Private William Herkes

Private William Herkes, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli, aged 30, on 12th July 1915 during” The Charge ” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah and is commemorated with his comrades on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey. He had been born in Coldstream and was the son of Robert and Eliza Herkes of Ednam and then Sucklawridge, Makerstoun, Roxburgh and before enlisting he had been employed as a ploughman at Newtonlees, Ednam. This day became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” as at evening roll call only 70 unwounded men answered their names out of the over 700 Officers and Other Ranks who had begun the attack. Both Colonel McNeile from Bowden and his adjutant Captain Lang from Melrose were posted missing presumed killed. The first photo shows Achi Baba marked with a cross. This “hill” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows the Borderers going over the top into the attack 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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