The King’s Own Scottish Borderers Association is marking the centenary of the Battle of the Somme with a visit to the site of the conflict in Picardy, northern France, in late summer this year.
The infamous battle, which took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916, was one of the largest battles of World War One, with more than 1,000,000 men wounded or killed.
By noon on the first day, the 1st Battalion KOSB alone, had suffered nearly 600 casualties. 4 KOSB Battalions in total – 1, 2, 6 and 7/8th – bravely fought at the Somme
The Association is deliberately avoiding the 100th anniversary of the first day of the battle to allow for a more reflective and personal visit to the site, and will instead time its trip to coincide with the 2nd Battalion KOSB’s attack on Faffemont Farm, near Guillemont. Mounted on 3 September, the unsupported attack resulted in heavy casualties for the Battalion.
The trip will take place from 31 August – 4 September, and will be led by UK guide Keith Dolan, an ex-serviceman himself, and a real expert on the ground and the battles.Keith also led the Association’s highly successful Gallipoli trip in May 2015.
Three generations will be taking part in the excursion – pupils from Queen Victoria School in Dunblane, serving soldiers from 1 Scots, and “Old and Bold” from the KOSB Association.
There will also be a descendant whose great grandfather, Cpl Richard Howard, was killed at the farm on 3 September, which should make a poignant moment for all. The party will also include three pipers, who will provide a musical tribute to the fallen.