Sergeant Walter Waddell

Sergeant Walter Waddell, 7th ( Service ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action in France , aged 32, on the 25th September 1915 on the 1st day of the Battle of Loos. He had been born in Selkirk in 1881 and was the son of Elizabeth Waddell. In 1891 he had been living with his grandparents John and Margaret Waddell of Cannon Street, Selkirk. He had enlisted in the K.O.S.B. as a Regular and had served in the South African War where he was wounded. After being discharged after 7 years service he was employed at Forest Mill, Selkirk. He re-enlisted on the outbreak of the War and was promoted Sergeant in December 1914. His Battalion landed in France in July 1915. On 25th September the Battalion was tasked to attack the Lens Road Redoubts. Gas was being used by the British Army for the first time and it started to blow back on the troops waiting to attack and unsettled the men. At this point Piper Daniel Laidlaw got up on the parapet in the midst of shot and shell and proceeded to encourage his comrades into the attack. Laidlaw went with the attack still playing his pipes until he was wounded. for his great bravery. he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The objectives were stormed but with heavy casualties of 20 Officers and 611 Other Ranks. The first photo shows troops attacking at Loos through a ghostly cloud of gas and smoke and the second shows the village of Loos after its capture. The third photo shows Piper Laidlaw at the Cenotaph on Armistice Day. The final image is an artist’s impression of an attack at Loos with the Battalion pipers to the fore.

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