Ewen George Sinclair-Maclagan was born on the 24th December 1868 in Edinburgh. He was educated at the United Services College, Westward Ho! North Devon and commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Border Regiment in 1898.
He served in India, including the expedition to Waziristan in 1894-5, and was promoted Captain in 1898. He saw action in the 2nd Boer War (1899-1902) as an Adjutant in the 1st Battalion Border Regiment. He was severely wounded at Spion Kop, mentioned in dispatches and received the Distinguished Service Order. In 1901 he was posted to Australia when their Army was being organised, being appointed Adjutant to the New South Wales Scottish Rifles.
On the 29th January 1902 he married Edith Kathleen, daughter of Major General Sir George French, at St’ Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral in Sydney. They would have one daughter. In 1904 Maclagan resumed regimental duty in Britain. Promoted Major in 1908 he then transferred to the Yorkshire Regiment.
In 1910 Major General Sir William Bridges, who had known Maclagan in Australia, was recruiting for staff for the Royal Military College in Duntroon, Canberra. He made Maclagan director of drill with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. When Bridges raised the 1st Division Australian Imperial Force (AIF) he chose Maclagan to command the 3rd Infantry Brigade.
On the 25th April 1915 landed at Gallipoli. A ridge leading from Anzac Cove is named after him. He would stay on the peninsula until evacuated sick in August 1915. He did not return to his Brigade in Egypt until January 1916.
In France Maclagan saw action during the 1916 Somme offensive at Poziers and Mouquet Farm. He relinquished command of the 3rd Brigade in December, and from January to July 1917 commanded the AIF depots in Britain. He was then back in France commanding the 4th Australian Division and remained with the AIF till the end of the war.
1917 would see his appointments as C.B. and C.M.G. He was mentioned in dispatches 5 times, awarded the Serbian Order of the White Eagle, French Croix de Guerre and the American Distinguished Service Medal. After the war he became Colonel of the Border Regiment in August 1923, and retired on the 25th April 1925. He was made honorary Colonel of the 34th Battalion, Australian Military Forces 1933-38.
On retirement he lived at Glenquiech, near Forfar, in Scotland. His wife predeceased him 1928. Maclagan died at his daughter’s home in Dundee on the 24th November 1948.
Explore more memories from the ribbon
Mairi Featherstone visited the museum to see if we could find out a little about her grandfather, David Logan’s First World War service. After a some investigation, it became clear that he had been in the Royal Field Artillery. On of the original postcards revealed that he had been at Scotton Camp (it is inscribed with “Cooks and Waiters, Sergeant’s Mess, Scotton Camp, Yorks 19/6”), which was eventually absorbed into Catterick Camp during the war. No 5 TF Artillery Training School was based at Scotton Camp in 1915, which is the most probable reason for his time there. David’s medal card shows that he was in France by May 1915. There are two regimental numbers on his medal card, an early number, 971 referring to the Territorial Force RFA and a second reference 645569. 645569 Gunner David Logan was entitled to the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal at the end of his war service.
Carol Sheard of Richmond shared these details with us about her grandfather. Henry Tissiman was born on 10 July 1892. Aged 22, he enlisted on 12th April 1915 at Scarborough as L/12208 Driver H Tissiman with the Royal Field Artillery. He was posted to ‘C’ Battery, 161 Brigade. He went to France on 30th December 1915 from Liverpool and landed at le Havre. He suffered the effects of gas and was briefly hospitalised on 28th February 1916. His service record details that he was granted leave to return home 17th September 1918 until the 1st October during which time he married Emily Guest. This photograph was taken on their wedding day, 21st October 1918. He died on 30th July 1992 at Harrogate.
The Stansfeld family have many connections with the regiment. Both Thomas and his brother older brother ‘Jock’ served with the regiment in 1880s and 1890s. Thomas’ son and nephew also joined the regiment and both saw action in the Second World War. Thomas Wolryche Stansfeld was born in Leeds in 1877. He joined the regiment in 1897 and quickly rose to the rank of Captain. Stansfeld fought in the War in South Africa including the Battle of Paardeberg. Stansfeld was a skilled rider and joined the regiment’s Mounted Infantry Battalion. He was involved in many actions against the Boers, including the capture of the Elandsfontein railway station near Johannesburg. He narrowly escaped death when a bullet smashed into his cigarette case, leaving him unharmed. Stansfeld’s battlefield experiences were a major asset to the regiment in the First World War. During the First Battle of Ypres he ordered his company to rapidly fire at different intervals; fooling the Germans into believing that they were facing a nest of machine guns. Stansfeld survived the battle and fought throughout the First World War. After the war Stansfeld held a number of senior posts, including Commandant of the Small Arms School at Hythe. He retired from the Army in 1929 and died on the 23rd February 1935.