Captain Richard John Paterson Harle M.C.

Captain Richard John Paterson Harle, M.C., Kings Own Scottish Borderers  attached to the 7th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He died, in France, of wounds received during the Battle of Arras on 26th April 1917,aged 21. He was the son of George and Anne Harle of Dunedin Villa, Duns Road, Coldstream. George Harle was a vet in Coldstream.and Richard was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery. His friends erected a plaque to his memory in Coldstream Parish Kirk. He had been educated in Coldstream then Berwickshire High School at Duns before taking up employment in Edinburgh with Messrs Pringle and Clay. Whilst in Edinburgh he had joined the Territorial Force in particular the 9th Battalion Royal Scots ( the Dandy Ninth ). From here he was commissioned into the Argylls before being attached to the K.O.S.B. His Military Cross citation reads ” For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, he led his Company in an attack with great courage and initiative and captured two Machine Guns and 60 prisoners “. He is also commemorated on the Memorial Tablet placed in the new Berwickshire High School, Duns. ( His C.O. said of him ” He was gallantly leading his Company in an attack on Roeux when he was wounded. I looked upon him as one of the best Officers I had. He was always cheerful, did his work well, was looked up to by his men and will be a very great loss to the Battalion. He had already done extremely well in our taking of part of Vimy Ridge. ) His Headstone is inscribed ” Faithful Unto Death”. He may have been wounded on 23rd April when the Battalion was involved in yet another an attack on the infamous Chemical Works near the village of Roeux.  The artist’s illustration depicts fighting during the Battle and the Photograph shows British troops accompanied by a tank in a captured village near Arras. The copy of the letter was written by  Richard’s mother to Sergeant James Brodie of the 7th Argylls in reply to a letter from the Sergeant about her son and the fight at Rouex where he was wounded. Sergeant Brodie was awarded the Military Medal and survived the War.

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