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James Dawson


WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium

45716 Private

6/7th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers,

Age: 37

Date of Death: 22.8.17

Buried: Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery II.F.25

Family history: Son of James and Annie Dawson, 9 Gartcows Road, Falkirk. He had a brother Francis and a sister Jemima. He was employed as a plasterer.


The action leading to his death

The 15th (Scottish) Division was preparing for the attack on the Frezenberg Ridge as part of third Ypres. Attempts had already been made to take the ground on 31 July and minor gains. At 9.30pm on the 21 August the 6/7th Royal Scots Fusiliers took up their positions allotted to them at Bill Cottage, some 150 yards behind Frezenberg Ridge, and dug in. During the night they were subjected to heavy shelling and for forty five minutes gas shells fell on their positions. The roll of the Battalion was one of support and the War Diary records that:

WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium
War Diary

Zero hour was fixed for 4.45am on 22 August. The British barrage opened and at 5am the German counter-barrage replied targeting between the Black Line objective and the Frezenberg Ridge, the War Diary records that the Germans had been alerted to the British attack at 5am by a prisoner according to British Intelligence reports received later. Due to the ferocity of the German barrage the Battalion had difficulty in getting forward however, the barrage slackened off and they managed to get forward to Douglas Villa and round Low Farm (see the map) with all four company’s arriving at their allotted positions in the Black Line in the area of Borry Farm.

WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium
Linesman Map

At 2.10pm the Battalion was ordered to prepare for the attack to continue at 7pm with the 6/7th Royal Scots Fusiliers on the left and the 6th Battalion Cameron Highlanders on the right. The War Diary records what happened next:

WW1 - The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium
War Diary

The Battalion casualties are recorded for the period 22 to 27 August as:

James was one of the ‘Other Ranks 27’ killed.

WW1 -  The Ypres Salient Battlefields, Belgium
War Diary

Medals Awarded

The British War Medal, Victory Medal.


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