Lance Corporal John Aitchison

Lance Corporal John  Aitchison, 1st/7th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed in action in France on the 14th November 1916 during the Battle of the Somme and is buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery, Ovillers, Somme, France where his headstone is inscribed ” Thy Will Be Done”.  He had been born in Alnwick and had lived at West Weetwood, Wooler. He fell in the attack on the ” Gird Line” and Hook Sap” enemy positions. Parts of the trench system were captured and consolidated with many casualties caused by machine gun fire and sniping. between the 13th and the 19th November the Battalion suffered 2 Officers and 19 other Ranks killed and 4 Officers and 101 other Ranks wounded. In addition 2 Officers and 103 Other Ranks were posted missing. By November the rains had turned the shell churned ground into a glutinous quagmire making all movement very difficult as can be seen from the photos. After the War an impressive Memorial was raised to commemorate the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division of which the Battalion was part. It was erected near the village of Weiltje in the Ypres Salient where on the 26th April 1915 the Division had fought its first action of the War only days after landing on the continent.

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