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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.