Private Alexander Colville

Private Alexander Colville, 1st/9th ( Highland ) Battalion, Royal Scots. He was killed in action in France, aged 35, on the 23rd April 1917 during the Battle of Arras. Had had been born in Galashiels in 1880 and was the son of the late David and Jane Colville and the husband of Mary Colville of Bridge Street, Selkirk. Before enlisting he had been employed as a gardener and joined his Battalion, ” the Dandy Ninth” ” in 1916. ( They were known as the “Dandy Ninth” as it was the only Royal Scots Battalion to wear the kilt.  He is buried in Brown’s Copse Cemetery, Roeux, Arras, France. He fell in the attacks on the German positions near the village of Roeux and the infamous Chemical Works which was described as ” a savage infantry battle” fought mostly amongst the wreckage of Roeux wood. Some ground was gained but the cost was 5 Officers and 54 Other Ranks were killed with 2 Officers and 115 Other Ranks wounded. In addition 55 Other Ranks were posted missing. The Battalion was part of the 51st ( Highland ) Division and an impressive Memorial was raised after the War to commemorate it. It was erected in Newfoundland Park on the Somme overlooking “Y” Ravine which was taken when the Division stormed and took the very strong German positions in Beaumont Hamel on 13th November 1916. The other photos show troops during the Battle.

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