Lance Corporal Robert Dickson

Lance Corporal Robert Dickson, 6th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in France on 3rd May 1917, aged 26, during the Battle of Arras. He was the son of Stephen and Wilhelmina Dickson of Clintmains, Mertoun and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.  ( His father had spent his whole life as a shepherd on the Mertoun Estate ). He had been born in Mertoun, enlisted in Berwick-upon-Tweed and lived in St Boswells. He fell in the disastrous attack on “Greenland Hill”. It was a night attack on unreconnoitred German positions. The Battalion penetrated German lines but the supporting troops on their left and right did not go forward thus enabling  German flank attacks to cut the attackers off from British lines. Only some 50 men managed to return through the fire zone. 10 Officers and 251 Other Ranks were killed or missing with 152 Other Ranks wounded. Some of the missing were later discovered to be Prisoners of War. The photos show troops during the Battle and the colour image shows the Memorial to the 9th ( Scottish ) Division of which 6th K.O.S.B. was part. Beside the Memorial is the remains of a German blockhouse which the Battalion had captured earlier in the Battle. Due to the busy road the Memorial was moved in 2006 to near the Pointe De Jour Military Cemetery where it now stands.

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