Far from the Front

West Calder and the Great War

Email: jamesfanning@icloud.com



G Elder

Mr Elder, Gavieside, has received a letter from a chaplain in France, conveying the sad news that his son, Corporal George Elder, of the Royal Scots, was killed in action on the 23rd April. George Elder enlisted in December, 1914, before he had reached the military age, and was sent to France in June 1915. In civil life he worked as a miner.


Midlothian Advertiser, 1st June 1917


In Memory of




13th Bn., Royal Scots

who died on

Monday, 23rd April 1917.



Commemorative Information


Memorial:  ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France

Grave Reference/Panel Number:  Bay 1 and 2.


Mr and Mrs Elder, Raeburn's Row, West Calder, received the following letter from the chaplain : -


"It is with feelings of deep regret and sympathy that I now have to report to you the death in action of your dear boy, Corporal G Elder, of this battalion. He went into action with his Company on the morning of 23rd April, and when the roll was called later on he was discovered to be absent. Search was made for him under somewhat dangerous and difficult circumstances, but as no trace of him could be found he was officially reported 'missing'.


I have purposely refrained from writing to you sooner, as I was always hoping to be able to give you some comforting news, but we have just received his identity disc from an English battalion, which means that they found his body and buried him.


He was a good soldier and comrade, and was much respected by all who knew him here. He was ever ready to do his duty, and I believe willingly gave his life in the great cause in which he was fighting, and for the sake of those at home. May God strengthen and comfort you in your great sorrow - Your sympathetic friend, D F Mclean, Captain, Chaplain to Forces.


Official information of the death of their son in action has since been received by Mr and Mrs Elder.


Midlothian Advertiser, 15th June, 1917.