Lance Corporal Thomas Douglas

Lance Corporal Thomas Douglas ( Possibly ) 20th Battalion ( 1st Tyneside Scottish ), Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed in action, aged 38, on 1st July 1916 on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, Somme, France.  He had been born in Eckford, Roxburgh and was the son of Alexander and the late Helen Douglas. At one time he had been employed as a woodman at Wooden, Kelso. Before enlisting in the Tyneside Scottish in Bedlington, Northumberland he had been employed as a driver with the Gateshead Corporation. The  photograph shows the Tyneside Brigade beginning their advance on their objective of La Boiselle at 7.30 a.m. over a wide and featureless no mans land. The attack managed to capture the front line of German trenches but the casualty figures were very severe. The Battalion lost 16 Officers and 337 Other Ranks killed with 10 Officers and 268 Other Ranks wounded. The Tyneside Brigade as a whole had 2, 288 casualties with 917 being fatal. The colour image shows a peaceful Somme landscape today with ” no gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now”.

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