Corporal Alex Purvis

Corporal Alexander Purves, 15th ( Service ) Battalion, Royal Scots. He was killed in action in Belgium, aged 28, on the 16th April 1918 during the German Spring Offensive on the River Lys. He had been born in Bonnyrigg and was the son of William and Jane Purves of Thorn Street, Earlston and of Clarilaw, Bowden and the husband of Isabella Purves of Dingleton Roads, Melrose. He had been employed as a railway guard with the North British Railway Company when he enlisted in August 1914. He had spent five years in the 4th Territorial K.O.S.B. Originally he had enlisted in the 1st/4th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Royal Scots and had gone with them to Gallipoli where he contracted dysentery and finished up in hospital in Manchester. In July 1916 he re-joined his Regiment but was posted to the 5th/6th Battalion in France. but again evacuated with “trench feet” He went back to France but re-contracted dysentery and was again evacuated to England. He was then posted to the 15th Battalion in France in February 1918. He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Flanders, Belgium. His brother Mark also fell  – see below ). The photos show Allied troops in defensive positions during the fighting.

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