Private William Purves

Private William James Purves, 1st Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in France on 13th October 1915 during the Battle of Loos aged 24. He was the son of Thomas and the late Janet Purves of Adderstone Shiels, Stobs, Hawick and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. He fell in the assault on the strongly held and fortified Hoenzollern Redoubt. Despite incredible bravery the attack only partially succeeded. It failed on the Black Watch front where the Battalion was  unable to penetrate the thick belts of barbed wire in front of the enemy positions. These belts could be up to 20 feet deep and were usually impassable. Tanks could manage it but they were not available in 1915. 6 Officers and 66 Other Ranks were killed and 4 Officers and 163 Other Ranks were wounded. The image shows shells bursting on the Redoubt. The white lines show where the trenches had been dug.

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