Private John Bathgate

Private John Bathgate, 2nd Battalion, Black Watch. He was killed in action in France, aged 34, on the 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He had been born in Selkirk in 1881 and was the son of the late George and Jessie Bathgate of Hartwoodburn, Selkirk and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. He had been a Regular Soldier and had served in the Second Anglo Boer War in South Africa. This was followed by five years service in India before he left the Army and emigrated to Canada. As a Reservist he returned home and re-joined his Battalion in November 1914. The Battalion attacked towards Moulin Du Pietre on the extreme left of the general attack and despite heavy enfilading fire manage to capture the front line German trenches before having to withdraw owing to the failure of the right flanking attack. As ever casualties were heavy with 4 Officers and 87 Other Ranks killed and 10 Officers and 261 Other Ranks wounded. The first photo shows attacking troops disappearing into an ghostly cloud of gas and smoke and the second shows the village of Loos after capture. This day was the first time the British Army had used gas during the War. The artists illustration depicts the Black Watch attack led by their pipers

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