Lieutenant Robert Sinclair

Lieutenant Robert Sinclair, 2nd Battalion Black Watch. He was killed in action, aged 33, in France during the Battle of Aubers Ridge  on 9th May,1915 and is buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in France. He had been born in Edinburgh and was the son of William and the late Ann of Manse Lodge, Linton, Roxburghshire. He was a Regular soldier and had spent 15 years in India.  By August 1914 he was a sergeant and was commissioned in April 1915. The Battle lasted one day and was a complete failure. The artillery bombardment was very weak and the German defences left almost intact  resulting in very heavy casualties and no ground gained. The Battalion attacked with two companies and lost 270 out of 450 Officers and men. Fortunately the Colonel halted the attack at this point an action which saved many lives. As it was  3 Officers and 69 Other Ranks were killed and 5 Officers and 157 Other Ranks were wounded. In addition 36 Other Ranks were posted missing presumed killed. ( The Battle cost the British Army around 11,000 casualties for no gain whatsoever and the shell shortage became a national scandal ).  The Battalion history says of Lt. Sinclair ” He gave a magnificent example of gallant leading and was killed near the German parapet to which his determined valour had carried him, none died with greater glory that day”. He had postponed his leave to take part in the Battle. His body was found later with 8 of his platoon beside him. The photographs show troops during the Battle.

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