Captain Walter Cochrane

Captain Walter Francis Cochrane, 1st/4th (Border) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in Palestine , aged 42, on the 19th April 1917 during the Second Battle of Gaza. He had been born in Galashiels and was the son of Archibald and Helen Cochrane of Abbotshill, Galashiels and the husband of Emma Cochrane of Kirklands, Galashiels. He was managing Director of A.L. Cochrane & Brothers at the Netherdale Mill, Galashiels and had had a long association with the Roxburgh and Selkirk Volunteer Rifles. He had been commission in them in 1898 and in September 1914 he was granted a Captaincy in the 4th K.O.S.B. in September 1914 joining the Battalion in Egypt in 1916. He fell in the attack on the strong Turkish positions on “Outpost Hill”. The attack followed an attempt by the 5th K.O.S.B. and was gallantly led by Major Wattie Forrest of Kelso. Parts of the Redoubt were captured but with mounting casualties, a shortage of ammunition and fierce Turkish counter attacks a retirement to British lines was ordered. Major Forrest was killed on the parapet of the Redoubt and Captain Cochrane was also killed attempting to assist a fellow wounded Officer, Captain Lumgar from Selkirk. Casualties were heavy with 6 Officers and 44 Other Ranks killed with 9 Officers and 152 Other Ranks wounded. After the War in May 1923 Mrs Cochrane and Mrs Lumgair visited their husband’s graves which were side by side and gifted a Ward to the Hospital where they stayed in Gaza. A plaque in the Ward reads ” In loving remembrance of Walter Francis Cochrane 1/4th Kings own Scottish Borderers of Galashiels, Scotland and Robert Robertson Lumgair Captain 1/4th Kings Own Scottish Borderers Of Selkirk Scotland and their comrades who fell at the Second Battle of Gaza Palestine 19th April 1917. This Ward is gifted by Mabel Cochrane and Gladys Lumgair”. The photos show Borderers in Palestine in 1917.

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