Private Robert Reid

Private Robert Reid, 6th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action, aged 32, in Belgium on the 12th October 1917 during the Battle of Third Ypres. He had been born in Burntisland and was the son of the late Agnes Reid and George Reid, butcher, of Buccleuch Road, Selkirk. He had been employed at the Philliphaugh Spinning Mill before enlisting in the 2nd Battalion, K.O.S.B. and going to France. He was gassed and rendered temporarily unfit. Upon recovery he volunteered for Active Service once more and was sent to France to join the 6th Battalion. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Flanders, Belgium. He fell in an attack near the Houthulst Forest in appalling conditions where at least one of the deadly “pillboxes” were captured. The Battalion history notes ” The garrison were accused of hoisting the white flag and then firing on our men and it is more surprising that 5 unwounded prisoners were take than that 31 were killed.”. Casualties were 196 with 15 killed and 154 wounded. In addition 27 men were reported missing probably drowned due to the flooded state of the battlefield. The photographs show the atrocious ground conditions where the incessant shelling had destroyed the fragile Flanders drainage system.

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