Are you related to these brave men?
Soldier’s daughter aims to trace father’s comrades
This photograph was taken 100 years ago but it could still bring back memories for some Paisley Daily Express readers today.
The group of soldiers is believed to be the 1st Renfrew Field Company, Royal Engineer Territorials, from Paisley.
And in it is the father of Wiltshire woman Maureen West.
He can be seen seventh from the right in the long row at the back.
As the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War approaches, Mrs West is wondering if anyone in Paisley recognises any of the men in the picture as a forebear of theirs – perhaps a grandfather or other relative.
Mrs West’s father Robert Anderson was born on February 23, 1894.
She said: “He joined the Territorials on March 17, 1911, so when World War I broke out, he received an embodiment which arrived on the fourth of August 1914 requiring him to attend the Royal Engineers Drill Hall, Paisley, not later than 8am on August 5, 1914.
“The First Renfrew Field Company were a territorial unit based in Paisley when war broke out, and it would seem they took up various coastal defence duties in the Clyde and Forth areas.
“They embarked for the Egyptian Expeditionary Force on the troopship Ionic in Devonport on Sunday, December 19, 1915, and joined the 10th Indian Division at El Kubri.”
The young Robert carried out surveying work.
“At the end, the General sent for him, shook his hand and thanked him for the job he had made of the survey and recommended him for an increase in his engineering pay and he later became a sergeant,” his daughter said.
The company was sent to France, where it joined the 4th Division on the Somme and was redesignated 406th ( 1st Renfrew) Field Company, The Royal Engineers.
“My father, now 23, had the job of designing and supervising the building of the bridge over the Rover Scarpe at St Nicolas – the permanent bridge had been blown up early in the war,” Mrs West said.
But things were later to take a difficult turn when, on May 11, 1917, Robert was wounded at Frampoux.
“He lay five- and- half hours in no-man’s land with a bullet through his knee,” Mrs West said.
“He must have lain extremely still as apparently a German stepped over him and later back the other way. By a stroke of luck, he was picked up by a small party who were being relieved.”
Robert arrived home on crutches after five months.
Were any of your ancestors comrades of Robert Anderson? Do you recognise anyone in the photograph? If so, please call Kenneth Speirs at the Paisley Daily Express on 0141 309 3555.
He lay for five hours with a bullet through his knee Maureen West