Private John Millar

Private John Millar, 16th ( 2nd Edinburgh ), Battalion, Royal Scots. He died of wounds suffered during the Battle of the Somme in France on 5th July 1916 aged 20. He was the son of Mary Ann and the late John Millar of Valley View, Gattonside and is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France. His Headstone is inscribed ” Thank God For Every Remembrance Of Him Mother “. It is likely that Millar was wounded on the first day of the Battle on 1st July 1916 when his Battalion attacked the very strong German defences at La Boiselle. Some progress was made into the German lines in the face of a storm of shells and machine gun bullets and these captured positions were held until relieved on 4th July. It is known that this Battalion made a deeper penetration than any other in that sector on that fateful day. Casualties were severe. Over the three days 6 Officers were killed and three wounded. Other Rank casualties were 460 in killed wounded and missing. ( This Battalion was what was known as a “Pals” Battalion and was also known as McCrae’s Battalion after its founder Sir George McCrae Many of its members were footballers and supporters. Heart Of Midlothian’s entire first team enlisted together with 500 supporters. There were also 150 Hibernian players and supporters together with players from Raith Rovers, Falkirk and Dunfermline ). The photos show troops on the Somme and the colour image shows a peaceful Somme landscape today.

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