Major General Andrew Wauchope

Major General Andrew Gilbert Wauchope. Black Watch. He was killed in action at Magersfontein on 11th December 1899 in South Africa whilst commanding the Highland Brigade.  He had entered the army in 1865 by purchasing a commission in the Black Watch. His army career was eventful and his first wound came in the Second Anglo Ashanti War in 1873. He seerved in the Transvaal War of 1881 and the Sudan campaign of 1184 where he was badly wounded at the Battle of El Teb.  By 1884 he had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and in 1885 he was again badly wounded during the Nile Expedition at the Battle Of Kirkeban in 1885. After all this excitement he returned home to manage the family estates at Yetholm and Niddrie. The Niddrie coal mines made him rich although he did not neglect his local duties. He was an Elder in Yethom Parish Church and a member of the local school board and the Parish Council. Promotion to Colonel followed in 1888 and was given command of 2nd Battalion Black Watch. By 1898 he was a Brigadier and saw further action at the Battles of Atbara and Omdurman when the Sudan was reconquered from the Dervish forces. On the outset of the South African Wat he was given command of the Highland Brigade. This Brigade was part of the force sent to lift the Siege of Kimberley and saw action at Belmont and the Modder River before coming up against the strong and well entrenched Boer positions on the Magersfontein Ridge. The artillery barrage was poor as was the reconnaissance of the enemy positions and the Brigade came under heavy fire. Unfortunately the very experienced Wauchope was killed in the first minutes and a lack of command by his senior Officers saw the Brigade having to retreat in disarray having suffered heavy casualties. Total British casualties were around 900 with 22 Officers and 122 Other Ranks being killed. Yetholm, howeve,r remembered her heroic son and raised the fine Monument to his Memory. The local village hall is called the Wauchope Hall.

 

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