Private John Neillans

Private John James Neillans, 9th (Service) Battalion, Black Watch. ( Private Neillans is not on the war Memorial but his name is on a plaque in Linton Kirk) He was killed in action in France, aged 23, on the 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He had been born in Linton and was the son of Robert and Isabella Neillans of Caverton Mill, Eckford and Gateshaw, Morebattle. He is buried in Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France and his Headstone is inscribed “Loved By All”. He had been employed as a farm servant before enlisting in October 1914 and landed in France with his Battalion in July 1915. His Battalion was part of the 15th (Scottish) Division and he fell in the attack on the village of Loos and Hill 70. The village was taken and troops in some disarray advanced up Hill 70 which lay beyond. The hill was crested but heavy German machinegun fire prevented any further advance on the downslope. Casualties were very heavy indeed. 20 Officers and 660 Other Ranks were killed wounded and missing The first photo shows Highlanders marching up to the line at Loos and the second shows troops in an actual attack in the smoke and gas. The Third photo shows Loos after its capture and the fourth shows Hill 70 looking from Loos.

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