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James Strachan King

S/21294 Private

1st Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, 1st Brigade, 1st Division

Age: 21

Date of Death: 17.11.17

Buried: Tyne Cot Cemetery LXII.B.11

Family history: Son of William and Janet King, 16 Philpingstone Terrace, Bridgeness, Bo’ness. He had seven brothers, Alexander, John, Andrew, William, Robert, David and Thomas. He also had two sisters, Jane and Janet. Prior to enlisting he was employed as a miner by the Bridgeness Coal company.

He enlisted with the 1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders in 1914 and went to France in 1915. His three brothers also served in the Army and survived the war. James fought at the Battles of Loos and the Somme being wounded twice.

The action leading to his death

On 16 November 1917, the Battalion was engaged in the Battle of Passchendaele II and was in the line to the east of Poelcappelle near Goudberg.

(Linesman Map. The blue dotted line shows the final trench positions on 17 December 1917.)

They were preparing for an attack on the German lines. ‘D’ Company was detailed to take the frontal objectives with ‘A’ Company to close on their right flank. Their objectives were reached with the exception of Virile Farm which was strongly held by machine guns. An attack was organised to take the farm however, a German artillery barrage came down on the attacking party. The German shelling lasted throughout the night and was very heavy in all forward areas. The Battalion was relieved by the 1st Battalion, Black Watch on the 17 November.

His Company Commander wrote to his parents that: ‘… he died as you would have him die, with his face to the enemy, upholding the traditions of our dear country and the famous regiment that now mourns his loss… It is a loss that can never be replaced.


The British War Medal, Victory Medal


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