Lance Corporal James Middlemiss

Lance Corporal James William Middlemiss, 7th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He died in the 2/1st West Riding Casualty Clearing Station at Lillers in France on 29th September 1915 of wounds received on 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos, aged 24.  ( He was wounded in the attack on the Lens Road Redoubts where Piper Laidlaw , pictured below, won the Victoria Cross for pulling up his gas hood and piping the men out of their trenches amidst a storm of shot and shell ). He had been born in Whitsome, Berwickshire and was the son of Mrs Mary and the late John Service Middlemiss of Allanton and had worked in the counting house at the Chirnside mill before the war. He is buried in Lilliers Communal Cemetery , Lillers, Pas de Calais where his Headstone is inscribed ” Ever Remembered “. The Battalion suffered over 600 casualties in killed and wounded out of the 950 who had started the attack. He was educated at the Berwickshire High School, Duns and is also commemorated on the Memorial Tablet placed in the new Berwickshire High School, Duns. The photograph shows an actual attack with the troops disappearing into a ghostly cloud of smoke and gas. This was the first time in the War The British Army had used gas. The second photo shows the village of Loos after capture. The final photo shows Piper Laidlaw in later years at an Armistice Day Commemoration. The artist’s nightmarish illustration shows an attack at Loos with the troops wearing their gas hoods and using primitive grenades. ( Photographs of Headstone and Plaque are courtesy of Chris Davison ).

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