Captain James Lang

Captain James Corbet Lang, 1st Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers attached to 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli, aged 40, on 12th July 1915 during the charge on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey. He had been born in Montreal the son of the Reverend Gavin and Mrs Frances Lang of Inverness and was the husband of Mary Lang of Hazeldean, Newstead, Melrose and later Moira Cottage, Colinton, Edinburgh. He had been a member of the Black Watch during the second Anglo Boer War and was commissioned into the K.O.S.B. in 1900. In 1914 he was adjutant of the Battalion having been attached from the 1st K.O.S.B. to give the Battalion some experienced Regular Officers. At Gallipoli and on the fateful 12th July he and Colonel McNeile led his men into the attack on the 3 lines of Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah.The first two trenches were captured but the third did not exist. McNeile and Lang realised that the men were now too far forward and caught in the open. The orders were given to retire to and consolidate the second captured trench but in the hail of machine gun bullets and shells neither men were seen again. The were 2 of the 600 casualties suffered that day which became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” as few towns and villages had not lost at least one of their sons. The contemporary photograph shows Achi Baba marked with a cross. This ” hill ” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows Borderers going over the top at Gallipoli.

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