Informations sur naissance

Date de naissance:
Lieu de naissance:
St. Bernards, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Écosse, Royaume-Uni

Informations générales

Assistant Stationer (Alexander Cowan&Sons Ltd. Papermakers)

Informations service militaire

Angleterre, Royaume-Uni
Force armée:
British Expeditionary Force
Numéro de service:
Incorporation nom de lieu:
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Écosse, Royaume-Uni
 —  Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), 9th Bn.  (Dernière unité connue)

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
Lieu de décès:
Potsdam, Zonnebeke, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panneau: 68

Distinctions et médailles 2

British War Medal
Médaille — 07/07/1920
Victory Medal
Médaille — 07/07/1920

Points d'intérêt 3

#1 Lieu de naissance
#2 Lieu d'enrôlement
#3 Lieu du décès (approximatif)

Mon histoire

Private Alexander Cowan served in the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), 9th Battalion, part of the 27th Brigade, of the 9th (Scottish) Division.
The 9th (Scottish) Division participated in the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, on the 20th of September 1917. The Division attacked at zero hour, 5.40 a.m. with the South African Brigade on the left of the Divisional front and the 27th Brigade on the right. The attack of the 27th Brigade was carried by the 6th King’s Own Scottish Borderers and the 9th Scottish Rifles; the 12th Royal Scots were in support.
The 9th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) moved forward behind a creeping barrage and advanced towards Zonnebeke along the Ypres-Roulers railroad. The South Africans were on their left and the 6th King’s Own Scottish Borderers on their right. The Battalion suffered considerable casualties, due to machine-gun fire coming from a German strongpoint on the railway. This stronghold consisted of several pill-boxes and was covered by a group pill-boxes at the German strongpoint of Potsdam, to the North of the railroad. These German strongholds delayed the advance of the left company, while the right Companies encountered very little resistance. The strongpoint on the railroad was eventually taken with the assistance of Lewis Guns from the 9th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and the 6th King’s Own Scottish Borderers. The advance was renewed and the left Company reached the stream of the Hanebeek, their first objective, just in time to go forward to the last objective.
By the time the advancing Companies reached the Hanebeek, the attack had become disorganized. While the right Companies had the time to reorganize themselves at the first objective, the left Companies had lagged behind. Consequently the left Companies, just South of the Railway, had lost the pace of barrage. “A” Company on the right swung to the left, and closed the gap with the left Company, while a supporting platoon on the right closed the gap with the 6th King’s Own Scottish Borderers. The left Company finally pushed on and succeeded in catching up with the barrage, just in time to advance to the last objective.
A German pill-box at D.26.d.5.7 near the final objective put up a stubborn defense, causing several casualties. Another pill-box at D.26.b.5.2 surrendered without resisting, as the pill-box was not constructed for frontal fire. The German garrison had no clear field of fire and the 9th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) could approach the pill-box without danger. Once the troops had advanced within a few yards of the pill-box, the German defenders chose to surrender. The Green line, which had been the last objective included the Zonnebeke Redoubt. The line fell relative easily and the men started consolidating their gains at about 8 a.m. All objectives had been captured.
Private Alexander Cowan was killed in action on the 20th of September 1917. He possibly fell in the area of Potsdam, along the Ypres-Roulers railroad, during the attack on Zonnebeke Redoubt, part of the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge. His remains were not recovered or were never identified. He is now remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Fichiers 1

Sources 1

McCarthy C., The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account, (London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995), pg. 74-77.
Sources utilisées

Complément d’informations 3