Henry Macmaster

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: September 1914
  • Place of enlistment: HMS Unicorn, Dundee
  • Service no: Clyde Z/394
  • Rank: Able Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Nelson Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: France
  • Age at Death: 21
  • Date of Death: 13.11.1916
  • Burial Country: France
  • Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Pier & Face 1A

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 43 Peddie St, Dundee
  • Occupation: Sandeman Grocers, Perth Rd Dundee
  • Mother:
  • Father:

    Alexander MacMaster, 43 Peddie St, Dundee

  • Siblings:

    2 Brothers

  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about Henry Macmaster

Henry has no known grave but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.


After braving the trials and dangers of Gallipoli, a Dundee man of the Royal Naval Division has been posted as missing.  Mr Alexander MacMaster, bootmaker, 43 Peddle Street, Dundee, has received official intimation that his son A.B. Harry MacMaster, R.N.D., had been reported missing on 13thNov.  The gallant A.B., who enlisted on the outbreak of war, had taken part in the Gallipoli campaign.  Prior to joining the forces he was employed with Mr Sandeman, grocer, Perth Road.

Dundee Courier 12th December 1916

Harry MacMaster   CZ/394   Royal Navy Division


Official intimation has been received by Mr and Mrs MacMaster, 43 Peddie Street, Dundee, that their son, Harry MacMaster, R.N.D., who was reported missing in 1916, is now presumed to be killed.

Previous to enlistment deceased was employed as a grocer with Mr Andrew Sandeman, wine and spirit merchant, Perth Road, Dundee.  Two other sons are serving.

Dundee Courier 17th July 1917

Henry MacMaster was the son of Mr Alexander MacMaster of 43 Peddie Street, Dundee and worked as a grocer with Grocer with Andrew Sandeman, Wine and Spirit Merchant of Perth Road, Dundee. His brother was Sergeant G MacMaster of the Machine Gun Corps. In September 1914 Henry MacMaster was one of the first Dundee men to volunteer to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve onboard HMS Unicorn for service in the Royal Naval Division. After initial Naval Training at the Crystal Palace in Kent he was sent to Blandford Camp in Dorset for advanced military training. In April 1915 he was drafted to the Collingwood Battalion. The Collingwood was landed in Gallipoli in late May 1915 and took part in the Third Battle of Krithia on 4 June 1915. This was their first and last action because, as they advanced towards the enemy line, they were caught in heavy Turkish artillery and machinegun fire. The number of dead and wounded was very high and the Battalion was disbanded two days later. The survivors were distributed to the other RND battalions to replace their losses and Henry MacMaster joined the Howe Battalion. In December 1915 he was hospitalised with jaundice. On recovery he undertook garrison duties in the Aegean until May 1916 when the Battalion to France. The RND underwent a reorganisation and he was transferred to the Nelson Battalion and then to the 188th Brigade Light Mortar Battery. After training in Army tactics the RND began to experience the war on the Western Front and was being prepared to join in the Somme battle. One of the first day’s objectives of the British attack on 1 July 1916 was the capture of the village of Beaucourt just to the west of the River Ancre. It was finally taken on 14 November by the men of the RND. This was the first major operation by the RND in France and established a reputation for being a “Can Do” Division. However, the casualty list was very long and over 30 local men were killed and countless more wounded. This was the worst ever day for Dundee’s Naval forces in the First World War and Henry MacMaster was listed as missing. The 188th Trench Mortar teams were sent forward with the first wave of the attack. No more information came to light and, in June 1917, it was assumed that he had been killed in action. Henry McMaster’s name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in Northern France. There is a commemorative entry in the Peoples Journal of 9 November 1918 .

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Additional information and image kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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