A regimental sculpture of Piper Laidlaw VC who won his Victoria Cross during the Battle of Loos in 1915. Laidlaw was a KOSB and our statuette makes a first class historical memorial. We include the wooden base and an engraved plate as standard.
Daniel Laidlaw was born at Little Swinton near Berwick-upon-Tweed on the 26th July 1875. At the outbreak of the First World War he joined the 7th Battalion, The Kings Own Scottish Borderers, his local infantry regiment and underwent basic training in the barracks at Berwick-upon-Tweed. The 7th Battalion was included in the 15th Scottish Division and arrived in France in 1915. In September the Battalion occupied the front line trenches near the town of Loos with a small knoll called Hill 70 to their front, it was the first time the 7th Battalion had been in action.
On the 25th September the Division mounted a massive attack to capture Hill 70 and as the time to attack approached the 7th Battalion formed up ready to go 'over the top'. At this crucial moment the trenches were heavily bombarded by German artillery. At the same time the British artillery were firing gas shells for the first time and some of this blew back into the British trench lines. The gas severely affected many men and others were clearly visibly shaken. Above the din and confusion of battle, the commanding officer, seeing Piper Laidlaw with his bagpipes shouted above the noise, "pipe them together Laidlaw, for God's sake pipe them together".
With complete disregard for his safety, Daniel Laidlaw climbed up onto the parapet of the trench and played to his comrades in full view of the enemy. In the face of heavy machine-gun fire and to the sound of 'Blue bonnets o'er the Border' the 7th Battalion rallied and climbed out of their trenches. As the Borderers advanced forward across no-man’s land under fire Laidlaw continued to play and struck up the Regimental Charge 'Standards on the Braes o' Mar'. Laidlaw fell wounded in front of the enemy's trenches and did not reach the German's front line. That evening the Commanding Officer recommended Laidlaw for the Victoria Cross and it was duly Gazetted on the 18th November 1915. For his conspicuous gallantry Laidlaw was also awarded the French 'Croix de Guerre' as it was felt that his particular example inspired all who saw him, including the French troops attacking nearby.
Although Piper Laidlaw acquired the nickname 'The Piper of Loos', he was quick to give credit to the other pipers who had played during the battle, and who had also rendered extraordinary service in great danger by bringing in the wounded. In particular Pipe Major Douglas Taylor, although wounded in the hand and unable to pipe, continued to bring in wounded men from the battlefield for 36 hours after the attack.
Daniel Laidlaw survived the War and led a full life. He died at Shoresdean, near Berwick-upon-Tweed on the 2nd June 1950 and is buried at Norham.
All our statues include an optional engraved plate on the wooden base. On the bronze statues the plate is jewellers brass and the pewter/ silver statues have a nickel silver plate.
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