Private Robert Harkness

Private Robert Harkness, 2nd Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in Mesopotamia, aged 26, on 22nd April 1916 and is buried in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.  He had been born in Castleton, Roxburghshire in 1890 and was the son of the late Mary and Richard Harkness of 26 North Hermitage Street, Newcastleton. He fell in the battle of Sannaiyat which was an attempt to relieve the troops besieged by the Turks in the town of Kut-al-Amara. Casualties were very heavy with 10 Officers and 321 Other Ranks lost of whom 132 were killed. He had enlisted in the Black Watch in September 1914 and went to France in April 1915 where he was wounded in the Battle of Loos. rejoining in December of that year and before the Battalion was sent to Mesopotamia. Before enlisting  he had been a baker with Messrs Carruthers of Denholm.

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