John R Robertson likeness

John R Robertson cap badgePrivate John R Robertson

11th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry
Service No: 19571

John R Robertson grave





Personal details

Family Information

Youngest son William and Helen Robertson of 44c Main St, Coatbridge. 2 of John's elder brothers also fell. Private Thomas C Robertson of the 9th (Service) Battalion Black Watch was also Killed in Action on the 25/09/1915 at the Battle of Loos. Both have no known grave and are remembered on the Loos Memorial. Another brother Private Robert G Robertson of the 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers Died of Wounds on the 24/04/1918. A 4th brother William Robertson also served and survived the war. Walter was the only Robertson brother not serving. From the 1901 Census - Address - 62 Merrystone St, Coatbridge - William Robertson aged 52, Helen Robertson aged 48, William Robertson aged 24, Thomas Robertson aged 20, Robert Robertson aged 18, Walter Robertson aged 15, John Robertson aged 13, Kelly Robertson aged 10, Annie Robertson aged 7. John's Pension was awarded to his father William on the 16/01/1917.

Born / Resided

Glasgow / 44c Main St, Coatbridge


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




Painter with Mr William Gibson, Main St, Coatbridge



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

ADDITIONAL FAMILY INFORMATION - From the 1891 Census - Address - 6 Main St, Anderston, Glasgow - William Robertson aged 43, Helen Robertson aged 39, William Robertson aged 14, Elizabeth Robertson aged 12, Thomas Robertson aged 10, Robert Robertson aged 8, Walter Robertson aged 5, John Robertson aged 3, Helen Robertson aged 2 weeks. John and the Battalion arrived at Boulogne on the 13/05/1915 and were part of the 28th Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division. They were attached to the South African Brigade from the 06/05/1915 until the 14/05/1916 when they transferred to the 46th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division and amalgamated with 11th (Service) Battalion to form the 10/11th Battalion. The Battle of Loos : 25th September – 15th 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. The Battle from 07.05 a.m. till noon - In the centre 9th (Scottish) Division had to attack the formidable obstacle of the Hohenzollern Redoubt and Fosse 8, the high location of the main enemy observation posts looking across the whole battlefield. Preparations had included Russian saps to close the distance to be covered, and effective observed heavy shelling. The lead units of 26th Brigade suffered casualties as they cleared the gas and smoke, but advanced through well-cut wire to quickly take the front face of the Redoubt. At 11.15am the Corps commander gave an order to renew the attack at 12.15pm, and a bombardment opened up – but it was clearly too light to be effective in destroying the defences in front of Auchy. The 9th Scottish Rifles and half of the 11th HLI advanced as ordered and were shot down with considerable loss. Most men did not even reach the German wire. At 1.30pm Brigade halted further attack, and its survivors were reorganised for defence of their original lines. Auchy area : The attack of 9th (Scottish) Division had by mid-morning succeeded in reaching and occupying the enemy trench network around the Hohenzollern Redoubt and Fosse 8, and also Pekin Trench. 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. John and his brother Thomas were 2 of the men from the Memorial to be Killed in Action on the opening day of the Battle of Loos. They were 2 of 99 men from the Coatbridge Memorial who fell during and from injuries from the Battle of Loos. See Directory for John's elder brothers Thomas and Robert's pages. See photos for John's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clipping, 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, the Loos Memorial, his name on the Loos Memorial, John's Pension Records x 3 and the Highland Light Infantry Cap Badge.

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