Private Robert Fairbairn

Private Robert Fairbairn, 2nd Battalion, Gordon 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 the son of Elizabeth Fairbairn of 24 Dunsdale Road, Selkirk and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. Be fore enlisting and joining his Battalion ( part of the 7th Division )in France in June 1915 he had been employed in a fish restaurant in West Port, Selkirk. He fell in the attack towards the German positions in Cite Saint-Elie. The first of the German lines were stormed but due to intense machine gun fire no further advance was possible so the captured positions were consolidated. The first photograph shows Highlanders marching up to the line at Loos and the second shows an actual assault with the troops disappearing into a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke. This was the first time in the War the Army had used gas The third shows the village of Loos after capture.

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