6th Seaforth Highlanders, 15 June 1915
Synopsis of Life and Military Service
David Sutherland Young was born on 2 November 1892 at Hopeman, Morayshire, he was one of nine children of George and Helen Young, 53 Harbour Street, Hopeman. By 1911, the Census shows that two of the children were deceased. They were a family of fishermen and it appears that his father was the skipper of a fishing boat although David is shown as being an engineer. In 1911 when he was around 19 years of age, David entered into the army, enlisting at Hopeman.
Following the outbreak of the war and following further training at Bedford, Bedfordshire, he left for France on the 1 May 1915 moving into the Front Line for the first time on 14 May 1915 near the Belgium border, the battalion suffering their first casualty on the 21st May when Private William Wilson was struck by a shell fragment.
On 4 June 1915, the 6th Seaforth Highlanders took over from the Canadians just north of Festubert. In the first half of June they spent time in and out of the trenches and in the rear area training. While in the trenches they suffered numerous casualties through artillery fire and from the enemy snipers.
On the 15th June 1915, the Battalion faced their toughest test to date while at Festubert in support of an allied attack. The 154th Brigade attacked while the 6th Seaforth provided support from the trenches. The attack was successful, the allies over-running two enemy trenches but were forced to retire due to insufficient ammunition and reserves.
In retaliation to the allied bombardment the Germans opened fire for around three hours with their accurate artillery, this is when the battalion suffered most of their casualties with 29 being killed throughout the day. This was to include David, when along with another four comrades, they were struck by an enemy shell killing them all.
He was buried in an orchard behind the trench system along with his fallen comrades, sadly these graves were to be lost and as a result he is honoured and remembered at Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
His father George was the sole Legate of his belongings as shown in the Register of Soldiers Effects.
War Diary of the 6th Seaforth Highlanders from 14th to 16th June 1915
The Battalion War Diary for the period 14th – 16th June 1915 for the 6th Seaforth Highlanders does not go into much detail and is unusually sparse for such an important battle but shows the casualties inflicted on the unit, it reads as follows :-
14th June – Occupied and improved trenches – Casualties: one officer (Lt Stewart) and 2 men killed, 12 men wounded.
15th June – Battalion held trenches and gave covering fire while 154th Brigade and 5th Seaforth Highlanders attacked on the right – Casualties: 29 men killed, 6 men died of wounds, one officer and 108 men wounded.
16th June – ‘A’ Company sent out to reinforce Firing Line – Casualties: One man killed, 88 men wounded.
Morayshire Roll of Honour
Extract from the above 1921 publication:-
Young, David S. – No.1182, Corporal, 1/6th Seaforth Highlanders; born at Hopeman, 2nd November 1892; joined at Hopeman, November, 1911; served in France; killed at Festubert, 15th June 1915. Son of George and Helen S. Young, 53, Harbour Street. Occupation – Engineer.
Forres Gazette dated 30 June 1915
Corporal D.S. Young, 55 Harbour Street, Hopeman, 6th Seaforths
Corporal D.S. Young before the war was a fisherman. His father and mother reside in Hopeman. He was 23 years of age and had been connected to the Territorials for about four years. Of a bright and happy disposition he was a general favourite with everybody. Second Lieutenant Fysh writing to his mother states that he was killed along with four comrades by a shell on the evening of June 15. He also refers to the excellent work done by Corporal Young in training his section, and states that he was laid to rest with his comrades in an orchard just behind the trench. His brother William is also in the 6th Seaforths, while his brother George and Daniel were called up with the R.N.R. Daniel who was at Antwerp, is now a prisoner in Holland. (Ed – Sadly Charles Fysh was to die in action on 28 July 1918)
David Young was born on 2 November 1892 at Hopeman, Morayshire. The following family information is taken from the 1901 and 1911 Census and the Morayshire Roll of Honour.
His family is shown as follows :-
- Father: George Young, born c.1858 at Hopeman, Morayshire – Fisherman.
- Mother: Helen Young, born c.1858 at Hopeman, Morayshire.
- Brother: John, born 2 July 1884 at Hopeman, Morayshire – Cooper.
- Brother: Daniel S., born 5 October 1892 at Hopeman, Morayshire – Merchant Navy.
- Brother: George, born 4 June 1886 Hopeman, Morayshire – Fisherman.
- Sister: Nellie, born c.1895 at Hopeman, Morayshire.
- Brother: William, born 16 September 1896 at Hopeman, Morayshire – Fisherman.
- Sister: Isabella Young, born c.1900 at Hopeman, Morayshire.
The Morayshire Roll of Honour has the following information on his family brothers who served during the war:-
- YOUNG, John. No. 19322A., A.B., H.M.T. ” Thomas Jago ” ; born at Hopeman, 2nd July, 1884 ; joined at Inverness, Feb., 191 5 ; served in Home Waters. Son of George and Helen S. Young, 53, Harbour Street. Occupation – Cooper.
- YOUNG, Daniel S. No. 4765, Leading Seaman, R.N.D. ; born at Hopeman, 5th Oct., 1892 ; joined at Portsmouth, 1910 ; served at Antwerp ; awarded Mons Star. Son of George and Helen S. Young, 53, Harbour Street. Occupation, in merchant service.
- YOUNG, George. No. 11063A., A.B., H.M.D. ” Oku ” ; born at Hopeman, 4th June, 1886 ; joined at Invergordon, Dec, 1914 ; served in Home Waters. Son of George and Helen S. Young, 53, Harbour Street. Occupation – Fisherman.
- YOUNG, William. No. 5457A, Trimmer, H.M.D. ” Christina Mayes ” ; born at Hopeman, 16th Sept., 1896 ; joined at Aberdeen, Sept., 1914. Son of George and Helen S. Young, 53, Harbour Street. Occupation, fisherman. (Home Service).
The following addresses have been ascertained for David Young :-
- 1901 – Mid Street, Hopeman, Morayshire.
- 1911 – 53 Harbour Street, Hopeman, Morayshire.
- 1915 – 53 Harbour Street, Hopeman, Morayshire.
David Young was awarded the 1914-15 Star, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.
David Sutherland Young is honoured and remembered on the following memorials :-
- Hopeman War Memorial, Moray.
Links to Additional Information
- Find a Grave website – David S. Young – Le Touret Memorial
- A Street Near You website – David S. Young
- Lives of the First World War – David S. Young
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission – David S. Young
- Imperial War Museum Memorials – Hopeman War Memorial
- Scotland’s War – 6th Seaforth Highlanders at Festubert
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission and other documents have his age as 23 years, however if the Morayshire Roll of Honour is correct with the date of birth, then his age would have been 22 years.
- Medal Index Card.
- Soldiers Died in the Great War.
- Pension Card.
- Register of Soldiers Effects.
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- Find a Grave.
- 1901 Census.
- 1911 Census
- Medal Roll – Seaforth Highlanders – British War Medal and Victory Medal.
- Medal Roll – Seaforth Highlanders – 1914-15 Star.
- Morayshire Roll of Honour.
- 1914-15 Star Awardees
- Hopeman War Memorial
- Morayshire Roll of Honour
- Vincent Stuart.