Private William Cowan

Private William James Cowan, 1st Battalion, Scots Guards.( Probably) He was killed in action in Flanders on 10th October 1917 during the Battle of Third Ypres aged 24. He fell in the battle at Poelcapelle and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Flanders, Belgium. He was the son of James Cowan of Canonbie, Dumfriesshire and before enlisting he had worked as a farm hand at Newcastleton. He had been wounded in the face and shoulder at Ginchy in September 1916 and had re-joined his Battalion in August 1917. All that was recovered was his identity disc and a letter which was sent back to his father. The photographs try to show the dreadful conditions endured by the troops during the Battle. The incessant shelling had destroyed the fragile Flanders drainage systems.

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