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Lieutenant ALEC SCOTT BARTHORPE

London Regiment (London Scottish) "D" Coy. 1st/14th Battalion

Wounded in Action 19th April 1918 and died of wounds 25th April 1918

Son of Mr. and Mrs. S. John Barthorpe

DAINVILLE BRITISH CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France

Residence: Streatham, London

 

The London Scottish was a volunteer infantry regiment of the British Army. During the First World War the regiment raised three battalions, with the 1st/14th Battalion serving on the Western Front.

On 25th April 1918, Lieutenant Alec Scott Barthorpe of the 1st/14th London Scottish regiment died from wounds, believed to have occurred during the allied assault of enemy trenches on 19th April 1918, due to no known activity of the regiment taking place on 25th April 1918. However it is uncertain at what point Lieutenant Alec Scott received his injuries.

The assault on the 19th April 1918 took place in France and was a planned advance.  It was decided that "zero hour" would be at 4:30am because this was the beginning of the light. It was seen that "The enemy had not erected wire and there were no visible obstacles to an attack across the open". The Zero Hour chosen was fortunate because "about that time a driving shower of hailstones descended for a few minutes. It obscured the view, prevented the noise of our advance being heard by the enemy and probably caused several of his sentries and the majority of his garrison to seek the comfort of their shelters". This meant that the enemy were "taken by surprise". It may be possible that during the assault comrades "firing from the high ground at about a.2.d.20.80" wounded Lieutenant Alec Scott who then "died afterwards in hospital".  It was 2nd Lieutenant Bennett who "reached the objective first". One sentry was killed and the others taken prisoner along with a German Sergeant Major being taken prisoner. Enemy parties periodically made attacks on the bombing blocks of the British, but these were "half-hearted and easily repulsed". However "During the period of consolidation there was considerable movement across the open and in shallow trenches by our men and enemy snipers and M.Gs. were extremely active. It was at this juncture that most of our casualties occurred; until then our casualties had only been six wounded". Lieutenant Alec Scott may also have suffered his wounds during these attacks of the enemy.

Capt. White undertook an operation to capture a "pillbox at 7.20pm". He began his operation by a bombing attack to drive back the enemy and advance his bombing block. His party advanced along the trench, "preceded by a barrage of strokes mortars and rifle grenades". Enemy appeared in considerable strength but were pushed back for a short distance.  A "Green light sent up by enemy" brought heavy artillery fire on 2nd Lt. Bennett’s block and the junction of the two trenches. Withdrawal by the enemy was only momentary and an "immediate counter-attack was carried out along the trench and on both sides across the open". The parties came under heavy machine gun fire from both flanks and were compelled to withdraw, suffering casualties.  A withdrawal from "Brigade H.Q was received at 7.40pm" and was carried out in an orderly manner through the Fusiliers area and completed by 10.30pm. "Total causalities incurred were 5 killed, 32 wounded and 1 wounded and missing." It could also be possible that Lieutenant Alec Scott incurred his injuries from the enemy counter-attack to the operation of capturing the pillbox along with him also being the "1 wounded and missing" solider, and he wasn’t confirmed dead until the 25th April 1918 due to him being "missing".

 

Sources:

1st/14th London Regiment (London Scottish) War Diary

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/79939/BARTHORPE,%20ALEC%20SCOTT

https://londonscottishregt.org/index.php?id=127

 

By Patrick, Year 12