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Gordon Highlanders Memorial, Peterhead

On Kirk Street, Peterhead.

A hexagonal column surmounted by pillars, with a pyramidal apex.

From north. Inscribed with the Gordon Highlanders Insignia and the names Festubert and Vimy Ridge. Great War Roll of Honour behind.

Gordon Highlanders Memorial, Peterhead

From west. Inscribed Somme, Beaumont-Hamel, Arras, Ypres, Cambrai:-

Peterhead, Gordon Highlanders Memorial

From east. Inscribed St Quentin, Merville, Scarpe, Soissons, Chievres:-

Gordon Highlanders Memorial, Peterhead from East

5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders Great War Roll of Honour, by side of Gordon Highlanders Memorial, Kirk Street, Peterhead:-

5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders Great War Roll of Honour, Peterhead

In Memoriam

The Battle of the Somme began 100 years ago today. That first day saw the British Army suffer 57,470 casualties, its greatest ever one day loss in battle.* 19,240 of these were killed. Overall the battle (really a series of battles) lasted for four and a half months and resulted in 1.120-1.215 million casualties over both sides. Only the Russian Front battles of the Second World War were bloodier.

Like the Ypres Salient, the countryside where the battle(s) took place is dotted with Commonwealth War Cemeteries.

There is a particularly striking memorial at Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont Hamel, in the form of a caribou.

Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont Hamel

Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont Hamel

The names of the British army dead who remained missing are engraved on the walls of the towering Memorial at Thiepval.

Thiepval Memorial

Visiting Thiepval is as sobering an experience as the Menin Gate.

The bagpipe tune below was composed by William Laurie who fought at the Somme. He was Pipe Major of the 8th Argyllshire Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Higlanders. He became ill as a result of trench conditions and died on Nov 28th 1916.

To all who fought:-

The Battle of the Somme

*More personnel (80,000) were lost by surrender at the Fall of Singapore in 1942.

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