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David Drysdale Anderson

20240 Private

Royal Scots, 13th Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division

Age: 36

Date of Death: Killed in Action 22.8.17

Buried: Tyne Cot Memorial, Panel 11 to 14

Family history: Son of James and Jane Anderson, 11 Forth Street, Falkirk. He was married to Helen (nee Hendry), she was a spinster when they married on 10 December 1906. They had five children and lived at 126 Westrigg, Blackridge, West Lothian. He was a miner before he enlisted on 25 January 1915.

The action leading to his death

The 22 August found the Division preparing for an attack on the German positions at Frezenberg Ridge. For five days prior to the attack, harassing fire was kept up every night by both the artillery and machine-guns and in addition all known strong points had been targeted by the Heavy and Field Artillery. The attack was launched at 4.45am under the cover of a creeping barrage and fire from thirty-two machine guns. The Germans very quickly replied with counter fire and with heavy machine gun fire which met the assaulting battalions of the 45th Brigade

On the right of the attack the fate of the leading companies of both the 13th Royal Scots and 11th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders would never be known. Two hours after the attack had started the left front company of the Royal Scots had been reduced to nine men and one Lewis gun team. The few remaining men of the Royal Scots and Argyll’s were rallied in a line north-west from Railway Dump along the road running to Beck House. The Royal Scots made repeated attempts throughout the day to get forward by jumping from shell-hope to shell-hole but without success. The Battalion being relieved after dusk on 23 August.

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