L/Cpl
Andrew Kirkland

Information about birth

Date of birth:
26/12/1895

General information

Profession:
Miner

Army information

Country:
Scotland, United Kingdom
Force:
British Expeditionary Force
Rank:
Lance Corporal
Service number:
S/40216
Enlistment place:
Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Units:
 —  Seaforth Highlanders, 7th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
12/10/1917
Place of death:
Wallemolen, Passendale, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
21

Memorial

Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 133A

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Enlistment place
#2 ‘Place of death’

My story

Lance Corporal Andrew Kirkland served in the Seaforth Highlanders 7th Battalion, part of the 26th Brigade of the 9th (Scottish) Division.

The 9th Division was to attack on the 12th of October 1917, in what is known as the First Battle of Passchendaele. The Division attacked from their positions just South of the town of Poelkapelle at 5.25 a.m. with one Brigade. The 26th Brigade went into battle with the 26th Brigade, which consisted of the 8th Black Watch on the right of the Divisional front and the 10th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on the left, with the 7th Seaforths and the 5th Cameron Highlanders in support.

The barrage came down two minutes earlier at 5.23 a.m. The barrage was weak and didn’t gave the men a sufficiently definite line to go on. The attacking Battalions soon got mixed up and some troops lost their direction. A company advanced with the Black Watch and C Company followed A Company. But A and C companies soon lost touch with the 8th Black watch an led the advance, getting mixed up with the friendly barrage at times. A Company dug in on the right flank of the Black Watch’s first objective, where they came under German shell fire. The remainder of the men and a platoon from C Company pushed on to the East of the hamlet of Wallemolen, where they took out three German pill-boxes about 100 yards apart from each other.

The hamlet of Wallemolen was taken by the mixed parties from the 8th Black Watch, Seaforths, Camerons and Royal Scots, while the remainder of C and A Company of the Seaforths on their left had advanced to Inch Houses. The Germans offered some slight opposition before they retreated to Varlet Farm. When the Seaforthers pushed on, they came under heavy German machinegun fire. Confronted with the unforgiving machinegun fire and seeing no friendly troops on their left, they decided to retreat to Inch Houses.

The situation in Wallemolen had become dire and the mixed party in Wallemolen was forced to retreat to a line running from Cemetery to Inch Houses. The Germans occupied a line between Wallemolen and Varlet Farm from where they directed machinegun fire and sniper fire to the Scottish line.

B and D company advanced on the left behind the 10th Argyll & Sutherlands and the 5th Camerons were on their left. The companies were checked by Germans, who were organized in strongpoints and shell holes, which had to be taken by rushes from shell hole to shell hole. Both B and D Companies got split up and were out of touch. The 12th Royal Scots came up and filled up the gaps in the line. The Camerons closed up to their right. The advance on the left was broken when the men lost the barrage. The men came under heavy German rifle and machinegun fire coming from Beek and Meunier House and were forced to consolidate a line. B and D Companies consolidated a line from V.27.c.9.2. to V.27.c.4.6.

No further gains could be made and the men had to dug in. The Seaforth Highlanders 7th Battalion lost four officers. Six officers were wounded. Forty other ranks were killed during the attack and 194 men were wounded. Thirteen men of the Battalion got missing. Lance Corporal Andrew Kirkland was one of the forty men of the Seaforth Highlanders 7th Battalion, who lost their lives in the First Battle of Passchednaele on the 12th of October 1917. His body was never recovered. He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Sources 5

"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 116.
Sources used
Ancestry
http://home.ancestry.co.uk/
Further reference
CWGC
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/835016/KIRKLAND,%20ANDREW
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/
Sources used
War Diary Seaforth Highlanders 7th Bn.
http://www.nmarchive.com/
Further reference