Private James Thomson

Private James Thomson, 6th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in France, aged 30, on the 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He had been born in Galashiels and was the son of Janet Thomson of Galashiels and the husband of Mary Thomson whom he had married in Earlston in 1912.Before enlisting he had been employed as a ploughman at Rink, Caddonfoot. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. He fell in the attack towards Haisnes which ran into almost impregnable German defences at ” Mad Point” The heroic attack failed completely in the face of intense machine gun fire and thick wire defences. Casualties were very heavy. 11 Officers and 358 Other Ranks were killed or missing and 8 Officers and 272 Other Ranks were wounded. No Officer remained standing and the Battalion suffered 70% casualties for no result. The first photo shows an attack at Loos with the troops disappearing into a ghostly mist of smoke and gas ( This was the first time the British Army had used gas in the War ). The second shows the village of Loos after its capture and the artist’s nightmarish illustration depicts the attack at Loos with the troops wearing their gas hoods and using primitive hand grenades.

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