Private Thomas Connell

Private Thomas Connell, 6th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action, aged 35, in France on the 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He had been born in Selkirk in 1880 and was the son of Martin and the late Jane Connell. He was the husband of Grace Connell who he married in Dumfries in February 1915 and he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. on that day the 6th K.O.S.B as part of the 9th ( Scottish ) Division attacked towards the village of Haisnes. The attack foundered in front of the very strong German defences which were part of the Hoenzollern Redoubt and in especial the trenches at ” Mad Point”. In the face of intense machine gun fire and a ditch full of barbed wire any advance was impossible and the survivors were forced to return to the old front line. Casualties were very heavy with11 Officers and 358 Other Ranks killed or missing and 8 Officers and 272 Other Ranks were wounded or gassed. 66% of the Battalion had become casualties. The first photograph shows an actual attack at Loos with the troops disappearing into a 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. The third photo shows shells bursting on the Redoubt.

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