Private John Ballantyne

Private John Ballantyne, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli on thec 12th July 1915, aged 21, during the “Charge ” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah. He had been born in Selkirk and was the son of James and Agnes Ballantyne of Mavis Bank, Selkirk and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey. Before enlisting he had been employed in the Scottish Co-Operative Wholesale Society’s Mill in Selkirk. That day 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. Few Border towns and villages had not lost at least one of their sons that fateful day.  Both Colonel McNeile from Bowden and his Adjutant Captain Laing from Newstead were posted missing presumed killed. The first photograph shows Achi Baba Nullah marked with a cross. This “hill” dominated the Battlefield and was never captured. The second shows the Borderers going “over the top” at Gallipoli and the third shows the battlefield in 1922.

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