Private Andrew Best

Private Andrew Best, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli, aged 24, on the 12th July 1915, during the ” Charge ” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah. He had been born at Spittal-on-Rule, Cavers and was the son of James and Jane best of Chesters, Southdean and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey. Before enlisting in November 1914 he had been working at Doorpool farm, Bonchester Bridge. 12th July became known as the ” Black Day of the Borders” as out of the over 700 Officers and Other Ranks who had begun the attack only 70 unwounded men answered evening roll call. Few Border towns and villages had not lost at least one of their sons that fateful day. Both Colonel McNeile from Bowden and his Adjutant Captain Lang from Newstead were posted missing presumed killed. ( the author’s uncle James Murray was slightly wounded and after treatment in Alexandria was back on the Peninsula within six weeks.  He fought through Egypt, Palestine and France and survived the War to return to Coldstream in December 1918). The first photo shows Achi Baba, the ultimate objective, marked with a cross, which was the ultimate object of the attack. This “hill” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows Borderers going “over the top” at Gallipoli and the third shows the battlefield in 1922.

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