Company Sergeant Major James Stewart, D.C.M.

Company Sergeant James Wilkie Leighton Stewart, D.C.M., ” C” Coy., 6th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in France, aged 28, on the 21st October 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He had been born at Connel Ferry, Argyll in 1887 and was the son of Jane and the late Alexander Stewart of 106 Mill Street, Selkirk. As a Corporal he landed with his Battalion in France in May 1915 and took part in the Battle of Loos. As acting C.S.M he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in September 1916. The Citation reads ” For conspicuous gallantry during operations. When all his Company Officers had become casualties he rallied the men and displayed great coolness. On another occasion after his Officers had become casualties, though wounded early in the attack he remained with his Company until the Battalion was relieved, encouraging the men throughout a heavy bombardment”. He is buried in Warlencourt British Cemetery, Somme, France where his Headstone is inscribed ” Safe In the Arms Of Jesus”. He fell in the attack on the “Nose” and “Snag” trenches which took place in abominable ground conditions. With great bravery the objectives were captured with some casualties. ( His brother David, a Sergeant in the Royal Engineers, was also awarded the D.C.M. and he survived the War ). The photos show Scottish troops on the Somme and the colour image shows a peaceful Somme landscape today with ” no gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now”.

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