Shell-shocked soldier had to go back and fight at the frontline

Private William and Private Ed Kilpatrick
Private William and Private Ed Kilpatrick

This week’s war diary is from late August 1917.

Private William Kilpatrick, of 14 High Vennel, Wigtown, was killed in action on August 14th, while serving with the KOSB in Palestine.

He joined the army in October 1914 and was drafted to Gallipoli in May 1915. He was severely wounded in the KOSB’s first major battle, which began on July 12th, 1915. His brother Ed was killed on that day. William recovered from his injury and was sent to Egypt in June 1916. In April 1917, he was diagnosed as suffering from “slight shell-shock”, but was returned to the frontline and died four months later.

He was 30 years old and left a widow and two children in Wigtown.

Bombardier J C Thomson from Arthur Street, Newton Stewart had a unique record of fighting during the war. Having gone out at the beginning with the British Expeditionary Force in 1914, he took part in the battles of Mons, Cambrai, La Catteau, the retreat on Paris, the battle of the Marne, the Ainse, La Basse, Kemmel, Aubers Ridge and the first battle of Ypres. In 1915 he was involved in Neuve Chapelle and the second Battle of Ypres and in 1916 the Somme and the Ancre and in 1917 at Arras, Monchy and Bapauame. During that time he had never been off duty for a day or injured.