Robert was born in Glasgow in 1882, the son of Jackson Currie and Eliza Armstrong. Jackson died in 1891 and Eliza in 1898, leading Robert and siblings Jane and George to emigrate to Canada. Robert signed up to the Canadian Expeditionary Force from his home in Norman, Kenora, Ontario, and would be awarded the Military Medal for bravery in an action in 1918. Sadly he lost his life in September 1918 whilst storming the Drocourt-Queant Line near Arras with his battalion. His achievement and eventual death were recorded on October 3rd 1918 in the Kenora Miner and News. Sincere thanks to Becky Johnson in Ontario for her help in locating this article, and to the Your Family Tree magazine forum at www.yourfamilytreemag.co.uk/yft-forum/ which allowed us to establish the connection between the Robert Currie she was researching on her local war memorial, and my family.
HOW LATE CORP. CURRIE WON MILITARY MEDAL
Mrs J. Holmes, Norman Receives Medal Won by Her Brother and An Account of Gallant Action
Mrs J. Holmes, Norman, this week received the Military Medal won by her gallant brother the late Lce.-Cpl. Robert Currie, in action in France. It was forwarded to her through the General Officer Commanding Military District No. 10, who says "In forwarding this decoration I desire to express my appreciation of the gallant conduct displayed by your brother on the field of battle, which merited the award of this military medal."
The following extract from the London Gazette, gives a short account of his conduct for which he was awarded the decoration:
"Lnc-Corpl. Currie, 199201, 16th Can. Infantry battalion - For his great bravery and personal initiative on Feb. 13. 1918. He commanded one of the leading sections of the raid and when unanticipated wire was encountered wire was encountered he showed great pluck in getting his men through the three lines of wire and rushing the German trench.
"With a shower of rifle grenades the gunners were chased to their dugouts and the way made clear for the whole party. Lnce.Corpl Currie then led his party down the German front line bombing dug-outs and inflicting a great many casualties. He brought back one prisoner. His section and the wounded were withdrawn with the utmost precision under his direction."
Mrs Holmes also received the following letter from Lieut. Elliott, giving an account of the death of her brother in action on September 2nd:
16th Batt. Can. Scottish, B.E.F.
Sept. 11th. 1918
|Your Family Tree issue 120 - illustration |
accompanying article on Robert
Yours very sincerely
ALECK G. ELLIOTT, Lt
The history of my Currie family, originally from Maghera in County Londonderry in Ireland, is commemorated at http://chrispatonscotland.tripod.com/id12.html
UPDATE: Since this first post I have managed to establish considerably more on Robert's story and service with the Canadian 94th and 16th Battalions, as well as his connections to Glasgow and Ireland. As a result an article was published about Robert in Your Family Tree magazine issue 120, and now the final part of the picture has come to light, again thanks to Becky's continued efforts in Canada. A photograph of Robert with fellow members of the 94th Battalion has been identified in the Lake of the Woods Museum, Kenora, Ontario, and is presented here with grateful thanks to both Becky and the museum. Robert is the second from the left in the back row.
|Robert Currie with 94th battalion, back row, 2nd from left |
(with kind permission of Lake of the Woods Museum, Kenora)