Private William Straughan

Private William Straughan, 1st/5th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed during the Third Battle of Ypres on 26th October 1917, aged 23. He was the son of Mary Ann and the late Thomas Straughan of Campfield, Cornhill-on-Tweed and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium.  The photographs show the dreadful state of the Flanders battlefield where the incessant shelling had destroyed the drainage systems. ( Over 4 million shells had been fired at the German lines before the opening day of the Battle on 31st July ). The colour photo shows the impressive Memorial raised to commemorate the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division of which the Battalion was part until July 1918 when it was reduced to cadre and assigned to lines of communication duties. It was erected near the village of Weiltje in the Ypres Salient where nearby on the 26th April 1915 the Division had fought its first action of the War only days after landing on the Continent.

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