This week at Ayrshire Archives we are commemorating Lieutenant Robert Shankland who fought in the Battle of Passchendaele, Belgium, as part of the 43rd Infantry Battalion during World War I. His efforts and initiative significantly aided the capture of Bellevue Spur, a region which was one of the main lines of defence before Passchendaele. Robert Shankland’s actions in combat were rewarded with the Victoria Cross on 26 October 1917 and a memorial stone to pay tribute to the event will be unveiled in Rozelle Park, Ayr on 26 October 2017.
Robert Shankland was born in Ayr, Scotland on 10 October 1887 where he grew up, prior to immigrating to Canada in 1911. Accordingly, he was presented with the Freedom of the Burgh by Ayr Town Council on 31 December 1917, in recognition of the honour he brought to the region. Here at Ayrshire Archives we hold records of Ayr Burgh minutes which acknowledge Robert Shankland, V.C. and his award from the town.
– Minute of Special Corporation, 31st December 1917, Burgh of Ayr Minutes of Corporation and Committees, 12 November 1917-8 November 1918