was to create a protective flank to enable the 9th Division on the right to move forward unimpeded by fire or counterattack from the canal area. On the front of 19th Brigade, South of the canal, two large mines were blown by 173rd Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers ten minutes before zero, which had the effect of putting the enemy on full alert. Here too the gas blew back into the trenches, and men fell. As the infantry advanced, they were forced to bunch together to avoid the craters and were mown down by concentrated machine-gun fire as they did so. The enemy were seen to stand on their parapets in order to take advantage of such an easy target. By 9.00am it was clear that no progress was going to be made, and Brigade gave orders to withdraw to the original front lines. Men of the 1st Middlesex Battalion could not from no man’s land and took whatever cover the could until dark. Some men of the 2nd Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Battalion occupied an empty German trench, but only 11 returned at night, the rest having been killed or captured. The Battle from the 25th September – 15th October 1915 was 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. 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. The 2nd Battalion had 330 casualties at Loos. See Directory for Donald's brother Thomas' page. Grave photo donated by Mick McCann at the britishwargraves.co.uk. Donald is also remembered on the St Patrick's Church Roll of Honour with his brother Thomas (see photos). See photos for Donald's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clippings x 2, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, another photo of Donald's Grave, his CWGC Grave Registration x 2, his Headstone Report x 2, his Service Records x 15, Cambrin Churchyard Extension Cemetery, Donald's Pension Records x 2 and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Cap Badge. Finally, I have the Battalion War Diary from August 1914 till November 1915. If information is required please contact me.

Photos
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War Diaries

The battalion War Diary is available on the National Archives website.

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