Major Walter Forrest M.C.

Major Walter Torrie Forrest, M.C., 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in Palestine on 19th April 1917 during the Second Battle of Gaza, aged 37 and is buried in Gaza War Cemetery, Israel. He was the son of George and Margaret Forrest of Kelso and was a former Scottish International rugby player.  He was a partner in his father’s business in the Square, Kelso dealing as a gunsmith and fishing tackle retailer.  He had been awarded the Military Cross earlier in the year and the citation reads ” For Conspicuous gallantry in action. He carried out a daring reconnaissance and obtained valuable information. he has on many occasions done very fine work”.  He fell in the attack on “Outpost Hill” which was captured from the Turks but had to be given up in the face of strong counter attacks, shortage of men, enfilading machine gun fire and lack of ammunition.  Major Forrest commanded “A” and “B” Companies and he was mortally wounded on the parapet of the enemy redoubt. Casualties were heavy with 6 Officers and 44 Other Ranks killed and 9 Officers and 152 Other Ranks wounded. The photographs show the Borderers in Palestine in 1917.

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