Private Thomas Alder

Private Thomas Alder, 7th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action on 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. His Battalion  attacked the Lens Road Redoubts and was piped out of the trenches by Piper Daniel Laidlaw who won the Victoria Cross for his gallantry. The Battalion captured their objective but sufferered 631 casualties out of a strength of  970.  He was born on 7th March at Whitsome, Berwickshire and was the second son of Thomas Alder and Elizabeth Whillans. He is also commemorated on the Greenlaw War Memorial. Thomas’s father was the tenant farmer at Heritage, Whitsome whilst  before enlisting he himself was employed as a ploughman at Hume. The first photograph shows an actual assault with the troops disappearing into a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke. This day was the first time the British Army had used gas in the War. The second photo shows the village of Loos after capture and the third shows Piper Laidlaw in later years at an Armistice Day commemoration. ( There is an excellent account of the Battle on ” The Long Long Trail” website).

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