Private William Alexander Milne

Private William Alexander Milne, 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders. He was killed in action, aged 22, on 1st July, 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He was the son of John and Mary Milne of Home Cottage, Auchenblae, Kincardineshire. He had been born in Ballater and had enlisted in Kelso where he had been employed as a gardener. The Battalion’s first objective was “Munich Trench” followed by the ridge running between Grandecourt and Puisieux-au-Mont. The German front line was captured but no further advance was possible due to the heavy machine gun fire from the flanks.  Casualties especially in Officers were very heavy. 15 Officers and 59 Other Ranks were killed and 6 Officers and 255 Other Ranks were wounded. In addition 55 Other Ranks were posted missing. It was during this action that Drummer Walter Ritchie of the Battalion was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. ( He survived the War ). The photos show troops advancing over a wide no mans land with practically no cover and a group of Seaforths checking a captured dugout.

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