Private George Watson

Private George Watson, 1st/9th ( Highland ) Battalion ( The Dandy Ninth ), Royal Scots. He was killed in action in France on 11th April 1917, aged 23, during the Battle of Arras. He had been born in Minto and was the son of Helen and the late George Watson of Rillbank, Denholm and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Arras, France. Before enlisting in 1914 he had been employed by his uncle’s seed company Laing and Mather in Kelso. On that day the Battalion attacked a pocket of resistance still holding out in the ” Brown Line”  which they did after a violent bombardment. The position was taken and consolidated after which the Battalion was relieved. Casualties from 9th April to 12th April were 12 Officers and 230 Other Ranks. Success was always expensive. The photograph shows troops and a tank in a captured village near Arras. The Battalion was part of the 154th Brigade in the 51st (Highland) Division and after the War an impressive Memorial was raised in Commemoration. It was erected overlooking “Y” Ravine on the Somme where on the 13th November 1916 the Division had stormed the strong German positions in Beaumont Hamel. A Plaque on the Memorial reads in both English and Gaelic ” Friends Are Good On the Day Of Battle”.

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