WW1 BWM. Wilson. Seaforth Highlanders. Kilmarnock. KIA at the Battle of Menin Road Ridge 1917. Tyne Cot.

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Correctly named 242057 Pte D Wilson Seaforth

Duncan was born in April 1893. We find two addresses for him, 26 New St, Riccarton, Kilmarnock and 46 Dean St, Kilmarnock

He served with the 4th (Ross Highland) Battalion and is entitled to a pair.

Duncan was KIA on the 21st September 1917 at the Battle of Menin Road Ridge. The 51st Division took part in an attack known as ‘The Battle of Menin Road Ridge’ on 20th September 1917. It was successful around Pheasant Trench, but strong resistance at the fortified Malta, Rose & Delta Houses caused many casualties.

The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, sometimes called “Battle of the Menin Road”, was the third British general attack of the Third Battle of Ypres in the First World War. The battle took place from 20 to 25 September 1917, in the Ypres Salient in Belgium on the Western Front. During the pause in British and French general attacks from late August to 20 September, the British changed some infantry tactics, adopting the leap-frog method of advance.

Waves of infantry stopped once they reached their objective and consolidated the ground, while supporting waves passed through the objective to attack the next one and the earlier waves became the tactical reserve. General adoption of the method was made possible when more artillery was brought into the salient, by increasing the number of aircraft involved in close air support and by the Royal Flying Corps giving the tasks of air defence, contact-patrol, counter-attack patrol, artillery observation and ground-attack to particular aircraft.

In early September, optimism increased among German commanders that the Flanders offensive had been defeated and several divisions and air units were transferred elsewhere. Drier weather and extensive road repairs made it much easier for the British to move vast amounts of supplies forward from the original front line. Visibility increased except for frequent ground fog around dawn, which helped conceal British infantry during the attack, before clearing to expose German preparations for counter-attacks to British observation and attack.

The British infantry succeeded in capturing most of their objectives and then holding them against German counter-attacks, inflicting many casualties on the German defenders and Eingreifdivisionen, sent to reinforce them, by massed artillery and small-arms fire. German defences on the Gheluvelt Plateau, which had been retained or quickly recaptured in July and August were lost and the British began a run of success which lasted into early October.

Duncan is remembered with honour at the Menin Gate Memorial.



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