battle of loos
The 4th Black Watch captured the German front line and support
trenches, but the Brigade’s flanks were unprotected and the men
were subjected to increasingly heavy German artillery fire and
Lieutenant-Colonel Harry Walker, 4th Black Watch, ordered his
battalion to consolidate the captured trenches, but the
situation had become critical.
The 4th Black Watch had lost almost half its strength and most
of the officers were killed or wounded. In an effort to hasten
reinforcements, Colonel Walker attempted to reach Brigade
Headquarters, but fell mortally wounded. The battalion was
forced to withdraw from its forward positions.
The War Diary records that 4th Black Watch
had gone into action with 21 officers and
about 450 men. Casualties amounted to 20
officers and some 240 other ranks, killed
wounded and missing.
The fact that only one officer returned unwounded meant the
account of the battle was largely pieced together from
information supplied by non-commissioned officers.