Thomas Milne Runcie – Sapper in the Royal Engineers



Thomas Milne Runcie – Sapper in the Royal Engineers


Thomas Milne (Tom or Tommy) Runcie. Sapper, Royal Engineers.


1. Reference from previous job for Thomas Runcie. This is written by Wm. K. Adam for the Drifter Repairing Coy and is dated 13th February 1914. 1 image.
2. Letter certifying that Thomas Runcie has served with the Colours for 3 years 108 days in the Royal Engineers and giving a character reference. It is dated 24/5/1916. 1 image.
3. Dairy of Thomas Runcie for 1915 written in a Lett's diary. 32 images.
4. The Gospel according to Saint Mark “Active Service” 1916. Cover and first two pages of this printed book. 2 images.
5. The Soldier's Maxim Shot Note=Book written by Walter J. Mathams and printed by Burns & Harris, Limited, Nethergate, Dundee. 10 images.
6. Photograph of Thomas Runcie. 1 image.
7. Dairy of Thomas Runcie from 4th August 1914 to 1st May 1915 written in a small notebook. 18 images.
8. Transcript of Dairy of Thomas Runcie. 8 images.
9. Photograph of Tom Runcie taken in 1915. 1 image.
10. Photographs that include Tom Runcie when he was wounded and in hospital. 4 images.
11. Photograph – Tom Runcie at Ashvale. 1 image.
12. Photograph 3 soldiers. 1 image.


Sapper Tom Runcie was my late husband's uncle. He was born on Nov 19 1894 at Aberdeen, his full name being Thomas Milne Runcie. He was the son of Thomas Milne Runcie, cabinetmaker, and Mary Hutcheon Runcie, nèe Wilson. Thomas Milne Runcie, senior, also served in the First World War and is the subject of a separate entry in Lest We Forget.

Thomas Milne Runcie, junior, started a diary when he was mobilized on 04/08/1914. We have a letter from an officer in the RE certifying that Thomas Runcie had served with the Colours for 3 years 108 days in the Royal Engineers and which could be used as a reference for future jobs. We also have a reference from a previous job. The writing is the same on both sides so possibly they were written by himself. His regimental number was 464. From the letter from the officer of the RE we learn that he served with the Colours in the 1st Prov. Field Coy RE and the 1/2 nd Highland Field Coy RE for 3 years 108 days. He was discharged on 24/05/1916 due to injuries. He was wounded in the left shoulder with gunshot wounds and was put into hospital in March 1915. He contracted influenza in 1919. He had shrapnel in the shoulder which also contributed to his death. The was corroborated by my husband's father.

We have two diaries written by Tom Runcie which in part duplicate each other. There is a transcription. From the diaries it is seen that he left Aberdeen on 16/08/1914 for Bedford, England, where he carried out training. This included marching, trench making, wire entanglements, shooting. On Thursday 31 December 1914 he left Bedford for Southampton and ship to Le Havre. From here they went by train to Rouen, St Omer and Heuringhem, then marching to the next village, arriving there on 08/01/1915.

They left Heuringhem on 15/01/1915 and marched to Thiemes for the night, then Merville and arriving at Sailly on 17/01/1915. He was in the trenches for the first time on 22/01/1915. Much work in trenches and elsewhere followed. On 18/02/1915 he was attached to headquarters in a miniature attack at Croix Blanche. On 02/03/2015 they moved to Laventu and on 09/03/1915 to Estaives to 54 RE ready for advancing attack the next day. On 11/03/1915 he was injured by a German shell and was taken to La Gorgue Hospital. He was sent back to England to hospital at Lincoln, arriving there at 1.30 am on 14/03/1915. On 15/04/1915 he arrived back at Aberdeen.

On 11/09/1915 he served again with the British Expeditionary Force but on 19/09/1915 he was returned to England.

His pension record, seen on, includes his attestation paper when he enlisted on 12th Feb 1913 in the Territorial Force. His medical record indicates that he had fractured his left elbow when he fell off a wall in 1900 when 5 years old.

He joined the Drifter Repairing Company after the war.


1914-1916 (11/03/1915)


Aberdeen, Scotland. Bedford, England. Heuringhem, France. Sailly, France. Croix Blanche, France. Laventu, France. Estaives, France. Lincoln, England.


The contributor wishes to remain anonymous.

Collection Day

27/02/2019, Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen.

This item was submitted on April 11, 2019