2nd Lieutenant, George Stewart Duncan (26) – Killed in Action

6th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, 23rd September 1917 

The name of George Stewart Duncan on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium – © R&S (Find a Grave)

Diary of the 6th Gordons – 23 September 1917

The Diary of the 6th Gordon Highlanders for the 23rd September 1917 reads:-

No.14 Platoon’s Headquarters – a small ‘Pill Box’ – received a direct hit and 2nd Lieutenant G.S. Duncan and his two signallers were killed. “D’ Company had 16 other casualties.  With the other companies the casualties were slight. Very heavy barrage put up by us and a fairly heavy one by the enemy at 6.15p.m. Which lasted until 8 o’clock.

(It is unclear which two other soldiers were killed alongside 2nd Lieutenant Duncan, but it is possible that one of them was Lance-Corporal, 265707, Malcolm McDonald who was killed on the same date.)

Diary of the 6th Gordon Highlanders for 23rd September 1917 – © National Archive.

Further Military and Civilian Research

  • George Stewart Duncan went to France/ Flanders on the 21st July 1917.
  • He is honoured and remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, as either his body was not found or remained unidentified..
  • In the Register of Soldiers Effects, compensation payments for his death was given to his brother Andrew.
  • 18 February 1918 – Probate granted in favour of his brother Andrew to the value of £412.
  • There is an outstanding enquiry still to be done with George in that his service record at the National Archive needs to be viewed as it is not digitised. Once this is completed I will add the information.

Family

George Stewart Duncan was born at Ordiquhill, Banffshire, on 12th June 1891. The following family information is taken from the 1901 Census. At the time of the census the family resided at Glenforkie (probably a farm), Ordiquhill, Banffshire. In addition to the family there were 2 members of staff, a Cattleman aged 14 years and a Farm Horseman aged 24 years.

His family is shown as follows :-

  • Father – Andrew, born c.1853 at Ordiquhill, Banffshire, died 1940. – Farmer.
  • Mother – Mary Shand or Duncan, born c.1857 at Marnoch, Banffshire, died 1938 – Farmers Wife.
  • Brother – John S., born c.1882 at Ordiquhill, Banffshire.
  • Sister – Jessie, born c.1885 at Ordiquhill, Banffshire.
  • Brother – Peter, born c.1889 at Ordiquhill, Banffshire.
  • Brother – Andrew, born c.1897 at Ordiquhill, Banffshire.

Newspaper Memorial – 24 September 1923

The following In Memoriam article appeared in the Press and Journal Newspaper dated 24 September 1923 :- DUNCAN – In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Lt George Stewart Duncan, 6th Gordon Highlanders, killed by shell at Ypres, 23rd September 1917, aged 26 years.

“Still his memory shall we cherish, In our hearts a sacred spot, For his loving acts of kindness, They shall never forget.” Hawthorn Cottage, Crudie.

Men from the Royal Artillery outside the German pill box which they used as a dug-out, near Wieltje, 11 January 1918. The ground surrounding the pillbox is waterlogged and shell-marked, indications of the heavy fighting and subsequent bad weather in the area. Copyright: © IWM – (Q 8426)

Addresses

  • The 1901 Census gives the family address as Glenforkie, Ordiquhill, Banffshire.
  • His mothers address in 1921 was Northfleet Farm, Gamrie, Banff. It is not known if George Duncan resided there.

Medals

George Stewart Duncan was awarded the Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War. His brother Andrew applied for these on the 31 October 1921 with the forwarding address of C/O Officers of H.M. Inspectors of Taxes, 39 Union Street, Inverness.

Memorials

George Stewart Duncan is honoured and remembered on the Gamrie War Memorial, Aberdeenshire.

Links to Additional Information

References

  •  Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Medal Index Card.
  • Medal Roll – Gordon Highlanders – Victory and British War Medal.
  • Soldiers Died in the Great War.
  • Register of Soldiers Effects.
  • The National Archive – 6th Gordon Highlanders War Diary.
  • Find a Grave – George Duncan.
  • Ancestry Family Tree
  • Pension Card
  • Banffshire Birth Records
  • 1901 Census
  • Probate Index 1918
  • Newspaper – Press and Journal – 24 September 1923

Contributors:-

  • Vincent Stuart
%d bloggers like this: