Search is on to reunite Kirkcaldy family with WW1 military medal

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The hunt is on to return a military medal to the family of a Kirkcaldy World War I veteran.

The medal of Sergeant Robert Laurie was picked up by William MacLean, a medal collector and Commonwealth War Graves volunteer, and he is now hoping to find the descendants of the veteran.

A collector of military medals relating to the battalion that his great-uncle served in, the 10th Highland Light Infantry, William was drawn to the Sgt Laurie’s medal for those who served in the 11th Highland Light Infantry, as the two battalions would have worked closely together.

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He explained: “I said to myself I was not going to buy any medals apart from the 10th Highland because they're hard to get, because the regiment was decimated on the first day at the Battle of Loos, and the medals are really desirable because they are casualties – but I bought this one because he was on the battlefield with him and might have known him. It was quirky”.

The trio of medals belonged to a Sgt Laurie who served during World War I (Pic: William MacLean)The trio of medals belonged to a Sgt Laurie who served during World War I (Pic: William MacLean)
The trio of medals belonged to a Sgt Laurie who served during World War I (Pic: William MacLean)

However, William is now keen to find any relations to the soldier. His research has found that Sgt Laurie was based in Kirkcaldy, although might not have been born there, at 44 Salisbury Street. He was potentially born sometime in 1886 and discharged from the army in August 1917, with the cause given as traumatic neurasthenia.

His service number is given as 8327 and records show he would have been a survivor of the Battle of Loos and the Battle of the Somme.

William thought he had come close to finding the family in Australia, but he soon discovered there were multiple Robert Lauries from the Lang Toun in service at the same time.

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He said: “I thought that I’d found his great granddaughter in Australia, she had photographs of this soldier on her Ancestry.com site, but it turns out he was a Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers guy with a different number, but the exact same name. That scuppered that”.

William has continued his search for the family with the aim of continuing the legacy of the soldiers, saying he wants to “keep the memory of these guys going”.