Private Alexander Fairbairn

Private Alexander Fairbairn, 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. 6th K.O.S.B. was part of the 9th ( Scottish ) Division. The Battalion attacked north of the “Hohenzollen” redoubt  towards Auchy-Lez-Bassee. The German wire was unbroken and machine guns swept the open ground. Advance was impossible and the remnants struggled back to their jump off trenches. Casualties were dreadful.  11 Officers and 358 Other Ranks were killed or missing and 8 Officers and 272 Other Ranks were wounded or gassed. Despite a storm of shot and shell Pipe Major Robert Mckenzie had piped the men into the attack and later died from his wounds He was 60 years old and surely deserved the Victoria Cross. The first photo shows an actual attack with the troops disappearing into a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke. This was the first time the British Army had used gas in the War. The second shows the village of Los after capture.

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