Private Alexander Fairley

Private Alexander Fairley, 9th ( Service ) Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action on 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He was the son of John Fairley of Thorn Street, Earlston and is buried in Philosphe British Cemetery, Mazinherbe ,France.The Battalion was part of 15th (Scottish) Division and most of the casualties were incurred on the attack on a German position called the “Jews Nose” The attack was successful and eventually elements of the Division including 9th Black Watch captured Loos itself.  Casualties were very heavy and out of the 940 who went into action only 98 unwounded men and no Officers returned to Philosophe that evening. 10 Officers and 360 Other Ranks were killed or missing and 11 Officers and 320 Other Ranks were wounded.  Others rejoined later having been mixed up with other Units but the total casualties were 701.  After the War forty one men of the 9th Black Watch were brought to this cemetery from the battlefield just west of Loos. The first image is of an actual attack with the troops advancing into a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke. This day was the first time the British Army had used gas in the War.  The third photograph is of Loos after its capture.

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