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World War I

World War One or ‘The Great War’ which covered the period from 1914 to 1918 resulted in an estimated 10 million deaths of soldiers across the world, the scale of which had never been seen before. It covered several continents, on sea, land and also for the first time, in the air.

The war memorial lists the names of 24 men who were lost on active service during World War One, however when the war memorial was unveiled in 1920, there were only 12 names listed. Although this number is relatively small, Inverkip was a much smaller village 100 years ago and many other men from the village were on active service but did return home.

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Western Front

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The Western Front was a major theatre of World War One and refers to the battlefields and trenches which stretched for over 400 miles from Belgium, through France to the border with Switzerland.


The largest battles of the war were fought along the Western front, including Ypres, the Somme and Passchendaele. The Armistice on the Western Front was signed on 11 November 1918 which signalled the end of fighting and the loss of millions of lives.

The war memorial lists 17 men lost at the Western Front. These names include the youngest man on the war memorial and two brothers. No rank or regiments are included on the panel and the dates are not all accurate which made the research more challenging!


At Gallipoli


The duration of the Gallipoli campaign was from February 1915 to January 1916. Allied troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsula on Turkey which was part of a strategy to allow ships to pass through the Dardanelles Straits. It is estimated the Gallipoli campaigned resulted in 500,000 casualties.

Two men are listed on the war memorial who were killed at Gallipoli, both on the same day and both served in the 1st/5th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. There is no evidence yet discovered which indicates they were known to each other.

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In Palestine


The Palestine campaign was part of the Middle Eastern theatre of war and took place from January 1915 until October 1918. This was the last campaign fought by the Ottoman Army.


The Ottoman Empire consists of present-day Turkey, Syria, Iraq. Jordan and parts of Saudi Arabia.

One man is listed on the war memorial who was killed at Palestine.

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In Mesopotamia


Throughout the duration of World War One, British and Indian troops fought against the Ottoman Turks in Mesopotamia (now Iraq), resulting in over 800,000 casualties. Mesopotamia had been part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years. This campaign was critical in Britain’s position in the Middle East and Baghdad was finally taken in March 1917.

One man is listed on the war memorial who was killed in Mesopotamia.

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At Sea

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Both men listed on the war memorial as being lost at sea served in the Merchant Navy. During World War One, the Mercantile Marine exported manufactured goods and coal from the UK and became the supply service of the Royal Navy. This included delivering armaments to the armed forces.

Nearly 2,500 British merchant vessels were lost due to enemy action with over 14,000 lives lost.

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On Home Service


Home Service Battalions were intended for home defence and other duties in both World Wars. Those who joined these Battalions were exempted from service outside the UK.

The story of Private Daniel Boyle, listed under the Home Service section on the war memorial is one of the saddest stories uncovered. After service in the Royal Scots, he joined the 469 Employment Corps which was one of the Scottish Home Service Employment Companies. Forms of employment for these companies included cooks, policemen and telephone operators. He was found dead on 22nd July 1917 in Castle Hill School, Edinburgh. The cause of death was recorded as ‘death by hanging – suicide’.

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