One of the 'fallen' was Pte Charles Graham of the Royal Scots. He was buried where he was killed. The burial party mistakenly left his personal possessions at the side of the grave and his home address, save for the fact that he was a West Calder man, were lost. The possessions were sent to the Rev Anderson, who displayed them in the parish church.
"When the photographs which had been found on the battlefield in France were being shown in the vestibule of the Parish Church, Mr Robert Graham, Front Street, Mossend, recognised one as the photograph of his son Pte Charles Graham of the Royal Scots. Pte Graham was married and had signed up straight away. He wrote home regularly. He had taken part on the big attack on July 1st and no news had been had of him since then."
The anxiety of the family was replaced by grief at the confirmation of their son's death.
The Rev Longden, the army chaplain who had sent the possessions and photographs, later wrote to the Rev Anderson.
'My Dear Sir, I am glad to hear from you that the belongings I sent home have come into the hands of a relative of one of our brave lads, although I much regret that they should of necessity carry the proof of his death.' The Rev Langden could offer no explanation to the disposal of the personal possessions at the side of the grave, but gave the reassurance that Pte Graham now rested with his friends and fellow soldiers nearby. "His people would no doubt like to know that he had fallen in the great advance at a point which is beyond the old German first line of trenches, so that before he fell he had succeeded in breaking through the line with the other gallant fellows and had his share in starting the route of our enemies, which will I trust before long end this terrible war."
Midlothian Advertiser, August 11, 1916
In Memory of
CHARLES ROBB GRAHAM
16th Bn., Royal Scots
who died on
Saturday, 1st July 1916.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France
Grave Reference/Panel Number: Pier and Face 6 D and 7 D CWGC website
Mrs Graham, 37 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, has received official notice that her husband, Pte Charles Graham of the Royal Scots, was killed in action. He was formerly reported missing. Pte Graham was a son of Mr Robert Graham, Mossend, West Calder and previous to going to Edinburgh he served his apprenticeship as a compositor in the 'Advertiser' Office. This is the second son Mr Graham has lost in the war. Midlothian Advertiser, March 9, 1917