Private William McGregor

Private William McGregor, 6th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action, aged 27, on the 25th September 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos. He had been born in Selkirk in 1888 and was the son of William and Margaret McGregor of 71 Forest Road, Selkirk. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Dud Corner, Loos, France. The Battalion was tasked to attack towards the village of Haisnes but first had to face the German positions in ” Mad Point” and ” Madagascar ” trenches which were part of the immensely strongly fortified ” Hoenzollern Redoubt”. Gas was used for the first time and the Battalion attacked into a fog of smoke, gas and intense machine gun and artillery fire. The wire was uncut and together with a ditch full of barbed wire made any further advance impossible. Casualties were very heavy with 630 Officers and Other Ranks killed wounded and missing with all the Officers either killed or wounded. This day was the first time the Army had used gas and the photo shows troops advancing through a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke. The second photo shows shells bursting on the Redoubt. The artist’s nightmarish illustration tries to depict an attack at Loos with the troops wearing their gas hoods.

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