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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 Indian Army.

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 Force.

The 1 Seaforths entered the frontline soon after arriving in France near Richebourg-St-Vaast and Neuve Chapelle, where they defended Festubert. 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. At 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 (Scottish) attacked 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 Pietre.

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.

SCOTTISHNATIONALWARMEMORIALEDINBURGHCASTLE Munro. William S/11256. Private, Killed in action. Persian Gulf. 22-4-16 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders.

COMMONWEALTHWARGRAVESCOMMISSION 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.

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