William Robert Munro
was born in Kinloch Tongue in 1881, son of Alick Munro and Mary Jane Telford. They were married in Tongue in 1877. In 1911 Census he is listed at the home of an uncle Donald Mackay in The Village Tongue. He was a soldier before the outbreak of the First World War,
serving in the Regular Army with the 1st Battalion,
Seaforth Highlanders. At the outbreak of war in August 1914, the
1 Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders were stationed at Agra in India;
the battalion was part of the Dehra Dun Brigade, 7th Meerut Division, of the
The 1 Seaforths served alongside two Gurkha Battalions,
one Sikh Battalion, the 2 Battalion Black Watch and the 4
Battalion Seaforth Highlanders.
The 7Meerut Division arrived
at Marseilles in France on or about the 12 of October 1914 and was
immediately rushed north to reinforce the remnants of the British Expeditionary
The 1 Seaforths entered the frontline soon after arriving
in France near Richebourg-St-Vaast and Neuve Chapelle, where they defended
On the 20 and 21
of December 1914 the battalion took heavy casualties during the defence of the
village of Givenchy. The soldiers then settled in to life in the trenches over
the winter period as the British tried to replace the terrible losses they had
taken in the first five months of war.
7:00am on the 10 of March 1915, British
heavy artillery bombarded the village of Neuve Chapelle, for thirty-five
minutes. Four Divisions, (Lahore, Meerut, 8 and the 9
over a two mile front and quickly captured the enemy frontline trenches. The
infantry then swept on and took the village of Neuve Chapelle from its
shattered German defenders.
The 1 Battalion
performed well in this attack and fought with distinction, during the battle a
total of 150 men became casualties.
Indian troops fought bravely during the
attack on Neuve Chapelle, capturing all the objectives but at a terrible cost;
total casualties that day were about 13,000 officers and men. On the first day
of the battle a total of nine Victoria Crosses were awarded to Indian soldiers
for acts of bravery.
On the 9 of May
1915 the British attacked the enemy at Aubers Ridge, but the attack was a
costly failure due to a lack of artillery support. The Meerut Division attacked
Rue du Bois, taking heavy casualties close to Festubert, the 1 and
4 Battalions of Seaforth Highlanders took 500 casualties between
them in three-quarters of an hour.
The Meerut Division was then
involved in the Battle of Loos on the 25 of
September and the action at
In November 1915, it was decided that Indian and
Gurkha troops would be sent to
the Middle East Campaign to fight against the Turkish
Army. The troops were more used
to the heat of the desert than the rain and mud of the
Western Front, the British
battalions remained attached to the Indian Division when it
was sent overseas.
The 1 Battalion,
Seaforth Highlanders, now amalgamated with the 2 Battalion
Black Watch to form the Highland Battalion, was sent
to Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in
December 1915. The Highland Battalion was with the 19
Indian Brigade and was then
attached to a relief column called "Tigris"
Corps. The relief column was trying to reach
General Townsend's Force under siege at the town of
Kut el Amara.
The relief columns failed to get
through to Kut and took terrible casualties as they tried; the Tigris Corps
lost 23,000 battle casualties. The Highland Battalion casualties between 4
and 22 of April 1916 was 921 men, this was on top of 20 officers
and 360 men lost in battle in January.
Private William Munro was killed
in action on the 22 of April 1916, as his battalion took part in
the attack on Sanniayat in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) , his body was not found after the fighting was over.
Total battalion losses during the attack was 24 men killed, 168 wounded, 48 were missing and 2 sick.
Munro. William S/11256. Private, Killed in action.
Persian Gulf. 22-4-16
1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders.
Munro, Private William. S/11256, 1st Battalion,
Seaforth Highlanders, 22 April 1916.
Private William Munro, S/11256, 1st Battalion
Seaforth Highlanders, has no known grave and is remembered on the BASRA
MEMORIAL to the MISSING, IRAQ.