Private George Crerar

Private George Gow Crerar, 7th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in France on 25th September 1915, aged 26, on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He had been born in Melmerby and was the son of Alexander and Mary Crerar of Melmerby, Carlisle and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Loos, France. He had enlisted in Kelso in November 1914 and had landed in France with his Battalion in July 1915. He fell in the assault on the Lens Road Redoubts, the action in which Piper Daniel Laidlaw won the Victoria Cross for piping the men out of their trenches and into the attack amidst a storm of shot and shell.  He had to take off his gas hood in order to play the Regimental tunes ” Blue Bonnets o’er the Border” and the “Standards on the Braes o’ Mar”. The positions were taken but at the terrible cost of 20 Officers and 611 Other Ranks out of the 950 attackers.  The photograph show  an actual assault with the attacking troops disappearing into a ghostly cloud of smoke and gas and the village of Loos after capture. The final photo shows Piper Laidlaw in later years at an Armistice Day Commemoration. The artist’s illustration shows Laidlaw winning the Cross.

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