Archibald  Rae D.C.M. likeness

Archibald  Rae D.C.M. cap badgeBombardier Archibald Rae D.C.M.

Royal Field Artillery Z11th Trench Mortar Battery
Service No: 12768

Archibald  Rae D.C.M. grave





Personal details

Family Information

Son of Thomas Rae (07/08/1838-22/10/1911) previously married on the 21/12/1860 to Isabella Gilchrist Rae (Archibald's mother) and stepmother Christina Sorley Rae (03/07/1844-13/12/1921) of 103c Bank St, Coatbridge. Christina was previously married to Alexander Brown (06/08/1863). Archibald was the younger brother of Stoker John Rae of the Royal Navy, H.M.S. "Invincible" who Died on the 31/05/1916 at the Battle of Jutland 5 months before Archibald fell. Archibald had 2 other brothers serving at the time of his death, Thomas with the Gordon Highlanders and William with the Seaforth Highlanders. His younger brother George was a Hairdresser in Coatbridge. There were also 2 grandsons and 2 nephews of Christina serving. Archibald left an undated Will leaving everything to his mother. From the 1891 Census - Address - 26 Brechin's Land, Coatbridge - Thomas Rae aged 52, Christina Rae aged 46, William Rae aged 25, Alexander Rae aged 19, John Rae aged 18, Archibald Rae aged 13, George Rae aged 9. Archibald's Pension was awarded to his stepmother Christina on the 08/05/1917.

Born / Resided

Coatbridge / 103c Bank St, Coatbridge.


Killed in Action on the 24/10/1916 during the Battles of the Somme




Regular Soldier.



Buried / Remembered

Auchonvillers Military Cemetery (II. I. 20), Somme, France.

Cemetery / Memorial Information

From the outbreak of the war to the summer of 1915, this part of the front was held by French troops, who began the military cemetery in June 1915. It continued to be used by Commonwealth field ambulances and fighting units, but burials practically ceased with the German withdrawal in February 1917. After the Armistice, 15 of the graves (Plot II, Row M, Graves 4-18) were brought in from scattered positions east of the cemetery. The cemetery now contains 528 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, the French graves having been removed to other burial grounds.

Additional Information

ADDITIONAL FAMILY INFORMATION - From the 1881 Census - Address - Dundyvan Rd, Coatbridge - Thomas Rae aged 42, Christina Rae aged 36, James Rae aged 20, half-brother Robert Brown aged 17, half-sister Christina Brown aged 13, Thomas Rae aged 12, half-sister Jane Brown aged 11, half-brother Alexander Brown aged 9, John Rae aged 6, Archibald Rae aged 3. The Z11th Trench Mortar Battery were part of the Divisional Artillery, 11th (Northern) Division. Archibald arrived in Egypt on the 01/04/1915. Archibald was recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry in action the day before he was Killed. He died instantaneously whilst encouraging his men under heavy fire. The Division was involved in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (a month before Archibald fell) on the 15th – 22nd September 1916 : This was a large-scale general renewal of the offensive after the weeks of attritional fighting for the third German system at Pozieres, High Wood, Delville Wood, Guillemont and Ginchy. It is historically noteworthy for being the first time that tanks were used in battle. Few in number, mechanically unreliable and as yet without proven tactics for their best use, the small numbers of tanks that actually went into action had an important positive effect. High Wood and Delville Wood were finally cleared, and a deep advance was made to Flers and towards Combles. The Canadian Corps entered the Somme fighting for the first time. This was part of 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. Archibald was 19 years in the Army and was a lifelong Temperance Advocate and was decorated 13 times for his efforts in getting recruits to join the Good Templar Order in the Army. See Directory for Archibald's elder brother John's page. Archibald's Grave photo donated by Mick McCann at the See Newspaper clippings 2 and 3 for letters to Archibald's mother from E. M. Gifford and the Officer Commanding 2nd Lieutenant W. H. Brown. Archibald is also remembered on the Dundyvan Parish Church Roll of Honour with his brother John (see photos) and in the St Augustine's Parish (book) Roll of Honour. See photos for Archibald's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clippings x 3, his name on the 1911 England Census when serving with the 4th Depot Royal Field Artillery in Fareham, Hampshire, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his CWGC Grave Registration x 2, his Headstone Report x 2, Auchonvillers Military Cemetery, the Royal Field Artillery Cap Badge and Archibald's Pension Records x 2. His grave inscription reads "IN REMEMBRANCE OF MY DEAR SON BY HIS WIDOWED MOTHER".

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I am the family historian for the Rae branch of the family that emigrated to America. We thank you for your service and ultimate sacrifice.
Michelle Kolbe, Peoria, Arizona, USA, 18/08/2019 2:43PM

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