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battle of loos


Sergeant Thomas Bowman, 4th Black Watch

, who had been awarded

the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry at Neuve Chapelle in

March, doubled across a battlefield ‘swept by rifle fire’. He wrote,

It was a very hazy morning and you couldn’t see far

ahead. We had to keep close together to keep in touch

with each other’.


He had only gone a short distance when he encountered his

brother, Sergeant John Bowman, whose right leg had been

shattered by a bullet. The brothers shook hands and Bowman

resumed the advance. Both men survived the battle but John

Bowman’s leg would be amputated as a result of his wounds.


‘Stand after stand was made, the men of the 4th

halting and firing as they retired’.


Bowman wrote,


were falling thick. I realised we would have to retreat.

I jumped into the open with the intention of making a

race for our own trenches. Immediately there was a burst

of fire... Afterwards we realised how serious were the

losses sustained by the 4th Black Watch’.


Corporal William Linton Andrews,

a D.C. Thomson journalist,

and one of Dundee’s renowned ‘Fighter Writers’, took part in

the charge.

‘Our Companies moved steadily into the enemy’s front

line. Those Germans who survived surrendered in

batches. Most of them were young and well built,

but pale compared with our weather beaten veterans’.


11 The Courier and Advertiser, Saturday, 28 September 1933, 4.

12 The Courier, Monday, 18 October 1915, 4.

13 A. G. Wauchope, A History of the Black Watch in the Great War, Vol. II,

(London, 1926), 20.

14 The Courier and Advertiser, Saturday, 28 September 1933, 4.

15 The Evening Telegraph, Monday, 5 May 1936, 3.