Sergeant James Oliver

Sergeant James Melville Oliver, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action, aged 19, on the 12th July 1915 during the ” Charge” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah. He had been born in Jedburgh and was the son of William and Alice Oliver of 3 Cornelius Close, Jedburgh. He had played rugby for Jed Forest R.F.C. and was a member of the Territorial K.O.S.B. being mobilised with them in August 1914 and landing on Gallipoli in June 1915 with the rest of the 52nd ( Lowland ) Division. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey. 12th July became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” as out of the over 700 Officers and Men who began the attack only 70 unwounded men answered evening roll call. Few Border towns and villages had not lost at least one of their sons that fateful day. ( The author’s great uncle Corporal Jim Murray was wounded and spent 6 weeks in hospital in Alexandria before returning to his comrades on the Peninsula or the “Pen” as he called it ). The first photo shows Achi Baba, the ultimate objective. This “hill” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows the Borderers going “over the top” at Gallipoli.

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