Lance Corporal John Alexander

Lance Corporal John Alexander, 1st/7th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed in action in France during the Battle of the Somme on 14th November 1916, aged 31. He was the husband of Elizabeth J. Alexander of Branxton, Cornhill on Tweed and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, France. 1/7th Battalion was part of the 149th Brigade in the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division. On that day the Battalion took part in an attack on the German positions in “Snag” and “Gird” trenches which was only partially successful. There were 8 Officer and 227 Other Rank casualties. The photograph shows a captured trench on the Somme with the chalk soil very evident. The autumn rains turned the churned up battlefields into a glutinous quagmire in which men and guns moved with great difficulty as can be seen from the photographs. The first colour photo shows a peaceful Somme landscape today. The second colour photo shows the Memorial raised to the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division of which the Battalion was part. It was erected at the village of Wieltje in the Ypres Salient near where the Division had fought its first Battle on 26th April 1915.

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