Lieutenant Thomas Alexander

Lieutenant Thomas Mitchell Alexander, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli, aged 29, on the 12th July 1915 during the “Charge” on the Turkish trenches at Achi baba Nullah. He was the son of Charlotte and the late Charles Alexander of Upland, Ettrick, Selkirk and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey. He had been educated at Selkirk High School before going up to Edinburgh University where he studied Law. He served his articles in Edinburgh before joining the family law firm. After the death of his father he took over some of his responsibilities including Clerk to the Yarrow School Board. He was commissioned into the K.O.S.B. in 1910 as a second Lieutenant and was promoted to Lieutenant in January 1913. 12th July became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” as at evening roll call only 70 unwounded men answered out of the over 700 Officers and Other Ranks who had begun the attack. ( The author’s Great Uncle Corporal James Murray was slightly wounded during the ” Charge” and spent six months in hospital in Alexandria before going back to Gallipoli or “the Pen” as he called it ).The first photograph shows Achi Baba marked with a cross. This hill dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows Borderers going over the top at Gallipoli and the third shows the battlefield in 1922.

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