Private Edward Kilpatrick

Photo of a PoppyPhoto of Private Edward KilpatrickPrivate Edward Kilpatrick

5th Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers

Died 4 July 1915

Private 2046 Edward Kilpatrick served with the local regiment, the 5th Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Before the war Edward lived with his mother, Maggie, an outdoor worker on a farm, and brother, William, at 21 Botany Street, Wigtown. Edward had played football for the local team, Wigtown Utd, and worked as a general labourer.

On 24 May 1915 the 5th Battalion sailed from Liverpool for service at Gallipoli, landing there on 6th June. Barely 6 weeks after landing, on 4 July, Private Kilpatrick, aged only 19, was dead. His death was announced in the Galloway Gazette on 7 August 1915 at the same time that news was received that his brother, William, had been badly wounded. William was to die later in the war.

A good number of Wigtown soldiers fought at Gallipoli, one of the British army’s greatest disasters. Brilliant in concept it turned into a classic example of muddle and miscalculation. Of the 489,000 Allied soldiers involved, just over half became casualties, many from disease. Although British, Australian, New Zealand and French troops managed to land the troops failed to penetrate inland and were pinned down on the beaches by resolute Turkish defence. The troops showed outstanding courage and were to be later withdrawn.

Edward Kilpatrick is buried at Lancashire Landing Cemetery (named after the Lancashire Fusiliers). There are 1,237 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated there.

In July 1916 the Galloway Gazette carried the following tribute from his mother:

Had I but seen him at the last
Or watched his dying breath
Or heard the last sighing of his heart
Or held his aching head

 

My heart would not have felt
Such bitterness of grief
But God had ordered otherwise
And now he rests in peace

 

Often here my thoughts do wander
To that grave so far away
Where they laid my dear son Edward
Just a year ago today

 

His King and country called him
That call was not in vain
On Britain’s roll of honour
You shall find our hero’s name.