Private Thomas Purves

Private Thomas James Purves, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He died on 14th July 1915 of wounds received in the “Charge” of 12th July 1915 on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah  at Gallipoli ,aged 19. He had been born in Langton, Duns, Berwickshire and was the son of  Thomas and the late Jane Purves of Ladykirkshiels, Milne Graden and Ayton Law and and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.  That fateful day became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” because of the very heavy casualties in both Officers and Other Ranks. Only 70 unwounded men answered evening roll call out of the over 700 Officers and men who had begun the attack. Both Colonel  McNeile and his Adjutant Captain Lang were posted missing presumed killed. The author’s uncle Corporal James Murray was also wounded and spent 6 weeks in hospital in Alexandria before returning to the Peninsula. The first photo shows Achi Baba, the objective of the attack, marked with a cross. This “hill” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows the Borderers going into the attack at Gallipoli.

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