Private James Thomson

Private James Thomson, 6th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in France on 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. He had been born in Galashiels and had lived in Earlston. The Battalion’s objective was the village of Haisnes but could not penetrate the German strong point of ” Little Willie ” which was part of the very heavily fortified “Hoenzollern” Redoubt and despite much heroic endeavour the attack failed with heavy losses. Killed and missing amounted to 358 with 272 wounded or gassed. Of the twenty Officers 11 were killed and 8 wounded. Pipe Major Robert Mackenzie a man of over 60 years of age piped the men over the parapet until wounded in both legs. He later died of these wounds and it is said he most assuredly deserved a Victoria Cross. The first photograph shows an actual attack with the troops disappearing into the ghostly clouds of smoke and gas. This day was the first time in the War that the British Army had used gas. The second photo shows the village of Loos after its capture and the final image shows shells bursting on the Redoubt.

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