Wargaming the English Civil War, American War of Independence and Sudanese campaigns in 28mm

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

LCpl Hugh Ross, Seaforth Highlanders

I've spent the last few months researching the soldier listed above who died on the 10th May 1915 during one of the many actions of the First World War. The reason I'm so interested in this soldier is because he is my Great Great Grandfather and at the time of his death he was aged 21 which is how old I'll be on the 10th May of next year (although this isn't my birthday).

My search began during a visit to the Imperial War Museum in London where I found his service record. This gave his full title - Lance Corporal Hugh Ross of the 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders and his number - 1810. It also gives his date of death as the 10th May 1915, aged 21 years. No other information is given as the free service offered by the Imperial War Museum is meant to merely act as a starting place for further research.

His date of birth is unknown to me but at a guess he was born around 1894. My next aim is to try and find his individual service record which should show where, when and with which unit he served during his time in the army. Unfortunately many of the records who his regiment were destroyed during WWII but if I'm lucky, the National Archives will still keep a copy of his record.

I received an email back from the Highlanders Museum up in Scotland who keep certain records including the War Diary of the 4th Bn and a general history of the Bn written at the time. According to the researcher, there is no mention of a LCpl Hugh Ross but there is a Sergeant Hugh Ross written about on the 9th May, a day of heavy casualties for the Bn. This entry was written about an action that happened at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle whose objective was to capture Aubers Ridge at which I'm sure the Hugh Ross I'm related to died in. Interestingly, the researcher at the Highlanders Museum states that the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders weren't serving on the line on the 10th May, the date of his death, so he suspects LCpl Ross may have died the following day of injuries sustained during the battle. He also suggests that LCpl Ross and Sergeant Ross might be the same person as many NCOs died during the battle and LCpl Ross could have been handed a short-lived promotion but this is a long shot and may be difficult to prove.

My next step will involve searching for Hugh Ross' service record from the National Archives and to continue my dialogue with the researcher from the Highlanders Museum to try and discover more about the action of the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders on the 9th and 10th May 1915. I will also try and confirm whether or not LCpl and Sergeant Hugh Ross are the same or different persons.

This is an ongoing project to discover more about members of my family who served their country during the First and Second World Wars and I will continually revisit this over the coming year. Please let me know if you found or would find something like this interesting and if you're new to the blog, sign up and 'follow' it or leave a comment!


Anonymous said...

Best of luck with your research Eddie and I'm looking forward to following your efforts on behalf of your family.

James Brewerton said...

good luck with your efforts I have a simular task if a little earlier that yours I have a war diary from the Zulu war and have traced the owner up until he jumped ship after serving in South Africa

Adam Brown said...


Good luck with your research. Hugh Ross was a common name in Easter-Ross and Cromarty about a hundred years ago, the area the 4th Seaforths came from so like you I have my doubts Sgt Hugh Ross and Lance Corporal Hugh Ross are the same man.

If you look up the Scottish National War Memorial


You can find his entry and see he was born in Alness.

A look in the HMSO publication Soldiers Died in the Great War shows he enlisted in Alness.

Also a look on the Scottish War Memorials Project website on the Alness page


Shows him listed as Private Hugh Ross. The sandstone on the memorial is wearing away but you can still just see his number 1810.

Finally you may want to read the guide on researching a WW1 soldier which can be downloaded to a pdf file from this webpage:


It was written just a couple of months ago by a good friend of mine so it's up-to-date information.



Thomas Richardson said...

On the Long Long Trail http://www.1914-1918.net/ are lists of units in the British Army and units in WWI. My grandfather was in the 9th Seaford Highlanders. Was Captured 24 Mar. 1918