WWI Victory. James Crookston. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Awarded MM with 171st Tunnelling Company 1917. Wounded 1918. Born Edinburgh. Died 1945. USA Army



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A ww1 victory medal with a very interesting story .

Victory medal on original ribbon named to.

10233 pte j Crookston a & s highrs.

James Crookston was born at Edinburgh ,Midlothian , Scotland 2nd September 1889 .

A miner by civilian occupation he was a pre war regular soldier who joined up 15th October 1920 and was in the 1st Battalion argyll and sutherland Highlanders serving in Malta on 1911 census .

James entered France 19th December 1914 with the argylls .

He then transferred to the royal engineers as 86381 serving with the 171st Tunnelling Company re.

With them he was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry London Gazette 9th July 1917 .

James was wounded by gunshot wound right thigh 1st June 1918 as was discharged due to the wound 4th October 1918 .

With his occupation given as a miner James Crookston emigrated to the USA onboard the cunard line ship carmania 3rd December 1919 and being naturalised as a us citizen 26th April 1920 .

April 1920 he was a soldier In company g 34th infantry at Fort George g meade, he died 27th February 1945 still a soldier and is buried at denver , colorado , fairmount cemetery

His 1915 star, British War Medal and military medal whereabouts unknown.

Below is the service done by the 171st during the period he would have been awarded his mm .

In April 1916, 171st Tunnelling Company moved to the Spanbroekmolen/Douve sector facing the Messines ridge.[1] At Spanbroekmolen, 171st Tunnelling Company took over from 3rd Canadian Tunnelling Company and extended the work to the German lines, driving the tunnel forward by 523 metres (1,717 ft) in seven months[15] until it was beneath the powerful German position. At the end of June 1916 the charge of 41,000 kilograms (91,000 lb) of ammonal in 1,820 waterproof tins was complete, the largest yet laid by the British. With the mine complete, the British selected two additional objectives to be attacked near Spanbroekmolen, Rag Point and Hop Point, which were 820 metres (2,700 ft) and 1,100 metres (3,500 ft) from the main tunnel. A branch was started and inclined down to 37 metres (120 ft) depth. By mid-February 1917 the branch had been driven 350 metres (1,140 ft) and passed the German lines.[14] At that point, the German counter mining activities damaged 150 metres (500 ft) of the branch gallery and some of the main tunnel. The British decided to abandon the branch gallery because aggressive counter-mining would alert the Germans to the presence of a deep-mining scheme. On 3 March the Germans blew the main tunnel with a heavy charge laid from their Ewald shaft, leaving it beyond repair and resulting in it being cut off for three months.[14] The British started a new gallery alongside the old main tunnel which after 357 metres (1,172 ft) cut into the original workings. Mining was greatly hampered by the influx of gas, several miners being overcome by the fumes, but eventually – and only a few hours before the appointed time of detonation at 3:10 a.m. on 7 June 1917 – the ammonal charge was ready again and secured by 120 metres (400 ft) of tamping with sandbags and a primer charge of 450 kilograms (1,000 lb) of dynamite. The Spanbroekmolen mine exploded 15 seconds late, killing a number of British soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division, some of whom are buried at Lone Tree Cemetery nearby.[15]

Plan of the Kruisstraat mines

While employed at Spanbroekmolen, 171st Tunnelling Company also took over work on the nearby deep mines at Kruisstraat. Work there was begun by 250th Tunnelling Company in December 1915, passed to 182nd Tunnelling Company, then to 3rd Canadian Tunnelling Company and 175th Tunnelling Company, which took charge in April 1916. When the gallery reached 320 metres (1,051 ft) it was handed over to 171st Tunnelling Company. At 489 metres (1,605 ft) a charge of 14,000 kilograms (30,000 lb) of ammonal was laid and at the end of a small branch of 166 feet (51 m) to the right a second charge of 14,000 kilograms (30,000 lb) was placed under the German front line. This completed the original plan, but it was decided to extend the mining to a position under the German third line. Despite meeting clay and being inundated with water underground which necessitated the digging of a sump, they managed to complete a gallery stretching almost half a mile from the shaft in just two months, and a further charge of 14,000 kilograms (30,000 lb) of ammonal was placed. This tunnel was the longest of any of the Messines mines. In February 1917, German countermeasures necessitated some repair to one of the chambers and the opportunity was taken to place a further charge of 8,800 kilograms (19,500 lb) marking a total of four mines, all of which were ready by 9 May 1917.[16]

WWI Victory. James Crookston. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Awarded MM with 171st Tunnelling Company 1917. Wounded 1918. Born Edinburgh. Died 1945. USA Army

Availability: 1 in stock

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