World War 1 (1914 - 1918)

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Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William Close

Service: Army
Unit: 1/6th Battalion Princess Louise’s (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)
Rank: Private
Service Number: 4189

William, brother of Robert 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. William’s father was employed as a coachman and later as a bleacher. William was killed in France on 31 March 1916, aged 18 and is buried in Maroeuil British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France - Grave reference II. A. 10 and is also commemorated on Mearns Parish Kirk War Memorial.

The War Diaries for the 1/6th Battalion show that they were part of the 51st Division and had proceeded from Brigade Reserve on 19 March to the Fire Trenches in Labyrinth Sector taking over from the 8th Battalion as left battalion in Brigade Line with 5th Seaforth Highlanders on their right and 5th Gordon Highlanders on left.

Over the next 11 days there were periods of grenade and trench mortar fighting together with the enemy exploding a large mine at 02:30 on 26 March. The latter resulted in ‘A’ Company having six men killed, eight wounded and 15 missing who were all probably buried in craters caused by the explosion. Then at 03:40 on 31 March two further mines were exploded, followed by a German attack together with a heavy barrage by enemy artillery, trench mortars, machine guns, etc. The enemy were repulsed with heavy losses and the battalion losses were two Officers wounded, two Sgts. one Cpl. and three Ptes. killed; 14 other ranks were wounded. The total casualties for March 1916 were: -

  • Killed 1 Officer and 17 Other Ranks
  • Wounded 4 Officers and 48 Other Ranks
  • Missing 14 Other Ranks
  • Shock [Shell] 3 Other Ranks

The fighting strength of the battalion on 31 March was 30 Officers and 561 Other Ranks. The battalion moved to Brigade Reserve on 1 April.*

 


 *WO 95/2865 6 Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders May ’15 – Jun ‘16


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