Different fates for pals from Mochrum

Private William Hannah
Private William Hannah

On September 21st, 1917, two close friends from the Mochrum area, both serving with the Royal Scots, were hit by a shell. One was killed and the other wounded.

Private William Hannah was killed, and his parents received the following letter from an officer in his battalion:

“It is with the utmost regret that I have to inform you that your son was killed in our last big push, east of Ypres. We had made the attack and consolidated. The Boche was shelling pretty heavily, but for one unlucky hit right on our trench, we would have come out scatheless. A shell, however, accounted for eight of my company. Your son was killed outright and suffered no pain.”

Private Hannah’s platoon sergeant added: “We buried him where he fell and erected a small cross. I am enclosing his cap badge which was taken off his cap.....”

Private Hannah, from the Old Mill, was 20 year old and had enlisted at 18. Prior to the war he worked on the Wigtownshire estate of the Marquis of Bute.

The shell that killed Private Hannah wounded his close friend from the same parish, Private David Little, of High Drumskeog. He was hit in the shoulder by shrapnel and taken from France to a hospital in Birkenhead and was reported to be recovering well. Before the war he worked for his neighbour, Mr Gaw, at Low Drumskeog.