Officer’s Great War sacrifice recognised

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THE NAME of an Arbroath officer who served in the First World War and died from wounds in 1921 has been added to The Black Watch roll of honour at the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle.

The application for his name to be included was made by his nephew, former police officer Patrick W. Anderson, 2 McFarlane Croft, Letham.

Lieutenant Patrick Wright Anderson was born in Arbroath in 1892, the son of Patrick Wright Anderson, an accountant in a lawyer’s firm in the town. He attended Arbroath High School and in 1910 was awarded the Science Medal. The following year he became a maths and science student at the University College, Dundee, then part of St Andrews University.

He joined the St Andrews University Officer Training Corps and he was promoted corporal but in 1914 the war broke out in Europe so he volunteered for a commission into The Black Watch and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th (Service) Battalion The Black Watch and posted to Aldershot.

He moved to the 10th (Service) Battalion The Black Watch in Bristol and was appointed Lieutenant soon after. The Battalion then moved to Sutton Veny in Wiltshire where they joined other regiments to become part of the 26th Division.

The Division was posted to France and Lieutenant Anderson was appointed chief instructor of the 26th Division bombing school in the Somme area. However, later in 1915 they were moved to the Balkans for active service there.

Lieutenant Anderson was mentioned in several entries in the Battalion’s War Diary on his service on operations and often at night raiding enemy lines.

He must have applied to be an Observer in the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to 18 Squadron RFC in France flying daytime bombers. However, on June 27, 1918, just weeks after the formation of the Royal Air Force his machine was attacked by 10 enemy aircraft and he received serious gunshot wounds to his stomach and thigh. He lost a lot of blood in getting back to the lines where he was visited by his Arbroath family doctor, Major J.E.G. Thomson MC.

Lieutenant Anderson was hospitalised for many months and only arrived back in Arbroath by ambulance train on Armistice Day, 1919. He was seen daily by Dr Thomson who had been discharged from the forces. Unfortunately, his heath deteriorated and he was admitted to Arbroath Infirmary for further treatment on his serious stomach wounds but he died on November 2, 1921, aged just 29 years.

Mr Anderson told the Arbroath Herald: “In the last few days I have received a copy of the page of The Black Watch roll of honour that records my namesake uncle and also have received a certificate for my uncle signed by Major General Mark Sturdwick, chairman of the trustees of the Scottish National War Memorial.