Lance Corporal Joseph Stitt

Lance Corporal Joseph Roderick Stitt, 8th ( Service ) Battalion, Royal Scots. He was killed in action in France on 12th April 1918, aged 24, during the German Spring Offensive on the River Lys. He was the son of the late William Stitt of Byreholm, Newcastleton and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Flanders, Belgium. He fell during a fighting rearguard action in the Merville sector where the Battalion suffered heavily but still managed to hold a line with the rest of the Division. He had originally served with the 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards and had been wounded by shrapnel on 16th May 1915 during the Battle of Festubert.  Before enlisting on September 1914 he had been employed as a gamekeeper with Lord Burton. ( His father William Stitt had been a gamekeeper with the Duke of Buccleugh for 25 years ). The photographs show Allied troops in rather makeshift defences preparing to resist the advancing Germans.

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