Private George Whitelaw

Private George Hope Whitelaw, 42nd ( Royal Highlanders of Canada ), Battalion, Canadian Infantry. He was killed in action in Belgium, aged 29, on the 16th November 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres. He had been born in Crailing and was the son of Alexander and Margaret Whitelaw of Gateshaw and Marchcleuch, Morebattle and Caverton Mill, Eckford. He had emigrated to Canada in May 1914 and was employed as a Policeman in Ottawa when he enlisted there in December 1914. He also enlisted in the 2nd Reserve Park of the Canadian Service Corps landing in France in September 1915.  He was transferred to  the 42nd Royal Highlanders in October 1917.  He is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium. He fell in the Canadian attack and subsequent fighting. on Passchendaele Ridge. which cost the Canadians heavy casualties. The incessant shelling had destroyed the Flanders drainage system and caused the autumnal rains to flood the battleground and the photos give an idea of the atrocious conditions underfoot. The final photo shows Canadian machine gunners in what passed for a front line on the Ridge.

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