Private Michael Lees

Private Michael Lees, 5th ( Service) Battalion, Cameron Highlanders. He was killed in action in France, aged 23, on the 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He was born in Selkirk in 1892 and was the son of Richard and Elizabeth Lees of 56 Back Row, Selkirk. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. Before enlisting in August 1914 he had been employed as a shoemaker and played rugby and cricket for Selkirk. The Battalion was part of the 9th ( Scottish ) Division which captured most of the day’s objectives in the main attack of the days including the village of Loos. Casualties were thus very heavy however and at nightfall the Battalion could only muster 80 effectives. This day was the first time the Army had used gas in the War. The first photo shows Highlanders marching up to the line at Loos and the second photo shows troops advancing through a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke. The thirds photo shows the village of Loos after capture and the artist’s illustration depicts a Battalion attack led by the Camerons.

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