Private James Kerr

Private James Kerr, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli on 12th July 1915, aged 27 during the ” Charge ” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah. He had been born in Swinton, Berwickshire and was the son of William and Charlotte Kerr of Blinkbonny, Nenthorn and Yetholm Mains, Kelso. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey.  His photograph indicates that he was a Battalion piper and wore the Buchanan tartan. He had been employed as a forester on the Mellerstain Estate, Nenthorn and as a Territorial he had been mobilised with his Battalion in August 1914. That fateful day became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” as at evening Roll Call only 70 unwounded men answered out of the 700 Officers and Other Ranks who had begun the “Charge”. Few Border towns and villages had not lost at least one of their sons that day. The contemporary photo shows Achi Baba, the objective,  marked with a cross. This “Hill” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second photo shows the Borderers attacking at Gallipoli and the third shows the battlefield in 1922.

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