Private Walter Herbertson

Private Walter Thomson Herbertson, 7th (Service) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in France, aged 26, on the 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He had been born in Galashiels and was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Herbertson of 198 Scott Street, Galashiels. He had enlisted in the Second Battalion but was transferred to the 7th. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. He fell in the attack on the Lens Road Redoubts which saw Private Daniel Laidlaw win the Victoria Cross for piping the men into the attack amidst a storm of shot and shell when the gas released was blowing back into the British trenches. The objectives were captured but cost 600 casualties including Laidlaw who was wounded. The photo shows an actual attack at Loos with the troops advancing into a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke. The artist’s illustration depicts Laidlaw walking along the trench parapet and winning the V.C. ( He advanced with his comrades whilst playing the regimental marches “Blue bonnets O’er the Border” and “The Standard on the Braes o Mar”. He only ceased playing after he was wounded.

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