Major John Herbertson, T.D.

Major John Herbertson, T.D., 1st/4th (Border) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli, aged 47, on the 12th July 1915 during the “Charge” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah. He had been born in Galashiels and was the son of Andrew and the late Janet Herbertson of Beechwood, Galashiels. He had been associated with the Volunteer battalions from where he was commissioned into the 1st Roxburgh and Selkirkshire Volunteer Rifles. He had served in South Africa during the Second Anglo Boer War with the K.O.S.B. Volunteers and in 1908 he transferred to the Territorial 4th K.O.S.B. as Captain and Honorary Major. In August 1914 he was promoted Major and was mobilised with the Battalion landing on Gallipoli in June 1915 as part of the 52nd (Lowland) Division. 12th July became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” as out of the over 700 Officers and Other Ranks who began the attack only 70 unwounded men answered evening roll call. 12 Officers were killed including the Colonel and his Adjutant. Few Border towns and villages had not lost one of their sons that fateful day. The first photo shows Achi Baba the objective of the Attack. This “hill” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows the Borderers “going over the top” at Gallipoli and the third shows the battlefield in 1922.

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