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Letters From Flanders Written By 2nd Lieut. A. D. Gillespie, Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders

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Length: 174 pages4 hours

Summary

The sight of the kilted Highland regiment has always struck such fear into their Germans opponents of both World Wars; known to their Teutonic foes as the “Ladies from Hell” for their attire and fighting prowess. The memories of those brave Celtic Warriors fighting across the mud of Flanders remains in the swirl of the bagpipe laments, faded pictures and memoirs from their ranks.
The letters of two brothers Alexander and Thomas Gillespie still do survive, from the lowlands of Scotland, volunteered to serve in the British Army almost as soon as the war broke out leaving behind a career in law and academia respectively. They did not long have to wait to be thrown into the holocaust of the front lines; Tom was posted to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers and was immediately under the shellfire of the battle of the Marne and the Race to the sea before he was killed in action on October 18 1914 near La Bassée. Despite his brother’s ultimate sacrifice Alexander went forward to the front in February 1915 with the 2nd Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He led his men forward, as part of the first wave of the great push of the 19th Brigade on Cambrin Road, into the horrific shellfire and gas at the opening of the battle of Loos on the 25th September 1915. He was the only officer that made it to the German position that was their objective, but there he fell beneath the German fire.
A fine set of letters from the front lines of Flanders by two Scottish officers.

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