Private William Fairbairn

Private William Fairbairn, 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards. He died in France, aged 32, on 29th September 1916 from shellfire wounds received in action during the Battle of the Somme. He had been born in Hownam was the son of Robert and Ellen Fairbairn of Palace Farm, Crailing and Jedfoot Lodge, Jedburgh and is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.  He had served his apprenticeship as a gardener at Chesterhouse, Hownam and before enlisting in Jedburgh in June 1915 he was working as a gardener at Gorddinog Gardens, Llanfairfechan, Wales. The Battalion had been involved in heavy fighting on 25th September at Lesboeufs and had taken heavy casualties. His Headstone is inscribed ” He laid Down His Life For His Friends”.”. The photos show troops on the Somme and the state of the battlefield after the autumnal rains had turned the ground into a quagmire. The colour image shows a peaceful Somme landscape today with ” no gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now”.

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