Private James Miller

Private James Smith Miller, 1st Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in France, aged 26, on the 1st July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He had been born at Netherlee, Selkirk and was the husband of Margaret Miller of Galashiels whom he had married in Selkirk in 1912. Before enlisting he had been employed as a warper and weaver with Geo. Roberts and Co. He went to Gallipoli in April 1915 with the Battalion as part of the 29th Division before going to France in March 1916. He is buried in Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel, Somme, France. He fell in the attack towards “Y” Ravine at Beaumont Hamel which in the face of intense machine gun and artillery fire was a complete failure with heavy casualties of 548 all Ranks which included 406 wounded. Out of 21 Officers 20 became casualties. The photo shows British troops attacking across a very wide no mans land with very little cover. “Y” Ravine and Beaumont Hamel were finally captured by the 51st ( Highland ) Division on the 13th November. The colour image shows a peaceful Somme landscape today.

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