Private William Cockburn

Private William Cockburn, 2nd Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in France on the first day of the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. 2nd Black Watch was part of the Meerut Division of the Indian Corps and was later transferred to Mesopotamia in the attempted relief of Kut-Al-Amara. The Battalion was on the very left of the attack which would mean an exposed flank which would mean enfilade fire on any attack. The attack was all confusion with our gas blowing back into our trenches, uncut wire and heavy machine gun fire. Ground was gained by heroic endeavour but failure on both flanks forced a retirement from the salient created.  the inevitable outcome was heavy casualties. 4 Officers and 87 Other Ranks were killed and 10 Officers and 261 Other Ranks were wounded. The first photo shows an actual attack with the troops disappearing into a ghostly cloud of smoke and gas. The second shows part of the Loos battlefield looking towards the German front lines.

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