Lest We Forget

Today is Armistice Day.

The Bygone Bungo website allows us to search through former residents of our own homes. While each entry is often just a name, it is surprising what you can find out with a little on line research.

Looking through former residents at my own address, I came across John Aitken, and his son Corporal William Aitken, S/13487, of the 7th Cameron Highlanders. William died on 25th September 1915 at the Battle of Loos with many of his comrades, probably fighting over Hill 70. He was 25.

There is a famous painting of the battle on Hill 70 at the Highlanders’ Museum in Fort George . Click the image below to see the original in colour.

7th Camerons at the Battle of Loos, Hill 70, 25 September 1915. Joseph Gray (1890–1962). Click for full colour version.

William’s name is recorded on the Loos memorial, suggesting his body was never recovered . Many lay in no man’s land until the end of the war. The Great War website provides further details of the memorial and the battle for Hill 70.

Loos Cemetery & Memorial

The title poppy image is from the British Legion website. You can read the story of the poppy there .


The story of the poppy [Internet]. [cited 2017 Nov 11]. Available from: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/how-we-remember/the-story-of-the-poppy/
The Highlanders Museum [Internet]. [cited 2017 Nov 11]. Highlanders Museum, Fort George, Scotland - Highland Regiments Archive. Available from: http://www.thehighlandersmuseum.com/
Casualty [Internet]. [cited 2017 Nov 11]. Available from: https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/726409/aitken,-william/
Loos Memorial, Loos-en-Gohelle, France [Internet]. [cited 2017 Nov 11]. Available from: http://www.greatwar.co.uk/french-flanders-artois/memorial-loos-memorial.htm
The History of the 7th Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders by Sandilands Col. J. W. and MacLeod Lt. Col. Norman [Internet]. [cited 2017 Nov 11]. Available from: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/50301/50301-h/50301-h.htm


  1. Douglas Anderson

    November 12, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you Andrew for another fascinating and moving post

  2. William probably grew up playing with his pals here in Strathbungo, like our own children – thanks for remembering him.

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