Private John Paxton

Private John Purves Paxton, 58th Coy., Machine Gun Corps ( Infantry ). He died on 26th November 1916 from wounds received during the Battle of the Somme, aged 28. He had been born in Cockburnspath and was the son of William and Jane Purves of Old Linhead, Cockburnspath and is buried in Aveluy Communal Cemetery Extension. His Headstone is inscribed ” Blessed Are The Dead “. He was the son of William Paxton a shepherd at Linhead Farm and had himself been employed as a farm worker before enlisting. One of his brothers had already been killed in the Royal Scots and another would fall in March 1917.  He had originally enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders but was transferred to the M.G.C. in France. The M.G.C. had been set up in October 1915 and used the Vickers Mk I water cooled gun in both offensive and defensive roles. The photograph shows gunners in action and the colour photo shows the peaceful Somme today with ” no gas no barbed wire no guns firing now”.

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