Regiment:               Royal Highlanders (Black Watch), 13th Btn
                               formerly Scottish Horse  

Rank & Number:    
Lance Corporal 316442 (RH); 1269 (SH)  

Bet October-December 1880; Winkfield, Berkshire  

                      17 October 1918; France (died of wounds) 

Other:                     Buried at Quietiste Military Cemetery, Le Cateau,

was born between Oct - Dec 1880 in Winkfield, Berkshire to parents William Scott and Louisa Wexham (who married at St. Marylebone, Middlesex on 3 May 1873).  He died of wounds in France on 17 Oct 1918, aged 37, and is buried at Quietiste Military Cemetery, Le Cateau, France.  

On 19 Apr 1913 in Edinburgh, William (aged 32, butler, residence Glendahough, North Berwick) was married by declaration to Jane Gibbs Smith.  In his will he left the whole of his property and effects to his wife, Mrs W. Balchin, Nairns Cottage, Ladybank, Fife.  

At the time of his enlistment in June 1915, he was butler to the Earl of Glasgow.  

In the 1881 Census, William, aged 6m, is living North Street, Winkfield, Berks. with parents William (30, Head Gardener) and Louisa (30), and siblings Louisa (6) and Harry (3). 

In the 1891 Census, he’s aged 10 and living 29a Western Road, St. Mary, Berkshire with parents William (41) and Louisa (40) and siblings Louisa (16), Harry (13), Charles (8) and Eva (6).  

By the time of the 1911 Census, William, aged 30, is a butler, and is living at Shenton House, Sunninghill, Berkshire with his widowed father William (60, gardener) and sisters Louisa and Eva.  

He enlisted in the Scottish Horse, and his medal index card shows the theatre of war first entered was the Balkans on 21 Oct 1915.  The Scottish Horse served at Gallipoli and Egypt before becoming the 13th Black Watch, and transferring to France in 1918.  His medal index card shows he received the 1914-15 Star, the British War medal and the Victory medal.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-    

5 September 1915      

Mr. William Balchin, butler to the Earl of Glasgow, left Fairlie this week to join Lord Tullibardine’s Scottish Horse.  

26 February 1916       

Fairlie Cigarette And Tobacco Fund:  Letters of thanks have lately been received from Trooper Wm. Balchin, Gunner James Ramsay, Private T. McLaughlin (Dardanelles Force), Private Alex. McLean (Salonica), Gunner Tom Messenger, Private John Boyd, Driver John Fraser, Corpl. Duncan Douglas (France), Sergt. A. Davis, Private John McLaughlan, Dan McCallum, and David Thomson (hospital).  

17 June 1916
Fairlie Cigarette And Tobacco Fund: Letters of thanks have been received recently from James Ramsay, Wm. Ramsay, John Currie, John Ward, A. Erskine, James Smith, Tom McLaughlin, Charles Rodger, Tom Messenger, Hugh Burden, Wm. Balchin, Tom Miller, Wm. Stewart, John Fraser, Duncan Douglas, Dan McCallum, Allan McCallum, Alex. McLean, Alfred Davis, Arthur Crawford, and a postcard from Robert McLachlan, who is a prisoner of war in Germany.  

2 November 1918       
The Toll of War: It is with profound regret that we have this week to record the passing of another of our soldiers on service.  Mrs Balchin received a letter from the chaplain intimating the death of her husband L./Cpl. Wm. Balchin, at the ambulance dressing station after the battle of Thursday/Friday last.  In his communication he speaks of the high esteem in which he was held by all as a man and a soldier.  L./Cpl. Balchin, previous to joining the army, was butler to the late Earl of Glasgow.  He joined the Scottish Horse and later was transferred to the Black Watch and saw considerable service in Egypt.  He went to France some months ago along with the 52nd Division, where he paid the supreme sacrifice.  We desire to convey our sincere sympathy to Mrs Balchin in her sad bereavement.  

16 November 1918   
Acknowledgement: Mrs Balchin, Nairn Cottage, Ladybank, desires to convey her sincere thanks for the many expressions of sympathy in her recent sad bereavement.

 Quietiste Military Cemetery

 Images © War Graves Photographic Project

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Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785