Private John Shiell

Private John Dodds Shiell, 9th Battalion Gordon Highlanders. He died on 31st March 1918 of wounds sustained during the German March Offensive, aged 27 and is buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. He was born at Butterdean, Grantshouse and was the second son of William and Margaret Shiell of Blackburn,  Grantshouse. 9th Gordons were part of the 44th Brigade and were the Pioneer Battalion of the 15th ( Scottish ) Division. He is also commemorated on the Cockburnspath War Memorial. He had been educated at Millfield and Cranshaws public schools. Before he enlisted in November 1914 he had been employed as a farm servant with Mr Calder of Bogend, Duns. He went to France in July 1915 and took part in the Battle of Loos. During the Battle of the Somme he was slightly wounded by shellfire on 21st October 1916. The photographs show the atrocious state of the battlefield where the incessant shelling had destroyed the Flanders drainage systems.

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