Son of Douglas Petrie, White House, Hadley, Barnet. b. 1884.
"E" Coy. 1st/14th Bn. London Regiment (London Scottish)
'"Roy," as he was always called, was thirteen when he joined us, and he spent more than five years here. His characteristics were an independent nature and an upright view of life and its duties. He was good at work and games, and possessed a charm of manner which made him popular with all. When he left school he had the distinction of passing the Surveyors' Institute Examination at the head of the list. He had apparently a very successful prospect before him, but he placed his duty to his country before his private interests, went with the London Scottish to the front, and met his death near Ypres.' (Malvernian, Dec 1914).
His unit arrived at Hooge in the Ypres salient on 7th November 1914, and on the 8th November they moved to Zillebeke and into trenches in the wood 1 ½ miles, south-east of the village. Here they stayed until 13th November, heavily shelled day and night. Their right flank was very vulnerable and a farmhouse on the left flank was occupied by the enemy. Several small attacks were made on their trenches during the first night there and on 10th November there was a fierce artillery bombardment that destroyed the HQ dug-out. Some of the trenches were so badly damaged that new ones had to be dug. The next day, 11th November, at 6.30am, the whole of the British line here was heavily shelled accompanied by a constant rain of rifle bullets. Then, from the German trenches, only 100 yards away, came the enemy infantry, advancing in large numbers from the woods behind them. By this time his battalion were fighting in two separate groups, having men from 2nd Welsh and 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers between them, and a very strong force of Germans were heading towards the right group. Their right flank was enveloped and things looked serious until a counter attack against the exposed left flank of the enemy was made by some of 2nd King’s Royal Rifle Corps which restored the situation. Later the left half of the 14th London also came under serious attack and this time the situation was saved by bringing up what remained of Battalion HQ into the line. By the end of the day the Germans had made no gains in this sector. During the night of 13-14th November, the 14th London were withdrawn form the line and moved back to a wood near Hooge before going into Corps reserve the next day. Alan Petrie was one of the casualties on the 13th November.
Biography at London War Memorial