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Found 2 results

  1. Here's a lovely little group, to a Scottish officer, 2nd Lieutenant James Murray Smillie R.E. Commissioned from Lance-Sergeant on 31 Jan 1916, he served with 252 (Tunnelling) Company R.E. and is mentioned in the unit war diary on 16 May just a few months after gaining his commission., 16-5-16 At midnight the enemy blew a large camouflet between R.I. (2) and R.I. (2-1) shaking the front system badly and causing large falls wherever the galleries were not timbered. There were no casualties from the blow. 10 men who were laid out unconscious by gas at #3 post were brought out and brought round by 2nd Lt. Smillie and the Proto men. The gas was very bad and the mines continued to be flooded. At 10a.m. an infantry private and Proto man Gallagher of this Company tried to come from #3 post to the mine but were killed by gas before they could be rescued. “Proto” refers to a type of breathing apparatus worn by tunnellers. Interesting to see his "Officers and Men" Lapel badge as this was a left wing veterans group. Particularly interesting is that it turns out that Smillie's father, Robert Smillie was president of the Miners Federation of Great Britain and was Labour Member of Parliament for Morpeth. Highly respected, there are still Schools named in his honour. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Smillie
  2. This is one of my favourite British items. A DCM to a Tunneller with 173 Coy. It has a great citation in that he rescued comrades trapped by a fall underground by digging a rabbit hole to rescue them. (unsupported tunnel) I have researched and recorded all DCMs awarded to RE Tunnellers of WW1 and cannot find similar awards in this company for the same time so he must have acted alone. My British collection consists only of medals to Tunnellers. Jim