Private, 29888, Alexander Mann – Killed in Action

11th Royal Scots, 12th April 1917

Royal Scots Cap Badge, similar to the one which would have been worn by Alexander Mann.

The Banffshire Herald dated 5th April 1917

Mrs Mann, Duff Street Has received notice from the War Office, that her husband, Private Alexander Mann of the Royal Scots, was killed in action on the 12th of April (1917). He was a son of the late Mr Robert Mann, old town, and was married about a year ago. He had been in France for about a year. He had been in America for four years, and came back to this country on the outbreak of hostilities. 

Synopsis of Life and Military Service

The following information was gleaned from the Service Record of Private Alexander Mann, 29888, 11th Royal Scots.

Alexander enlisted on the 11th February 1916 at Aberdeen where he gave his age as 22 years and 300 days, his occupation Butcher and his address as 15 Nelson Terrace, Fife-Keith, Banffshire.

He was initially posted to the 3rd Battalion The Royal Scots within the U.K. before being posted to the 11th Battalion in France.

He served in :-

  • United Kingdom – 11 February 1916 to 30 June 1916
  • France – 1 July 1916 to his death on 12 April 1917

It is likely that he was killed at the Battle of Arras when the 11th and 12th Battalions were working in concert while attacking the German trenches.

His Military Conduct sheet shows the following minor offences –

  • 29 May 1916 – Glencorse – Apprehended at Waverley Station, Edinburgh by Military Police on 17 May 1916 for unknown offence (Illegible). Punishment – admonished
  • 29 July 1916 – In the Field – Dirty Belt. Punishment – 3 days Confined to Barracks.
  • 20-21 January 1917 – In the Field – a) Stating a Falsehood, b) Not showing up on Inspection Parade, c) Dirty boots blatantly on Inspection Parade – Punishment Unknown.
  • 22 February 1917 – In the Field – Urinating in the vicinity of a dug-out. Punishment – 4 days Confined to Barracks.

He was buried at Athies Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France.

Grave of Alexander Mann at Athies Communal Cemetery Extension, France – © Philippe Degroote

War Diary – 11th Royal Scots – 12th April 1917

The following is an extract from the above Battalion Diary :-

Major Sir John Campbell took command of the battalion. Moved at noon to participate in attack on village of Rueux. The battalion formed up for the attack at 4pm in road running north and south from west of Fampoux. Zero for infantry 4.25 p.m. A, B, C, attack, D in reserve, 1000 yards had to be covered without artillery barrage but own machine guns put up a concentrated fire but this did not prevent us from suffering considerable casualties through enemy barrage opening on us immediately and on our own artillery barrage opening at Zero – 5p.m.. We advanced to the attack but could not catch up on our barrage who opened 400 yards ahead of us.

After advancing 300 yards we came under massed machine gun fire added to which was considerable enemy artillery fire. This held up the attack all along the line. The bulk of the battalion remained in shell holes until it was dusk when we brought in our wounded and killed. Casualties to officers were 3 killed and 8 wounded, one remaining on duty, 160 other ranks. We then withdrew under orders and sheltered in the forming up road.

Family

His records show that Alexander married Maggie (Margaret) McIntosh on 17th April 1916 at Keith, their address given at the time was ℅ Mrs Munro, Netherton Farm, by Keith.  By their union they had a son, Alexander Robert, born on the 17th July 1916.

Maggie, had a son prior to the marriage, his name was Joseph Tough McIntosh and following the death of Alexander Mann on the 12 April 1917 there were discreet enquiries by Military Pensions to enquiry if they had to include money for Josephs upbringing as he wasn’t Alexanders direct child.  It appears that they were informed that Maggies first husband had been killed on the Lusitania sinking and Alexander Mann had intended to adopt him. It was recommended that funds be provided to support the child from the military.

From a pensions claim document dated 2 June 1920, it shows that Alexander Mann (senior) had two brothers, 1 unknown (illegible) aged 36 and another John Mann aged 30 years old.  He also had a sister Maggie Mann aged 34 years.  Their addresses were all given as 12 Old Town, Keith

Addresses

Addresses given on documents for Alexander and Maggie Mann are as follows :-

  • 11 Feb 1916 – 15 Nelson Terrace, Fife-Keith, Keith, Banffshire.
  • 17 April 1916 – C/O Mrs Munro, Netherton Farm, by Keith AB55 5PE.
  • 10 Aug 1917 – 13 Duff Street, Fife-Keith, Banffshire from 25 Nelson Street, Fife-Keith.

The dates given are those marked on the documents and not necessarily when they moved into each property. On his enlistment his address is given as 15 Nelson Terrace, documents later in his career refer to 25 Nelson Terrace, it is unknown if this is a mistake or they actually resided there.

Memorials

Alexander Mann is honoured and remembered on the Keith War Memorial, Moray.

Medals

Alexander Mann was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service in the Great War.

Links To Additional Information

References

  •  Banffshire Herald dated 5th April 1917
  •  Medal Index Card
  •  Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • Military Service Record – (Ancestry)
  •  Lives of the First World War Site
  • Find my Past
  • War Diary of the 11th Royal Scots

Groups

Contributors :-

  • Vincent Stuart
  • Philippe Degroote (Grave Photograph)
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