- Tyne Cot Cemetery
- Parcelle: XLIX
- Rangée: G
- Tombe: 13
Distinctions et médailles
Private David Henry Harrison was part of the 2nd Regiment South African Infantry (South African Brigade). From 22nd April 1916, this Brigade was under the command of the 9th (Scottish) Division.
On the 20th of September 1917, the Scottish Division participated in the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, a stage in the Third Battle of Ypres. The Divison advanced from the Frezenberg Ridge towards the village of Zonnebeke, with the 27th Brigade and the South African Brigade. The 27th Brigade attacked with the 6th King’s Own Scottish Borderers and the 9th Scottish Rifles; the 12th Royal Scots were in support.
The leading battalions of the South African Brigade were the 3rd and 4th Regiment; with the 1st and 2nd Regiment in support. The objective of the South African leading battalions was the Red Line. The 4th Regiment would attack on the left, while the 3rd would attack on the right flank. Once the leading battalions had captured the Red Line, the 1st and 2nd Regiments were to move through and consolidate the Green Line. The 2nd Regiment was on the left flank, just behind the 4th Regiment.
During the night of the 19th on the 20th of September, the men got into position.
At 5.40 am, zero hour, the attacking parties advanced behind a creeping barrage. Moments later, German barrage fell on the old front line, forcing the supporting battalions to move forward.
The 3rd Regiment and more specifically its left wing advanced very easily. They went through their own barrage, took Vampir Farm, and reached their objective without much trouble. The right wing, however, encountered more difficulties. They were held up by machinegun fire coming from the German stronghold at Potsdam. Troops were send up to the strongpoint in order assist the Royal Scots to help silence Potsdam. Together they managed to capture the stronghold, but not without difficulty and there were many casualties. Once taken, Potsdam was left in charge of the 12th Royal Scots so the companies could again move towards their objective. Meanwhile, the 4th Regiment on the left of the divisional flank, managed to take Beck House and Borry Farm.
Once the Red Line was consolidated the 1st and 2nd Regiments, respectively on the right and the left, renewed the advance. The 1st Regiment, like the 3rd Regiment, reached its objective without much opposition. But the 2nd Regiment had to deal with some resistance. After the 2nd had passed Mitchell’s Farm it became apparent that the advance of the 55th Division, on the left of the South Africans, had been checked. At the same time the men came under fire from Waterend House and from the high ground at Tulip Cottages and Hill 37. Notwithstanding the persistent machine gun- and rifle fire, the 2nd managed to clear the German defences at Zevenkote and Bremen Redoubt in front of them. Though the men were still under fire from Tulip Cottages in the 55th divisional area. Consequently they threw out a defensive flank to the south bank of the Zonnebeke stream until the 55th Division on their left flank had caught up. By 5.50 pm the 55th Division finally captured Tullip Cottages, securing the left flank of the 2nd Regiment. And by nightfall, the 9th (Scottish) Division managed to consolidate all objectives.
Private Harrison is assumed to have died within this attack, possibly near to the regiment’s final objective.