Far from the Front

West Calder and the Great War

Email: jamesfanning@icloud.com




In Memory of



10th Bn., Royal Scots

attd. 2nd/19th Bn., London Regiment

who died on

Wednesday, 7th November 1917. Age 36.


Additional Information: Son of William and Elizabeth Gray, of West Calder, Midlothian. Native of Lochee, Dundee.


Commemorative Information



Grave Reference/Panel Number:  N. 76.


Location: Beersheba is a town 43 kilometres south-east of Gaza, and about 74 kilometres south-west of Jerusalem.


Historical Information: In October, 1917, General Allenby's forces were entrenched on the Gaza-Beersheba line, behind the road and the towns, and were ready to attack.The first move was to be the capture of Beersheba.It was carried out on the 30th and 31st October by the XXth Corps (10th, 53rd, 60th and 74th Divisions) on the West, and the Desert Mounted Corps on the East; and on the evening of the 31st the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade charged over the Turkish trenches into the town. The Cemetery was made, adjoining Beersheba Christian Cemetery, immediately on the fall of the town, and it remained in use until July, 1918.


John Adams has been researching the life of Alexander Jackson Gray, a relative of his. Many thanks to John for the following information.


Alexander Gray was a schoolmaster at West Calder Public School from 1904-1914. In the school log for September 1st 1914 it states : "Mr Gray is absent with a Company of Territorials." In the school log for November 16th 1917 it states : "Word has been received that Major A J Gray was killed in Palestine on Nov 7th." Major Gray's obituary appeared in the Midlothian Advertiser on Friday, November 16th 1917.