Sergeant John Black

Sergeant John Robert Black, 16th ( Service ) Battalion, Royal Scots. He was killed in action in France on 9th April 1917, aged 26, on the first day of the Battle of Arras. He was the son of James and Margaret Black of Railway Cottages, Darnick and is buried in Ste. Catherine British Cemetery, Arras, France. Before enlisting in Edinburgh with his brother George in November 1914 he had been employed as a stonemason. He had already been wounded on the Somme in August 1916. He fell in the successful advance of the Battalion which captured all its objectives that day. 16th Royal Scots was a “Pals “battalion known as “McCrae’s Battalion” after its founder Colonel Sir George McCrae and initially it included many professional footballers from Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Raith Rovers, Falkirk and Dunfermline as well as many of their supporters. ( His brother George also fell-see above ). The photograph shows Sir George McCrae ). The second photo shows troops and a tank in a ruined village near Arras. The Battlefield was not particularly suitable for tanks and certainly not in built up areas.

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