In Memory of

William MILNE

'H' Coy.,1st/6th Bn., Gordon Highlanders
who died on
Monday, 9th April 1917. Age 21.

Additional Information:

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Son of George and Jane Milne

George Milne, d Mill o' Noth, Rhynie 22/4/1955 age 95, Jane Harvey d there 6/7/1948 age 84.
Interred Leslie CY, son William, fell in action in France, recorded on headstone.

His father farmed at Halls, Duncanstone and later at Bogend, Clatt.

1914 Star, War & Victory Medals, France 10/11/1914, previously 960

SDGW - Wm Milne, Cpl, 6GH, b Leslie, e Insch, Killed in Action, F & F. This is the only one found in records (3 in GH)
Cpl 6GH, Westfield on War Mem.

As a member of "H" Company 6GH (Territorial Force) Pte William Milne reported to Company HQ at Huntly following the order to mobilise on 4th August 1914 and proceeded to France with the battalion (BEF) on 9th November. This qualified him for the 1914 or Mons Star in addition to the British War and Victory Medals. ( Book, 6 GH in F & F)

Wm Milne, b Leslie, in "H" Coy, res Clatt. Info book, 6 GH in F & F

CWGC records, previously buried at map ref : A30 A 05.05

From records of enquiry to the Red Cross to 1st August 1917. L/Cpl Milne W 265117, D Coy 6th Gordons, BEF has been mising since 9th April 1917.

9/4/1917, Start of Battles of Arras, 6 GH involved in initial assault.

9/4/1917 Battles of Arras and Vimy, The only action when 9th, 15th and 51st Divisions attacked together. Captured all objectives and pushed forward two miles. Secured the flank of Vimy Ridge.
15 Divisions were involved including the four Canadian Divisions who got all the praise.

6 GH War Diary entries, April 1917
1st - ECOIVRES. In "X" Hutments.
2nd - 7th -
BOIS de MAROEUIL. In tents. Training and Range Practice, Wire Cutting, Bomb Throwing. Lectures on the "Attack".
8th - 11th - ROCLINCOURT. Took over the trenches on the night of 7th/8th. The Battalion was 670 strong, and was accommodated in FISH TUNNEL and ROCLINCOURT. One company remained in huts at BOIS de MAROEUIL.

On the 9th the BATTLE of ARRAS opened. The objective given the Battalion was the front line system of trenches, viz;- Firing Line, Support Line, and Reserve Line, known as the " Black" Line.
The Battalion assembled for the attack in three double waves, each wave consisting of five Platoons, while the remaining Platoon, organised as three Bombing Squads and one Lewis Gun Squad, was kept in FISH TUNNEL as a reserve.
"D" Company and two platoons of "A" formed the right of the attack, "B" Coy the left. These companies formed the first two double waves. "C" Coy with one platoon of "A" Company formed the third double wave. The remaining platoon of "A" Company was the reserve in the hands of the Battalion Commander.
At ZERO the advance was promptly begun, and, immediatly the barrage lifted, the objectives were assaulted and cleared up effectively. A good deal of hard fighting took place, but the men had been so thoroughly trained that they were prepared for all eventualities, and speedily got the better of all opposition, though not without heavy loss. One disconcerting incident happened - a minnenwerfer ( flame thrower) ammunition dump was exploded, and formed a crater about 30 feet deep. Probably 20 casualties were caused by this explosion. About 100 prisioners were captured, as well as three machine guns and a number of trench mortars of varying sizes.

1/4/1908 The original Volunteer Battalions was reorganised and the 4th became the 6th Batt ( Territorial Force) comprising 8 companies centred in the following areas;
'A' Coy - Banff
'B' Coy - Dufftown, Aberlour and Glenlivet
'C' Coy - Keith
'D' Coy - Buckie
'E' Coy - Inverurie
'F' Coy - Alford, Kildrummy and Strathdon
'G' Coy - Buckie
'H' Coy - Huntly

During 1914 the 8 Company system of the entire British army was changed to 4, usually 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D'
'H' Company became part of the new 'A' Company. This became the official designation in 1915. This did not prevent the men using the original lettering which related to their home areas.


Service notes
1/6th Gordons, 1/6th (6th) Banff and Donside Battalion Gordon Highlanders.

4/8/1914 at Keith: Gordon Brigade, Highland Division.
16/8/1914 arrived Bedford, part of Highland Territorial Brigade
9/11/1914 left Bedford by train to Southhampton, there boarded troopship " Cornishman" for France.
10/11/1914 Landed Havre ( Le Havre)
13/11/1914 Left Le Havre, travelled to St Omer, 4/12/1914 at Sailly.

5/12/1914 to 20th Brigade, 7th Division.
Was the 1st Btn of Highland Division to reach the Front.
6/12/1914 In trenches

5/1/1916 became Line of Communication Troops.
1/6/1916 to 152nd Brigade, 51st Highland Division.
6/10/1918 ammalgamated with 1/7th (Deeside) Gordons to form 6/7th Gordons
11/11/1918 in same near Thun l'Eveque, North of Cambrai.

Commemorative Information

Cemetery: ROCLINCOURT VALLEY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France
Grave Reference/
Panel Number:
II. F. 3.


View the grave of William Milne


Roclincourt is a village a little to the east of the road from Arras to Lens. Take the N17 from Arras until the junction of this road and the D60. Travel along the D60 into Roclincourt village. Roclincourt Valley Cemetery lies to the north-east of the village and to the east of the road to Thelus.

Historical Information: Roclincourt was just within the British lines before the Battles of Arras, 1917; and it was from the village that the 51st (Highland) and 34th Divisions advanced on the 9th April, 1917. The 1st Canadian Division attacked further North, across the Lens road. Roclincourt Valley Cemetery (originally called Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No. 2) was begun after the 9th April, 1917, by the units which fought on that day, and used until the following August; and it then contained the graves of 94 soldiers, of whom 40 belonged to the 51st Division and five were French soldiers who had fallen in 1915. (The French graves have been removed.). Plot I, Row F, was completed, and Plots II-IV made, after the Armistice, by the concentration of graves from smaller cemeteries and from the battlefields. These graves are almost all of April, 1917, and the majority of the soldiers buried in them belonged to the 34th and 51st Divisions. Three of the wooden memorial crosses of the Tyneside battalions were brought in at the same time. There are now nearly 550, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 80 are unidentified and special memorials are erected to four soldiers from the United Kingdom known, or believed, to be buried among them. The cemetery covers an area of 2,110 square metres and is enclosed by a stepped rubble wall. The more important cemeteries concentrated into Roclincourt Valley Cemetery were the following:-. KING CRATER CEMETERY, ROCLINCOURT, 1.6 kilometres East of the village, in a mine crater far from any road. It contained five big graves, made by the 34th Division in the middle of April, 1917; and in them were buried 99 soldiers from the United Kingdom, all of whom fell on the 9th April, and all but two of whom belonged to the Tyneside Brigades of the Northumberland Fusiliers. KITE CRATER CEMETERY, ST LAURENT-BLANGY, 1.6 kilometres South-East of Roclincourt village. It contained five big graves, in which were buried 53 soldiers from the United Kingdom (mainly of the 34th Division), who fell on the 9th April, 1917. RABS ROAD CEMETERY, ST LAURENT-BLANGY, on the Arras Bailleul road, 1.6 kilometres South-East of Roclincourt village. It contained the graves of 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom, 16 of whom belonged to the 15th or 16th Royal Scots, and all of whom fell on the 9th or the 13th April, 1917. ROCLINCOURT LONG CEMETERY (called at one time Roclincourt Forward Cemetery No. 3), in a field 1.2 kilometres North of the Village. It contained the graves of 68 officers and men of the 51st Division who fell on the 9th April, 1917. THELUS ROAD CEMETERY, ROCLINCOURT, by the roadside 1.6 kilometres North of the village. It was made by the XVII Corps, and it contained the graves of 42 officers and men of the 51st Division who fell on the 9th April, 1917.