Far from the Front

West Calder: A Scottish Village and the Great War

Email: jamesfanning@icloud.com



R L Mackie

In Memory of




"Y" 16th Trench Mortar Bty.,

Royal Field Artillery

who died on

Saturday, 21st July 1917. Age 20.


Additional Information:  Son of David and Margaret Mackie, of 7, Mungle St., West Calder, Midlothian.


Commemorative Information


Cemetery:  VLAMERTINGHE NEW MILITARY CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Grave Reference/Panel Number:  III. H. 5.                                                      

CWGC website

Mr and Mrs David Mackie, Mungle Street, West Calder, have received the sad news that their son, Bombardier R L Mackie RFA, was killed in action on the 21st July.


He was home recently and was in fine spirits and health. On his return to France he volunteered for service up the line, where he unfortunately lost his life. He had been in the army for 2 years and 4 months, and had been in France for 21 months, so that he had taken part in the severe fighting from the Somme to Arras.


Lieut G I Masten writing to Mr and Mrs Mackie says :-


I am just writing a short letter to give you an account of how your son died … I am very relieved to know that he had home leave before he was killed, so that all his relatives and friends were able to see him before he met his death.


Unfortunately he was killed by a premature ******* of the gun at which he was serving.


I might mention a notable fact which happened previous to him being killed. When your son heard that his battery was going into the line he came personally to the officer in command of the battery and asked if he could go up the line.


We are in a very unhealthy spot, and this only bears out the thought that I have always had of your son, that he was very brave and an excellent NCO. I might say that had he lived he would have had quick promotion.


He is buried a good distance behind the line, where his grave will be cared for. I am having a large white cross made to put on the grave, and you will get the grave number which will enable you to find it after the war is over.


Midlothian Advertiser, August 3, 1917