Bridge of Weir

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S/43350 Corporal Robert Sproul

5th Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders

killed in action 18th July 1918

aged 25

Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord
Ranfurly Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir

Windsor Place, Bridge of Weir
Son of Arthur Sproul and Mary Hart
Husband of Annie Ferguson

His Life

Robert Sproul was born on 27th April 1893 at 19 Rossendale Road, Pollokshaws, Renfrewshire, the son of Arthur James Sproul (24), a baker from Pollokshaws and Mary Hart (24), a dressmaker from Glasgow, who had married in National Halls, Main Street, Glasgow on 5th July 1892. Mary died after giving birth to Robert. On 19th April 1899 Arthur remarried to Catherine Hutchison (28), baker's saleswoman from Langside, Glasgow, at 6 High Street, Johnstone, Renfrewshire.

In 1901 Arthur James Sproul, Kate, Robert (7) and Beatson H were living in Kirkinner Place, Bridge of Weir. Kate's sister, Maggie Hutchison was also resident at least for the night of the census.

In 1911 Robert (17) was living and working as a labourer at North Branchal Farm, Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire farmed by Alexander Taylor. The rest of the family, five more boys, was in 2 Windsor Place, Bridge of Weir. His father Arthur was an elder in Freeland Church.

On 2nd September 1914 Robert (21), by then a spirit salesman living at 119 Paisley Road West, Glasgow, married Anne Ferguson, daughter of George Ferguson, coal miner, and Catherine Docherty of Dykehead, Bargeddie, Lanarkshire. They were married by declaration at 19 Howard Street, Glasgow (the Registrar's Office).

Robert Sproul volunteered in February 1915 and was enlisted as a Private in the Lovat Scouts, No. 125834, (although the local newspaper reports that he initially joined the Motor Transport Service).

Private Sproul first joined the theatre of war on 7th September 1915 in Gallipoli. The Lovat Scouts came under orders of the 2nd Mounted Division. He was wounded at Suvla Bay in October, and returned home on leave in January 1916.

He was transferred to the 5th Battalion Cameron Highlanders, the Lovat Scouts' "parent" regiment, forming part of 26th Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division, and gained promotion to Corporal. The battalion had been on the Western Front since 10th May 1915. The 9th (Scottish) Division saw action in the Battles of the Somme, Arras and Third Ypres (Passchendaele).

On 18th July 1918, as the German Spring Offensive was petering out, 5th Camerons were engaged in the Capture of Meteren, under sporadic, heavy enemy artillery. Robert may well have been one of the five Other Ranks reported missing from an unsuccessful raid on a machine gun post that day. After almost three years in active theatres of war in one of the most effective fighting formations, his luck finally ran out.

Robert Sproul is buried in the Ballieul Communal Cemetery Extension in northern France, about 3km east of Meteren, near the border with Belgium.


1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age
Robert7Robert*17 Pollokshaws, Renfrewshire
Beatson H5 mo Beatson H10 Pollokshaws, Renfrewshire
Arthur J9 Bridge of Weir
George H7 Bridge of Weir
Andrew W4 Bridge of Weir
Walter W E2 Bridge of Weir


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