Private Robert Neil

Private Robert Neil ,1st/7th ( Territorial )  Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in France on 24th October 1918, aged 24, during the ” Advance to Victory “.  He had been born in Coldstream and was the son of Margaret Neil and the nephew of William Neil, Lennel Newtown, Coldstream and is buried in Thiant Communal Cemetery, France. Before enlisting he had been working as a housepainter in Coldstream. He had originally enlisted in the 10th Battalion  but at some point had transferred to the 1st/7th Battalion. He fell in the successful crossing of the Ecaillon River where the Battalion took many German prisoners and much materiel including 22 machine guns. This was the last action of the Battalion in the Great War. His Headstone is inscribed ” After Years Of Weary Fighting His Noble Life He Gave in Sight of Peace. R.I.P.”. The colour photograph shows the Memorial raised to commemorate the 51st ( Highland ) Division of which the Battalion was part. It was erected in Newfoundland Park on the Somme overlooking “Y” Ravine which was taken when the Division stormed and captured the strong German positions in Beaumont Hamel on 13th November 1916. A plaque in Gaelic on the Memorial reads ” Friends Are Good On The Day Of Battle “. The other photos show Allied troops advancing against the retreating German army during the final 100 days of the War.

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