Private James Shiell

Private James Shiell, 1st/9th ( Highland ) Battalion , Royal Scots ( The Dandy Ninth ). He was killed by a shell splinter in action in France on 24th March 1918, aged 19  during the German Spring Offensives. He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.  He had been born in Duns and was the son of George and Isabella Shiell of Nethermains, Chirnside and Swinton Quarter farm, Berwickshire. He had enlisted on 9th July 1915, aged 17 and joined his Battalion in France in February 1916. He was a Battalion Runner which was a very dangerous occupation.  The photographs show Allied troops preparing to resist the German advances. The Battalion was part of the 154th Brigade in the 51st (Highland) Division and after the War an impressive memorial was raised in commemoration. It was erected overlooking “Y” Ravine on the Somme where on the 13th November 1916 the Division stormed and captured the strong German positions in Beaumont Hamel. A Plaque on the Memorial reads in both English and Gaelic ” Friends Are Good On the day Of Battle”.

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