The 4/5th Battalion of the Black Watch was created by the merger of the regiment’s 1/4th and 1/5th Battalions in March 1916. Both were units of the Territorial Force, and originated in Dundee. At the time of the action described below, the battalion was under command of 118th Infantry Brigade of 39th Division.
It proved difficult to determine the battalion’s full list of casualties. In the case of those who lost their lives due to the administrative way in which the men’s dates of death were recorded.
Killed, date of death given as 22 or 23 March 1918
Private S/23076 Charles Bradley was found buried with two others who proved to be unidentifiable except that one was noted as being of a Scottish regiment. They were reinterred at Heath Cemetery at Harbonnieres.
Three men have never been found or identified and are listed at the Pozieres Memorial; two may be those found with Bradley. They were Sgt 201149 Harold McLevy, Cpl 240094 Albert Crichton (his name is given as Crighton in some records), and Pte 200635 George Taylor.
Killed or died of wounds, date of death given as 1 April 1918
Digital records of the CWGC list more than 30 men of the battalion who are given as having died on 1 April 1918. On closer examination, it appears that the dates of death are uncertain and could only be said to be between 21 March and 1 April. At least some of these men are likely to be of “C” Company.
In one case there is a more gross error, for Pte James Milne died on or after 24 April 1918 and in Belgium.
This page is in memory of S/40551 Robert Cairns, who I researched for a private client in 2014. Serving with “C” Company, he was taken prisoner. He was a veteran of the Somme and had been wounded at “Snag Trench” on 18-19 October 1916. Sadly, he died of pneumonia on 25 July 1918 and is buried in Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery in Poland.