Private Robert Laing

Private Robert Laing, 1st/4th (Border) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli, aged 18, 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 Isabella and the late William Laing of 62 Douglas Place, Galashiels. He was employed as a law clerk in Galashiels and was a Member of the Territorial 4th K.O.S,B. He was mobilised with the Battalion in August 1914 and as part of the 52nd (Lowland) Division landed on Gallipoli in June 1915. 12thy July became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” as out of the over 7oo Officers and Other Ranks only 70 unwounded men answered evening roll call. Few Border towns and villages had not lost at least one of their sons that fateful day. The author’s Great Uncle Corporal Jim Murray was wounded and spent 6 weeks in hospital before returning to the “Pen” as he called it. the first photo shows Achi Baba the attack objective. 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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