World War 1 (1914 - 1918)

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Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Robert Close

Service: Army
Unit: 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.
Rank: Corporal
Service Number: 17431

Robert, brother of William, was born in Newton Mearns in 1891, the son of Robert Close and his wife Sarah Close of Bringan's Land, 18 Main Street, Newton Mearns. Robert’s father was employed as a coachman and later as a bleacher.

Robert was killed at the Somme on 30 July 1916, aged 25 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France, Pier and Face 3c and on Mearns Parish Kirk War Memorial.

The War Diaries for the 2nd Battalion show that they were part of the 30th Division and were in action at the village of Guillemont, an important point in the German defences at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. The battalion had moved to the front-line trenches ready for zero hour at 04:45 on 30 July. There was a moving artillery barrage across the village and the battalion moved forward in lines of half companies.

Although the battalion took their objective they had become isolated, as by 12 noon news arrived that the advance of the 89th Brigade had failed and were practically occupying their original line. The battalion had gone into action 20 officers and 750 other ranks strong but by the end of the day only 3 officers and about 140 other ranks had managed to make their way back through the 89th Brigade. Over 600 men from the battalion were reported missing. The village was finally captured on 3 September (Battle of Guillemont).*

 


*WO 95/2340 2/ R Scots Fus. Jan ’16 – Mar ’18 


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