'How Piper Laidlaw won the Victoria Cross on September 25, 1915', (c1920). Creator
'How Piper Laidlaw won the Victoria Cross on September 25, 1915', (c1920). 'Playing the 7th King's Own Scottish Borderers out of their trenches at the Battle of Loos in the midst of the gas attack'. During the Battle of Loos in northern France, British soldier Daniel Laidlaw (1875-1950) played his bagpipes to encourage the men of his regiment. He was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V on 3 February 1916: 'For most conspicuous bravery prior to an assault on German trenches near Loos and Hill 70...During the worst of the bombardment, Piper Laidlaw, seeing that his company was badly shaken from the effects of gas, with absolute coolness and disregard of danger, mounted the parapet, marched up and down and played company out of the trench. The effect of his splendid example was immediate and the company dashed out to the assault. Piper Laidlaw continued playing his pipes until he was wounded.' Laidlaw was also awarded the Croix de Guerre by France.
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Allied victims of a poison gas, temporarily blinded, at a French hospital, World War I, c1915-c1918
Allied victims of a poison gas, temporarily blinded, at a French hospital, World War I, c1915-c1918. On 22 April 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans released 168 tons of chlorine gas over a four mile front, in the first gas attack of the war. Initially French and Algerian troops (Zouaves) of the 45th and 78th Divisions were attacked with the gas, inflicting heavy casualties and causing widespread panic, with the survivors abandoning their positions. Although the Allies initially condemned the attack as barbaric, by the end of the war both sides had made extensive use of poison gas.
© Historica Graphica Collection / Heritage-Images
A French trench before an attack, 2nd Battle of Champagne, France, 25 September 1915. Artist: Unknown
A French trench before an attack, 2nd Battle of Champagne, France, 25 September 1915. The French launched an offensive in Champagne on 25 September 1915. The attack was initially successful, penetrating 3 kilometres through the German lines. The Germans counter-attacked however, and by the time the offensive was called off in early November the French were back in their original positions with 145, 000 casualties. The battle also took artillery away from Verdun, encouraging the Germans to launch their attack there early the following year. (Colorised black and white print).
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