Private James Lyal

Private James Lyal, “A” Coy., 1st Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in France , aged, 26 on 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He was the brother of Robert ( see above) and the son of William and Helen Lyal of ” Govanbank”, Gattonside. Melrose and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. He had originally enlisted in the K.O.S.B. but had been posted to the Black Watch in July 1915. The British used gas here for the first time and he fell in the attack towards the strong German positions in the village of Hulluch. Some progress was made but casualties were heavy in the face of interlocking machine gun fields of fire. For the period 25th-30th September 4 Officers and 60 Other Ranks were killed and 6 Officers and 151 Other Ranks were wounded. In addition 61 Other Ranks were posted missing. ( “Missing” usually always meant killed). The first photo depicts an actual attack with the troops disappearing into the ghostly clouds of gas and smoke and the second shows the village of Loos after its capture. This was the first time the British Army had used gas in the War. The artist’s illustration depicts the Black Watch attack led by their pipers.

Scroll to Top