Alfred William Turner

Alfred William Turner

6th Battalion, Cameron Highlanders

Died 26 September 1915 Aged 41

Corpl. A Turner – Cameron Hrs.

This is probably Corporal Alfred William Turner of the 6th Bn. Cameron Highlanders (Service no. 3/6317). If so he was born in the district of Bow/Poplar in Greater London in 1874. He resided at Edmonton in Middlesex when he enlisted at Aldershot. His connection with Kincardine O’Neil is that he was Butler at Dess when, in 1911, the Census picked him up there, presiding over a staff of footman, cook, lady’s maid, two kitchen maids and two housemaids. He was 37 in 1911 and about 41 when he was killed in action on Sunday 26 September 1915, the second day of the Battle of Loos. Army records suggest he was then a Lance Corporal, and acting Corporal at the time. He must have volunteered, despite his mature age, as conscription was not introduced until 1916.

The 6th Camerons were raised at Inverness in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army. They became a part of the 45th Brigade in the 15th (Scottish) Division. The battalion proceeded to France in July 1915, after a period of training in the south of England, and were involved in the Battle of Loos which began on 25 September 1915 and continued to 19 October.  

Corpl. Turner died on the second day of the battle. Following an artillery bombardment, hostilities began with the release by the British of 140 tons of chlorine gas on 25 September, which at various points along the line blew back because of a change of wind direction. This was the first use of gas on the Allied side though it had been deployed by the Germans at Ypres in April of the same year. Despite this, progress was made on the first day, but on the second (the day of Turner’s death), German reinforcements arrived and thousands of men died under enemy machine gun fire. According to the War Diary the 6th battalion suffered huge losses on this day.

Corpl. Turner is commemorated on the Loos Memorial along with 20,647 others.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War
Census 1911
National Archives – War Diary of the 6th Bn Cameron Highlanders WO95/1945_1
Online Sources re Battle of Loos