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James Buchanan

G/1621 Private

7th Battalion Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), 55th Infantry Brigade, 18th Division

Age: 23

Date of Death: 4.8.17

Buried: Menin Gate Memorial Panel 45 and 47

Family history: Son of Peter and Jemima Buchanan, 5 Cowden Place, Bonnybridge. He had two brothers and a sister. Prior to enlisting in the early months of the war he was employed as a grocer by the Bonnybridge Co-operative Society Ltd.

The action leading to his death

On the 3 August the battalion began relieving the 18th King’s Liverpool Regiment with the relief complete at 2.30am. The War Diary reported ’Going’ very bad and there was much shelling.’ ‘A’ Company was in Jam Row, ‘B’ Company in Jam support, ‘C’ Company in Jam Reserve, ‘D’ Company in Jackdaw Reserve, and Battalion HQ in Crab Crawl Tunnel. In the early hours of the 3/4 August they began relieving the 20th and 17th Kings with four companies in the front line at Stirling Castle and Battalion HQ in a mine crater at the east end of Sanctuary Wood.

(Linesman Map)

In a letter, full of pain at the loss of his friend, L/Cpl John McCullum M.M. also from Bonnybridge wrote to James's parents:

The adjutant wrote to his parents that James had been killed on the night of the 3 August by a shell and died instantly. He was also a battalion runner and this was one of the most dangerous jobs exposing the man to movement in the open in day light.

Medals Awarded

1915 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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