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16th HLI (2nd Glasgow), Frankfurt Trench, 18-25 Nov, 1916.


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Is it okay if I start a thread as a place to deposit info regarding the guys of 16th Highland Light Infantry, 2nd Glasgow, or Boys Brigade Btn. who took, or possibly took part in the defence of Frankfurt Trench, 18-25th November, 1916?

15105. L/Sgt. Harry J. Lamb, D Company, 16th HLI. Taken Prisoner of War, 25/11/16*, shrapnel wound shoulder. From Aberdeen.

Awarded Military Medal for the defence of Frankfurt Trench, London Gazette, 30 Jan, 1920.

P.S. The photo postcard of Harry J. Lamb was taken and printed in Dulmen Prisoner of War Camp when Harry was an interned POW, it came from a collection of similar printed and signed postcards from the deceased estate of another Dulman POW, a guy from the Manchester Regiment.

It's a cracking photo.  I "think" it shows Harry in a German(?) issued Prisoner of War tunic, dyed dark blue/black, perhaps with the sown-in light brown POW  identification arm band. Harry's kept and attached his as issued HLI collar badges and Sgt. stripes.


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Awards to the 16th HLI for the eight day defence of Frankfurt Trench, 18 - 25 Nov, 1916 (some say it was the greatest "last stand" action of WW1).

In all, two posthumous Mention in Dispatches (both downgraded Victoria Crosses), one Distinguished Service Order, 2 Military Crosses, 11 Distinguished Conduct Medals and 22 Military Medals. Announced mostly in The London Gazette, 30 Jan, 1920, under Army Order 193.



Mention in Dispatches (downgraded V.C.'s) 

15154 Sergt. G. A. Lee

14545 L/Cpl. J. Veitch


Distinguished Service Order

Lieut.John Stewart


Military Cross

Lieut. Malcolm M. Lyon

Lieut. Frank Scott


Distinguished Conduct Medal

14952 Cpl. P. E. Browne

14811 Sergt. J. M. Buchan

3579 L/Cpl. J. Eastop

14661 L/Cpl. A. C. Fletcher

43183 Pte. I. Fraser

26203 L/Cpl. G. McArthur

14493 Pte. J. McLay

27274 Pte. R. K. Mansen

43155 Pte. D. Millar

14388 Pte. J. Mitchell

43163 Pte.J.Smart


Military Medal

27252 Pte. G. Cairns

3563 Pte.J. Duncanson

28779 Pte. G. Grant

9345 Pte. W. Gunning

40546 Pte. A. Hay

43144 Pte. J. Hughes

15105 Cpl. (A/L. Sgt.) H.J. Lamb

32681 L/Cpl.J. McAllister

24571 Pte. R. McBride

27250 Pte. J.W.M. McGregor

14823 Pte. J. McGrottie

30325 Pte. R. McKinley

1451 Pte. H. McInnes

3524 Pte. A. McPhee

27270 Pte. J. F. Manson

14398 Cpl.J. Reid

43181 Pte. R. Shaw

43161 Pte.J. Smart

14287 Pte. A. Smith

30306 Pte. J. Stevenson

40542 Pte. T. G. Steward

43165 Pte. D. Whittet

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Hi Ian, sure that is no problem, should be a good thread  

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The medal groups from the above list which are known to still survive, either in family possession or private collections:


Memorial Plaque, 1914-15 Trio with posthumous MID awarded to the family of 14545 L/Cpl. J. Veitch, 16/HLI. (Private collection?).

Distinguished Service Order, WW1 pair with MID awarded to Lieut. John Stewart, attached 16/HLI. (Private collection).

Distinguished Conduct Medal, WW1 pair awarded to 43183 Pte. I. Fraser, 16/HLI. (Private collection).

Distinguished Conduct Medal, WW1 pair awarded to 26203 L/Cpl. G. McArthur, 16/HLI. (Private collection).

Military Medal, WW1 pair awarded to 27252 Pte. G. Cairns, 16/HLI. (Private collection).

Military Medal, awarded to 40546 Pte. A. Hay, 16/HLI. (Spink auctions, sold 28 Jan, 2022).

Military Medal, 1914-15 Trio awarded to 1451 Pte. H. McInnes, 16/HLI. (Family).

Military Medal, WW1 pair awarded to 27270 Pte. J. F. Manson, 16/HLI. (Private collection).


They'll be other Frankfurt Trench medal groups out there.


Below, the MM group awarded to 27252 Pte. G. Cairns along with his private purchase miniature group and ribbon bar.





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It's been stated that at the end of the eight day defence and after being taken POW, two of the defenders died in captivity, one being shot by a German guard for dropping out of line to accept a loaf of bread from a Frenchwoman.

This can be confirmed, as can the name of the man shot for accepting the piece of bread; 43133, Lance-Corporal David Young, C Company, 16th HLI. Taken POW 25th Nov, 1916, died 27th April. Buried Honnechy Cemetery. 

Confirmation in WO 161/100/628, Prisoner of war typed transcript from 3579, Lance-Corporal, James S. Eastop, 16th HLI, cross referenced with International Red Cross POW cards & Commonwealth War Grave Commission.

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Part of Lance-Corporal, James S. Eastop's typed POW testimony attached below, also a snipit from "The Mustard Tin Messages", an interview recorded in 1920 with ex-POW, H. Rennie of the 1st Gordon Highlanders who refers to the story as heard from Pte. Smart, 16/HLI.

Screenshot 2022-02-03 at 19.53.36.png

The Mustard Tin Messages. Alpin MacGregor H. Rennie 1 Gordons.png

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The second Frankfurt Trench defender to die in captivity was most likely 3574, Pte. Neil Fletcher, D Company, 16/HLI. Died 29 March, 1917, POW camp lazarett Dulman, buried Cologne Southern Cemetery. Pte. Fletcher's recorded in the International Red Cross records as being taken POW on 25th Nov, 1916 so "probably" a trench defender (the International Red Cross POW records are full of inconsistencies and conflicting dates for when guys were taken POW so "probably" is probably as good as you'll get".

The Pte. Buchanan, 16th HLI referred to in James S. Eastop's typed POW testimony as having being ill and died of exposure after the journey between Vendhuile and Maretz POW camps is most likely to be 33407, Pte. J.R. Buchannan, B Coy, 16th HLI. Probably not a Frankfurt Trench defender but "probably" taken POW on 18th November after the initial assault. International Red Cross has his date of capture as the 13th Nov. but that must be a mistake, B Coy was back in billets on that date.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Ian, 

I have info on Pte Ian Fraser 43183 16 HLI 

He was my other half’s grandfather. Wanted to ask a few questions though, can I message or contact you directly? 

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Let me know when contact is made Ian and I'll delete these last two posts, never a good idea posting your email address on a forum much better to use the messenger  :thumbsup:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for that Kenny, I actually hadn't noticed the messenger function which would have been a more secure option. Feel free to delete my original message (and thanks for giving that option).


Thank you.

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