Lieutenant Robert Kirkwood, D.C.M.

Lieutenant Robert Kirkwood, D.C.M., 2nd Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in Belgium, aged 28, on the 5th October 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres. He had been born in Cairo, Egypt and was the son of the late John Kirkwood and of Ann Kirkwood formerly of 41 St. John Street, Galashiels and the Royal Hibernian Military School, Dublin. He had enlisted as a Boy Soldier in 1903 and by 1914 he was a Sergeant in the 2nd K.O.S,B. landing in France in August 1914. During the First Battle of Ypres he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal whilst Acting Company Sergeant Major. The citation reads; ” For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When he saw that no Officers were left he rallied all the men he could and led them in a charge on an enemy redoubt which he captured. He also volunteered three times to carry messages from the redoubt to the advancing troops at great personal risk”. He fell in the attack on Polderhoek Chateau in appalling conditions which was not successful and incurred heavy casualties of 11 Officers and 438 Other Ranks. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, Zonnebeke, Flanders, Belgium. The photos show the atrocious conditions of the Battlefield where the incessant shelling had destroyed the fragile Flanders drainage systems.

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