Lost soldier found!

The Black Watch is pleased to announce the addition of Private Edward Carroll of the 2nd Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) to the Commonwealth War Grave Memorial at Loos. Unfortunately Pte. Carroll was not originally commemorated on the Commonwealth War Grave site, as no death certificate or death register entry confirming that he was killed in action on the 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos,  had been submitted to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). However, Pte. Carroll does appear on the roll of honour maintained by the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle.

The predicament of Pte. Carroll came to the attention of The Black Watch Castle and Museum and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission courtesy of Stuart Fraser. Edward Carroll was Mr. Fraser’s grandfather’s cousin and whilst tracing his family’s ancestry he discovered that the Private was not commemorated on the war graves website. Mr. Fraser contacted The Black Watch Museum who were able to confirm from the Enrollment Books that Edward Carroll attested into the Black Watch on 18th August 1908 in Dundee and most significantly, featured a hand written statement recording that Pte. Carroll was ‘Killed in Action 25/9/15’. However, although this record was taken seriously by the CWGC, it alone was not justification enough for the addition of Carroll to their database and memorial.

The discovery of a ‘Dependant’s Pension’ card for Pte. Edward Carroll of the Royal Highlanders once again confirmed that the Private died on the 25th September 1915 and describes him as having been ‘killed in action’. The pension card indicates that a military pension was being paid to ‘Mrs. Grace Carroll’, Pte. Carroll’s mother, after the death of her son whilst serving in the Black Watch during the First World War.

The CWGC Adjudication Unit was able to access further sources that indicated that Pte. Carroll was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Loos. Carroll’s medal Index Card detailing his service in the 2nd Battalion confirms his entitlement to British War and Victory Medals, the 1914 Star and in addition, the ‘Clasp and Roses’, meaning he operated within range of enemy artillery between 5th August and 22nd November 1914. The Adjudication Unit were also able to review the Medal Rolls, which states unequivocally that Pte. Edward Carroll of the Black Watch was ‘killed in action 25/9/1915’. Pte. Carroll is also recorded as an entry in the Soldiers’ Effects ledgers for British Army personnel, which are held by the National Army Museum’s Archives. This entry confirms what is stated by the Pension Card, Enrollment Book, Medal Index Card and 1914 Star Medal Roll.

It is known that as part of the Bareilly Brigade of the 7th (Meerut) Division, that then 2nd Battalion Black Watch saw action on the first day of the Battle of Loos – 25th September 1915. They were positioned on the left flank of the attack that day and suffered heavy losses. The CWGC records that 80 different men of the battalion are confirmed to have died on that day alone. This information when combined, confirms almost certainly that Pte. Edward Carroll of the 2nd Battalion The Black Watch died in service on the 25th September 1915 at the first day of the Battle of Loos. As a consequence of this conclusion, Pte. Edward Carroll qualifies for commemoration by the CWGC under the death in service criterion. His name, service and casualty details are now available to view on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website and his name will be added to the Memorial in due course, where he will be remembered for his sacrifice for posterity.

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About blackwatchmuseum

The Museum of The Black Watch offers an insight into one of the British Army's if not the world's most famous fighting units. Scotland's Black Watch is an elite military regiment whose history stretches back almost three centuries.
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