Private John Fitzgerald

Private John Fitzgerald, 9th ( Service ) Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in France on  the first day of the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915, aged 28. He had been born in Torwood and was the son of William and Jane Fitzgerald of Torwood, Birnam, Dunkeld and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. Before the war he had been employed as an under foreman by Lady Askew Robertson on Ladykirk Estates. He had enlisted in August 1914 and had landed with his Battalion in France in July 1915. He fell in the assault and capture of the German front and support lines, the village of Loos itself and the crest of Hill 70. This cost the Battalion very heavily and of the 940 attackers only 98 returned unwounded that evening. 10 Officers and 360 Other Ranks were killed and 11 Officers and 320 Other Ranks were wounded. Some of the missing re-joined the next day. The first photo shows an actual attack with the troops advancing into a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke. This day was the first time the British Army had used gas in the War. The second photo shows the village of Loos after its capture. The artist’s illustration shows the Black Watch at Loos.

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