Private James Lyal

Private James Lyal, “A” Coy., 1st Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in France, aged, 26, on 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He was the brother of Robert ( see above) and the son of William and Elizabeth Lyal of “Govanbank”, Gattonside, Melrose and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. He had originally enlisted in the K.O.S.B. but had been posted to the Black Watch in July 1915. He fell in the attack towards the strong German positions in the village of Hulluch. Some progress was made but casualties were heavy. For the period 25th-30th September 4 Officers and 60 Other Ranks were killed and 6 Officers and 151 Other Ranks were wounded. In addition 61 Other Ranks were missing. ( “Missing” usually always meant killed ). The photo shows an actual assault with the troops disappearing into a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke. This was the first time in the War that the British Army had used gas. The Artist’s illustration depicts the Black Watch attack led by their pipers.

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