Granton War Memorial
John Orr Baillie
John Orr Baillie was born in Bathgate, West Lothian, circa 1895. On the 1901 Census he was living with his parents William and Jessie Baillie at North Couston Farm, Bathgate, West Lothian.
The 1914 edition of the Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directory shows that his father, William Baillie, was a farmer at Granton Mains, West Granton Road. On the Granton War Memorial his regiment was shown as Lothian and Border Horse. This was a Yeomanry Regiment – a mounted equivalent of the Territorials. Anyone who joined this outfit had to provide his own horse – just the sort of thing that a farmer’s son might do. The entry in SDGW indicates that he joined Lothian & Border Horse in 1909. At some stage he transferred to 9th Battalion Royal Scots (an Edinburgh based Territorial Battalion which unlike other units of the Royal Scots, wore the kilt.)
He was killed in action on 23rd April 1917, aged 22, and is buried in Brown’s Copse Cemetery, Roeux. The cemetery information provided on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website shows that the 51st Highland Division, which included the 9th Battalion Royal Scots, captured a chemical works in the village of Roeux on 22nd April 1917 and that there was subsequently heavy fighting involved to retain it. This engagement was part of the Arras campaign.
The CWGC website, which was compiled from information given in the early 1920s, also gives his parents’ address as 5 Gordon Road, Corstorphine. It is not known when they gave up the farm at Granton.