The Collection of Medals to Great War Casualties formed by Tim Parsons

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Date of Auction: 2nd April 2004

Sold for £820

Estimate: £350 - £400

Four: Corporal J. Beattie, Royal Highlanders, who was killed in action at Aubers Ridge on 9 May 1915, when a fellow soldier of the 2nd Battalion won a V.C.

1914 Star (822 Cpl., 2/R. Highrs.); British War and Victory Medals (822 Cpl., R. Highrs.); Delhi Durbar 1911 (822 L./Cpl., R.H.), regimentally impressed naming, with related Memorial Plaque (John Beattie), nearly extremely fine (5) £350-400


John Beattie, who was born at Montrose, Forfarshire and enlisted in Edinburgh, is verified on the Delhi Durbar Medal 1911 roll compiled by Peter Duckers, having been stationed in India with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Highlanders.

He was still serving in the same Battalion at the time of his death in action on 9 May 1915, when the Black Watch participated in an attack near the Rue de Bois on Aubers Ridge. A fellow soldier of the 2nd Battalion, Acting-Corporal David Findlay, was awarded the V.C. for his bravery that day, but casualties were heavy, the attack being called off when it became apparent that some 275 men had been killed or wounded; see VCs of the First World War: The Western Front 1915, by Batchelor and Matson, for further details.

Beattie is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.