7th Battalion The Royal Scots caught in Rail Crash at
Gretna Green 22nd May 1915
Page launched on 90th Anniversary, 22nd
The Funeral Procession in Leith
The 7th Battalion of The Royal Scots (Leith's Own) were
on coastal defence duties in early 1915, and in March
were re-assigned to 156 Brigade, initially for the
Western Front, but in May they were posted as
reinforcements to Gallipoli.
On the 22nd May
the Battalion left Larbert in two trains. The
first train carried the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant
Colonel Peebles, with Battalion Headquarters, and A and
D Companies commanded by Major J D L Hamilton and
Captain A M Mitchell respectively.
near Gretna, the train ran into empty carriages of a
local train which through an oversight had been left on
the main line, and was overturned and wrecked.
Seconds later a
northbound express ploughed into the wreckage and it
twenty nine Non Commissioned Officers and one hundred
and eighty two men were killed or burned to death.
The dead included Major Hamilton, Captain J M Mitchell
and Lieutenant C R Salvesen, and the injured Lieutenants
W R Kermack, J A Young, J C Bell, and Second
Lieutentants N G Salvesen and T G Clark.
only seven officers and fifty seven NCOs and men were
taken by train from Carlisle to Liverpool. Their
shock was so profound that on reaching Liverpool the
NCOs and men were sent home.
B and C
Companies' train reached Liverpool earlier having made a
detour and Lieutenant Colonel Peebles embarked with the
4th Battalion The Royal Scots on the "EMPRESS OF
BRITAIN" for Gallipoli, and after short periods ashore,
arrived off Cape Helles on 12th June.
Most are now aware of the dangers posed by the Secretary
of State’s proposals to merge all the remaining Scottish
Regiments into a new “Royal Regiment of Scotland”. These
proposals include combining the KOSB with Scotland’s
oldest Regiment, The Royal Scots. The whole Regiment
will soon itself be consigned to the pages of history.
Royal Scots 1914-1919 by Major John Ewing MC, published
in Edinburgh by Oliver and Boyd 1925
The Scots at War Trust | The Gretna Green Train Crash |
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The Standard Bearer- Gretna Rail Disaster