Private William McDonald

Private William McDonald, 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders. ( Possibly ). He was killed in action in France , aged 24, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He had enlisted in Galashiels and was the son of William and Jane McDonald of Lumphanan, Aberdennshire. He is buried in Gordon Cemetery, Mametz, Somme, France. He fell in the attack on the village of Mametz which was captured with heavy loss. 24 Officers and 783 Other Ranks went into action and the casualty figures were 7 Officers and 119 Other Ranks killed with 9 Officers and 287 Other Ranks wounded. In addition 39 Other Ranks were posted missing. ( This small cemetery contains most of the Gordons killed in 1st July and is named for them ). The photograph is believed to be the 2nd Gordons advancing across no mans land at about 7.35 a.m. As can be seen their is very little cover for the advancing troops and in this sector no mans land is very wide giving the enemy plenty of time to man their weapons. The advance was carried out in conjunction with the 1st/5th Staffords and 9th Devons under heavy machine gun fire and barbed wire caused a problem but three lines of German trenches were taken before Mametz was captured with 600 prisoners.

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