Airdrie's casualties on the first day of The Somme.

Airdrie's casualties on the first day of The Somme.

Six men from the Burgh of Airdrie were killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916.

Four of the Airdrie men belonged to one unit, the 16th Battalion (2nd Glasgow) Highland Light Infantry. An old and alternative nickname of the battalion was “Glasgow Boys Brigade Battalion” and “Holy Second” was another, intended to be humorous. The 16th Battalion were part of the 97th Brigade’s attack on the German lines at the Leipzig Salient near Thiepval village.

The 16th Battalion’s War Diary recorded that the battalion left their trenches at 7.30am and advanced in open order towards the enemy lines. The platoons were simply mown down by heavy machine gun and rifle fire. By the end of the day the battalion had lost 554 men killed or wounded from the 780 men who went into action at the start of the day.

Courtesy of Allan MacKenzie, Local Studies Officer, Airdrie Library. Copyright CultureNL/Airdrie Local Studies. For more information visit 


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Airdrie Civic War Memorial
Airdrie Civic War Memorial.