Private Richard Eckford

Private Richard Henrie Eckford, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli on 12th July 1915, aged 21. He fell in the charge on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey. He was the son of  Ellinor Eckford and the step-son of James Eckford of 14 Hotspur Way, Whitley Bay. They had been married in Coldstream in 1896. He had been born in Cornhill-on-Tweed as Richard Lane Hendrie and before enlisting in Kelso he had been employed as chauffeur to Sir R.J. Waldie-Griffith of Hendersyde Park, Ednam. That day became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” as only 70 unwounded men answered the roll call out of the over 700 Officers and Other Ranks who had begun the attack. Colonel McNeile from Bowden and his adjutant Captain Lang from Newstead were both posted missing presumed killed. Few Border towns and villages had not lost at least one of her sons that fateful day. The first photo shows Achi Baba marked with a cross. This “hill” , the attack objective, dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows the Borderers attacking at Gallipoli and the third shows the battlefield in 1922. The Battalion was part of the 155th ( South Scottish ) Brigade in the 52nd ( Lowland ) Division.

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