Far from the Front

West Calder: A Scottish Village and the Great War

Email: jamesfanning@icloud.com



D Gowans

In Memory of




9th Bn., Royal Scots

who died on

Saturday, 6th April 1918. Age 33.


Additional Information:  Son of Mrs. Gowans, of Auchendinny, Milton Bridge, Midlothian.


Commemorative Information



Grave Reference/Panel Number:  Mem. 16.


Location: Foreste is a village in the Department of the Aisne, situated approximately 14 kilometres west of St. Quentin and approximately 9 kilometres north of Ham. Foreste Communal Cemetery is situated to the south of the village on the D34.


Historical Information: The Communal Cemetery was used by the 92nd Field Ambulance in April, 1917, and later by the 61st (South Midland) Division; in the summer of 1918, it fell into German hands and was used by German troops. There are now over 100, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, one-fifth are unidentified and special memorials are erected to 23 others, buried by the enemy, whose grave cannot be traced. Four French soldiers are buried in the cemetery, but the German graves have been removed.


CWGC website


We regret to announce that Sergt David Gowans of the Royal Scots, youngest son of William Gowans, Learmonth Crescent, was killed in action on the 24th March. Sgt Gowans was a grocer with Rae & Co before the outbreak of war and was well known in the village….He was in the sector where the Germans launched their big offensive and died for his country gallantly striving to stem the German rush. Mrs Gowans has two other sons serving, Peter who joined the Canadian Contingent in the early days of the war, and has taken part in much of the heavy fighting; and John, who joined the Flying Corps in Vancouver. Her eldest son is very seriously ill at present in the West of Scotland, and Mrs Gowans was away helping to nurse him when the sad news of David's death arrived.


Midlothian Advertiser, May 3rd, 1918