Private William Bell

Private William bell, 1sy/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in Palestine, aged 27, on the 18th April 1917. He had been born in Melrose and was the son of Isabella and the late Robert Bell of Comslie Farm, Galashiels. He is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel. He had been employed as a farm servant at East Mains, Lauder when he enlisted. He fell during the second Battle of Gaza in the attack on the Turkish positions on “Outpost Hill”. The final attack was gallantly led by Major Wattie Forrest of Kelso and part of the defences captured. However in the face of fierce Turkish counter attacks and a shortage of ammunition and no reinforcements a withdrawal had to be effected back to British lines. Casualties were heavy. 6 Officers ( including Major Forrest) and 44 Other Ranks were killed and 9 Officers and 152 Other Ranks were wounded. The photos show the Borderers in Palestine in 1917.

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