Sergeant Thomas Murray

Sergeant Thomas Stoddart Murray, 2nd Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in Mesopotamia, aged 30, on the 7th January 1916. He had been born in Galashiels and was the son of William and Elizabeth Murray of Burnside, Clovenfords, Caddonfoot. He is buried in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq. He had joined the Army in 1904 and on the outbreak of War the Battalion was stationed in Bareilly, India. Firstly they went to France, fought in the Battles of Neuve Chappelle, Aubers Ridge and at Loos and were sent to Mesopotamia in December 1915. A Relief Force had been assembled to relieve British and Indian troops besieged by the Turks in the town of of Kut-al Amara He fell in the Battle of Shaikh Sa’Ad which was an attempt to force the Turks back towards Kut. The defences proved too effective and the attack failed with heavy casualties in the Battalion with 3 Officers and 58 Other Ranks killed and 16 Officers and 301 Other Ranks wounded. Two days later, however, the Turks abandoned their positions and fell back towards Kut. The photo shows troops on the River Tigris near Kut.

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