Private John Geddes

Private John Geddes, 1st/9th ( Highland ) Battalion, Royal Scots. He died in the 4th General Hospital in France on 16th May 1917, aged 21, of wounds received in action during the Battle of Arras. He had been born in Oxnam and was the son of James and Jane Geddes of Cunzierton, Oxnam and is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.  His Headstone is inscribed ” Father In Thy Gracious Keeping Leave We Now Our Loved One Sleeping “. The Battalion was known as the ” Dandy Ninth” as it was the only Battalion of the Royal Scots to wear the kilt. The Battalion had been in action on 23rd April north of the Scarpe in an attempt by the 51st (Highland) Division to push the line forward. It turned into a savage infantry battle with heavy losses for the little ground gained. 5 Officers and 54 Other Ranks were killed and 2 Officers and 115 Other Ranks were wounded. In addition 55 Other Ranks were posted missing. The photograph shows the Memorial erected to the 51st ( Highland ) Division of which the 9th Royal Scots were part. It overlooks “Y” Ravine captured when the Division stormed and captured Beaumont Hamel in the 13th November 1916 at the end of the Battle of the Somme. A Plaque on the Memorial reads in both English and Gaelic ” Friends are Good On The Day Of Battle “.

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