Private Alexander Purves

Private Alexander Cowe Purves, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action on Gallipoli, aged 20, on 12th July 1915 during the ” Charge ” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah. He had been born in Edrom and was the son of John and Margaret Purves of Fogomuir, Charterhall, Duns and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey. Before the war he had been employed as a gamekeeper with Col. Trotter of Charterhall Estate. His father also worked there as a gardener. That day became known as the ” Black Day of the Borders” as only 70 unwounded men answered evening roll call out of the over 700 Officers and Other Ranks who had begun the attack. Both Colonel McNeile from Bowden and his Adjutant Captain Laing from Newstead were posted missing presumed killed. The photograph shows Achi Baba, the objective of the attack, marked with a cross. This ” hill ” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second photo shows the Borderers going “over the top” and attacking at Gallipoli.

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