War hero to be honoured

Daniel Laidlaw VC
Daniel Laidlaw VC

A brave First World War hero who won a prestigious military award for gallantry is to be commemorated in the village where he was educated.

Piper Daniel Logan Laidlaw was 40 when he carried out the courageous Victoria Cross-winning deed during the Battle of Loos in France.

Members of the Lesbury Village Hall committee

Members of the Lesbury Village Hall committee

Despite heavy German bombardment and being shot in both legs, he played the Regimental March to inspire British troops to a successful assault on armed enemy fortifications.

And this year, as part of the Great War centenary commemorations, Piper Laidlaw is to be remembered by the community of Lesbury.

Nicknamed the Piper of Loos, he was a pupil at the village’s former Church of England school, which is now the village hall. To honour his actions, the venue’s management committee is to install a special plaque at the building.

Representative Charles Jones said: “We thought that it would be nice to put a plaque up to commemorate what he did as he was as a pupil who attended the village school.

“We are making an appeal to anyone who is related to him to get in touch because we would like to invite them to the plaque unveiling ceremony.

“We would also like to hear from anyone who has any information about him.”

Piper Laidlaw was in the 7th Battalion, The King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division British Army when he carried out the deed in 1915.

Prior to an assault on enemy trenches and during the worst of the bombardment, Piper Laidlaw, seeing that his company was shaken with the effects of gas and with complete disregard for danger, mounted the parapet and, marching up and down, played his company out of the trench. The company dashed to the assault while he continued playing his pipes – even after he was wounded – and until the position was won. His actions also earned him the French Croix de Guerre.

○ The Gazette is putting together First World War supplements and would like stories, pictures and memorabilia from our readers.