Gallant conduct during capture of trenches

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Lance-Corporal J Diamond, 5th KOSB, has had the distinction of having his name brought before the commanding officer of his Division for gallant conduct during and after the capture of the Turkish trenches on July 12th.

Writing to his wife, Lance-Corporal Diamond says:

“We had to charge over nearly 400 yards of open ground under a heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire before we reached the Turkish trench, and it was during this charge that many of our men were hit.

I found myself in the trench beside my platoon commander, Lieutenant Salmond.

Eighty Turks were made prisoners, and there were many dead in the trench.

We had to start at once to put the captured trench in a state of defence, in order to repel counter-attacks. This was no easy matter, as the place was full of dead and wounded.

Lieutenant Salmond took charge of the centre portion of the trench and as I was the only one of his NCOs left in this section we had a hard time for the next three days and nights repelling counter-attacks, improving the trench and clearing it of dead bodies. The men, though tired out, worked splendidly and we had the satisfaction of knowing that our hard-earned trench was safe.

The charge took place on Monday morning, and when we were relieved on Thursday evening Lieutenant Salmond congratulated me on the assistance I had given him, and also sent my name to the CO. Yesterday, the general sent for me and handed me a piece of paper saying:

“I have much pleasure in informing you that your conduct during the recent fighting has been brought to my notice by your commanding officer in the following terms – ‘Consistent gallantry during the attack, and in maintaining a portion of the captured trench’.” – G Egerton, Major-General, Commanding 52nd Lowand Division

Lance-Corporal Diamond, who is 31 years of age, is a son of the late William Diamond, Blackcraig, and is well-known in Newton Stewart, being a prominent member of the Pipe Band and of the local football club. After leaving school he was employed in the Galloway Gazette office before taking work as a platelayer on the railway.