Private James Robertson

Private James Robertson,16th ( Service ) Battalion, Royal Scots. He was killed in action in France on 21st March 1918 on the first day of the German March Offensive ( Operation Michael ) and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Arras, France.  On that day the Battalion was in reserve behind the 15th Battalion, Royal Scots and both Battalions were heavily shelled both with high explosive and gas shells  Casualties amounted to 6 Officers and 79 Other Ranks killed with 3 Officers and 137 Other Ranks wounded. After the days action it was realised that the Germans had broken through on the flank and a retirement was ordered to avoid being cut off. The Battalion was then withdrawn to near Croiselles where they were again supporting the 15th Battalion. After further heavy fighting both Battalions  were relieved and sent into reserve near Armentieres. The Battalion had been formed in November 1914 by Sir George McRae from the ranks of professional footballers from Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Falkirk, Raith Rovers and Dunfermline together with their supporters. Known as ” McRae’s Battalion” there were not many originals left by 1918. The first photograph is of Sir George McRae and the others show Allied troops preparing to the resist the German advances.

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