Friday, 1 July 2016

Casualties of the Somme

On 1st July 1916, the first day of the battle of the Somme, three Portsoy families were affected by the loss of loved ones.

Alexander Taylor, Pte 3541, 17th Bn Highland Light Infantry, was the son of  Joseph and Helen Taylor, who lived at 8 Schoolhendry Street in Portsoy.  He was 40 years of age when he fell in action.  Before enlisting Alexander had settled in Glasgow, where he left behind a widow, Eliza Jane Burgess.  A gravestone was erected in his memory at Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuille in France.

George Thomson, Pte 11951, 6th Bn Gordon Highlanders was just 21 when he died of wounds sustained in battle.  His parents, George and Mary Thomson, lived at 6 Loch Lane in Portsoy.  He is commemorated by a gravestone at Aubigny Communal Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.

John Tawse Watson, Lance Corporal 9599, 2nd Bn Gordon Highlanders had enlisted in 1907 and served in India prior to the outbreak of war.  His mother was Annie Watson, who lived at 30 Church Street, Portsoy.  John was 29 years of age when he was killed in action  A gravestone is dedicated to his memory at Gordon Cemetery, Mametz in France.

Details of cemetery locations and memorial inscriptions can be obtained from the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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