Private John Armstrong

Private John Armstrong, 7th/8th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in Belgium on 31st July 1917, aged 36, on the first day of the Battle of Third Ypres. He was the husband of Martha  Armstrong of 3 George Street, Newcastleton and is buried in Aeroplane Cemetery, nr. Ypres, Flanders, Belgium where his Headstone is inscribed ” He Died That We Might Live”. He had been born in the Town and had enlisted in the Town. He fell in that part of the battle known as the Battle of Pilckem where the Battalion took their objective, the Frezenberg Redoubt. Casualties were high with 7 Officers and 57 Other Ranks were killed and 10 Officers and 240 Other Ranks were wounded. This was 45% of the Battalion strength. The photograph shows the impressive Memorial raised to commemorate the men of the 9th and 15th ( Scottish ) Divisions who fell during the Battle. A Plaque on the Memorial contains a quote from the Declaration of Arbroath.  The 7th/8th K.O.S.B. was part of the 15th Division. It was erected on Frezenberg Ridge near Zonnebeke in the Ypres Salient and was unveiled in August 2007. The photos show troops during the early stages of the Battle before the shelling and the rains turned the battlefield into a flooded moonscape.

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