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Elandslaagte 1 year 2 weeks ago #71474

  • Frank Kelley
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I think you would certainly struggle to get a nicer example to a Strada Reale highlander these days, very nice indeed.

quote="davidh" post=71462]

3927 Sgt. W. Moir, Gordon Highlanders. PIN/71 4333
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasp Elandslaagte.
Wounded in action Elandslaagte 21 October 1899.
William Robertson Moir enlisted at Aberdeen 10 June 1891 aged 18 years 6 months, although a later document gives his date of birth as 4 August 1871 which would have made him 19 years 10 months. Born Dundee. Occupation tenter. Under distinguishing marks, it is mentioned that he had had the middle finger of his right hand surgically removed. Three courts of enquiry investigated the circumstances of injuries to Moir and in all cases concluded that the incidents took place while he was off duty and would not interfere with his future efficiency as a soldier. The incidents considered were being struck in the face with a stick by a civilian (Dublin 25 October 1893), a knee injury sustained playing football (Glasgow 25 August 1894) and a badly cut thumb caused by accidentally breaking a window (Umballa 2 December 1898). Between 1898 and 1900 had five entries in the defaulter book for various offences for which he was reprimanded. Severely reprimanded at Ladysmith 10 October 1899 for being absent from orderly sergeant’s call. Gunshot wound to the right thigh fractured his femur. A medical report dated 21 January 1900 stated the wound had healed but that his right leg was an inch shorter than his left. His disability was considered permanent and would prevent him from earning a livelihood by 50%. Discharged medically unfit for further service at Netley 24 July 1900. Conduct exemplary. Between 1899 and 1910 fathered nine children. Re-enlisted in Gordon Highlanders Special Reserve at Hamilton 10 September 1914 aged 42 years 9 months. Occupation schoolboard officer. Resided Shotts, Lanarkshire. Served in the UK and reached the rank of Acting Company Quartermaster. Transferred to Class Z Army Reserve 6 April 1919 and discharged on demobilisation 31 March 1920. A further medical report about 1920 stated that the shortening of his right leg was now 1½ inches and that he had developed arthritis of the right knee. His degree of disability was reassessed at 20%. Died of myocardial degeneration with arteriosclerosis at Shotts 2 October 1961 aged 90. Served in the 2nd Battalion in South Africa and 3rd Battalion in WW1. 48 QSAs with single clasp Elandslaagte to the regiment. Not entitled to any WW1 medals. His papers include a defaulter sheet with Dick-Cunyngham VC shown twice as the officer handing out the appropriate punishment and SM Robertson (who later won a VC at Elandslaagte) shown five times as the reporting NCO. One of the courts of enquiry reports when Moir was injured on duty bears the comments and signature of Dick-Cunyngham.[/quote]
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Elandslaagte 1 year 2 weeks ago #71475

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Thanks for your comments David and Frank.

An interesting side note is that Moir lived in Shotts and I had an uncle, since sadly deceased, who was brought up in Shotts. I rang him just to ask if he knew where Windsor Street, Moirs' address there, was. He asked me why I wanted to know and I explained briefly. "Was he a sergeant?" he asked.I was taken aback a bit by this response and told him he was.

It turned out that my uncle remembered him from his junior school days in the 1930s as a white haired school official (I assume a truant officer or similar) who was known by everyone at the school as 'the sergeant.' The only thing is that my uncle remembered him as being tall which his service papers don't bear out but to a young boy he probably seemed so.

Talk about a small world!

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