Private James Oliver

Private James Oliver, 1st/9th ( Highland ) Battalion, Royal Scots ( The Dandy Ninth ). He was killed in action on 25th March 1918 during the German March Offensive, aged 19. He had been born in Chirnside and was the son of John and Elizabeth Oliver of East End, Chirnside and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Pozieres, Somme, France. Before enlisting ( underage ) he had been employed at Chirnside paper mill. At that time the Battalion was in the St. Quentin sector but due to German pressure elsewhere moved back to the village of Villevecque and then further back to Beauvois. Further retirement took place until a critical rearguard action took place near Curchy where a succession of German thrusts were smashed.. Casualties were heavy and the Battalion was reduced to two Companies. The photographs show Allied troops preparing to resist the German attacks. The colour photo shows the impressive Memorial raised to commemorate the 51st Highgland Division of which the Battalion was part. It was erected overlooking “Y” Ravine on the Somme where on the 13th November 1916 the Division had stormed and captured the strong German positions in Beaumont Hamel in one of the last actions in the Battle of the Somme. A Plaque on the Memorial reads in both English and Gaelic ” Friends Are Good On The Day Of Battle”.

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