Second Lieutenant William McLaren

Second Lieutenant William Somerville McLaren, Royal Flying Corps. He was killed on flying Operations with 48 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps on 19th November 1917, aged 19. He was the son of Duncan McLaren of Fairnington, Roxburgh, Kelso and is buried in Zuydcoote Military Cemetery, Nord, France. He had been educated at Edinburg Academy and was School Captain in 1915. He had originally enlisted as a Private in the K.O.S.B in December 1916 but was discharged in April 1917 to a Commission in the R.F.C. ( His brother James had fallen only two days earlier, see above ). He joined his Squadron in September 1917 but was shot down near Dixmude and his Observer 2nd Lt. David Hardie was killed. William died a day later from his injuries. 48 Squadron was the first to be equipped with the new Bristol B F 2 Fighter and went to France in March 1917. The Squadron amassed 317 kills and had 22 Aces in its ranks. (An Ace had 5 or more kills). The photo shows an example of the Bristol Fighter on display in the Imperial War Museum.

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