Private William Lyall

Private William Lyall, 1st/9th ( Highland) Battalion, Royal Scots ( The Dandy Ninth ) He was killed in action in France on 1st August 1918 aged 27. He had been born in South Shields and was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Lyall of Hutton and is buried in Raperie British Cemetery, Villemontoire, France. ( This cemetery contains the graves of 103 Officers and Other Ranks  almost all of whom belong to the Royal Scots who fell on the 1st/2nd August.  Before enlisting in November 1915 in the 17th R.S. he had been employed as a gardener. He was wounded twice before being posted to the 1st/9th R.S. He fell in the attack on the German positions near Villemontoire where the Battalion suffered very heavy casualties losing 8 Officers killed and 5 wounded and 120 Other Ranks killed with 300 wounded. These casualties represented about 80% of the Battalion and was the worst day of the War for the Battalion.  His Headstone is inscribed ” He Died That We Might Live”. The Battalion was part of the 154th Brigade in the 51st ( Highland ) Division and after the War an impressive Memorial was raised in its commemoration. It was erected overlooking ” Y” Ravine in Newfoundland Park on the Somme where on the 13th November 1916 the Division had stormed the German positions in the village of Beaumont Hamel/ A Plaque on the Memorial reads in both English and Gaelic ” Friends Are Good On The Day Of Battle”. ( His brother Robert also fell – see above ).

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