Galloway Territorials who served King and Country

Territorial Force unit the 5th Battalion the King's own Scottish Borderers
Territorial Force unit the 5th Battalion the King's own Scottish Borderers

Galloway Gazette reader James Sharp sent the following interesting information to the paper about local Territorial soldiers who served in the Great War.

James writes:

“As we pass the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, I would like to draw your readers’ attention to the role and sacrifices of the local Territorial Force unit the 5th Battalion the King’s own Scottish Borderers. In particular the original members of G Company 5th KOSB which was based in Castle Douglas. (Their Drill Hall is now the swimming pool)This unit recruited across the local area with soldiers from Gatehouse, Kirkcudbright, Dalbetie, Castle Douglas and many other towns and villages.

As a result of the General Mobilisation of the British Army, on the 7th of August G Company paraded outside their Drill Hall prior to their deployment and a photograph was taken. During the preceding few days as war fever intensified the unit had received a number of new recruits. As a result the photograph shows a number of men in various degrees of uniform. At some point someone wrote down the names of those on parade and annotated those who died or were killed during the course of the war. (All bar 1 Unknown Soldier).

Of the 101 soldiers and boys present 32 were killed or died of wounds/illness which is 31.7%. Given the normal casualty rate of 3 wounded to every death the likelihood is that almost all would have been casualties at some stage of the War

Most of the men volunteered for overseas service and as a result the unit served firstly on the Firth of Forth defences, Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine (including the successful campaign against the Ottoman Empire) and eventually France. Many who were wounded or were struck down with illness were never returned to their original unit and many were killed, wounded or died of illness whilst serving with other units. As a result of bombing during the Second World War the majority of service records for the First World War were destroyed making it very hard to trace the history of the soldiers on parade that day 100 years ago. I had hoped to have completed this task but work commitments have made this impossible.

However I would like to highlight the sacrifice made by the following original G Company Soldiers:

(Name, First Name, Date of Death, Cemetery/Memorial, Residence.)

Benson John, 08/11/17 Gaza Cemetry, Gatehouse

Boyle James, 19/04/17 Jerusalem Memorial, Dumfries

Davidson Robert 31/10/17 Harebeke France, Gatehouse

Davidson Nelson 13/11/17 Ramleh Cemetry, Gatehouse

Henderson James 19/04/17 Gaza Cemetry, Dumfries

Hutchison Alexander 23/04/17 Deir el Belah Cemetry, Dumfries

Hyslop 19/04/17 Gaza Cemetry, Dumfries

Ireland William 23/07/17 Buzancy Cemetry France, Castle Douglas

Johnston John 16/07/16 Dumfries, Dumfries

Kerr Duncan Cpl 13/02/15 Vale of Leven Cemetry, Castle Douglas

Kirkpatrick William 19/04/17 Jerusalem Memorial, Dumfries

McBride George 12/07/15 Helles Memorial Gallipoli, Castle Douglas

McClymont Francis 16/08/17 Tyn Cot Memorial France, Gatehouse

McDonald J Unknown

McKee Thomas 14/0817 Mont Huon Cemetry Palnakie

Mclean Adam 20/04/17 Deir el Belah Cemetry, Lockerbie

McMillan Charles 31/07/17 Menin Gate Memorial Ypres, Castle Douglas

McMurdo Alexander 12/07/15 Helles Memorial Gallipoli, Annan

McQueen Robert 19/08/17 Tyne Cot Memorial France, Castle Douglas

McWilliams James 29/07/18 Soissons Memorial France, Castle Douglas

Monagan William 12/07/15 Helles Memorial Gallipoli, Castle Douglas

Murphy Arthur 29/12/15 Redoubt Cemetry Gallipoli, Dumfries

Rowan James 12/07/15 Helles Memory Gallipoli, Gatehouse

Sutherland John 12/07/15 Helles Memorial Gallipoli, Castle Douglas

Todd Robert 13/11/17 Ramleh Cemetery, Galashiels

Turnbull 12/07/15 Helles Memorial Gallipoli, Castle Douglas

Turner G Unknown

Walker Albert 03/13/17 Ramleh Cemetery, Gatehouse

Welsh Jack 12/07/15 Helles Memorial Gallipoli, Dumfries

Wilson Andrew Todd Sgt 11/07/15 Helles Memorial Gallipoli, Castle Douglas

Wilson George 01/08/18 Soissons France, Unknown

Wilson William 28/01/16 Girthon, Gatehouse