The Hendrys and the Glasgow Highlanders

Capt. John W. Hendry

I currently do not know when my grandfather first joined the Glasgow Highlanders however by the time of his marriage to my grandmother Robina Adam on 3rd July 1917 he was recorded on his marriage record as "Writer (Cadet Officer - Cadet Battalion)". Whether he was already a member of the Territorial force prior to the war or whether he had volunteered sometime after the outbreak is unknown.

By January 1918 he was a commissioned officer, 2nd Lieutenant, in the 9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion H.L.I. and on 24th January 1918 he joined the regiment at Alnwick Camp, Potljze, near Passchendal , Belgium, on the Western front and was assigned to B Company. At this time the British army were increasingly short of officers as they suffered a higher casualty rate and this may be reflected in John W seeing active service despite being 36. 

After a fairly quite first few weeks the Battalion was moved back to the front near Passchendale where they remained seeing sporadic action throughout March. By the 7th April the Battalion was in billets at Izel-les-Hameau awaiting a move to the south in support of troops who had been hard pressed containing a German assault in the Vimy Ridge \ Amiens areas. On the 10th April they set of but had gone no more than a couple of miles when they were ordered back and re-directed to the north where the Germans had launched a fresh offensive on the northern front around the Bassee Canal. The battalion was moved north and took up positions in the Bailleul \ Neuve Eglise area. 

Over the next few days the Highlanders took part in some fierce fighting and seems to have played a major role in stemming the German advance in that area. Unfortunately John W was wounded on the 13th April and it is assumed was taken to the rear. By the time this particular phase of operations was completed on 20th April 1918 with the battalion’s move to billets at Noordpeene the casualties list was - Killed: Officers 7, Other Ranks 60. Wounded: Officers 13, (including 2 at duty), Other Ranks 172. Missing: Other Ranks 154.

The previous information was extracted from "The War Diary of the 9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion Highland Light Infantry - 'the Glasgow Highlanders' 1914 to 1919" as transcribed by Alec Weir(WO 95 1347 and WO 95 2431.) and "Shoulder to Shoulder - The Glasgow Highlanders 9th. Bn. Highland Light Infantry 1914 -1918" by Colonel A. K. Reid, GB, CBE, DSO, MC, TD, DL. Both books can be found online at the Royal Highland Fusiliers website http://rhf.org.uk/rhf in the online books section. There is obviously a lot more detail in these sources. I suspect as a result of his wounds John W never returned to active service in France. 

On his recovery and the cessation of hostilities he resumed his law practice, and hopefully life settled down to normal domesticity but remained an officer in the Glasgow Highlanders as is evinced by the photographs of himself with the B company 9th Battalion Glasgow Highlanders H.L.I. at Gailes Camp dated 1922.