PRIVATE JAMES FARQUHARSON BROWN BROWN
THE BLACK WATCH
2ND APRIL 1918 AGE 20
BURIED: LE CATEAU MILITARY CEMETERY, FRANCE
On the 21 March 1918 the 8th Battalion Black Watch were in the trenches between Gouzeaucourt and Sorel when the Germans opened their Spring Offensive. From then until the 27th they withdrew and withdrew and withdrew, fighting all the way in an attempt to stem the speed of the German advance. Eventually on the 27th the battalion arrived in Baizieux almost 70 kilometres from where they had been on the 21st. During this time more than 250 soldiers had gone missing, among them James Brown.
James Brown came from Alyth in Perthshire where his father was a grocer. On 26 April 1918 the Alyth Guardian reported that his parents had received word that he was a prisoner of war in Germany. This was confirmed by the Red Cross at the beginning of October but then immediately 'negatived'. Private JF Brown had died on 2 April in a German hospital at Le Cateau of "paralysis of both legs" and had been buried in a German military cemetery.
You can see why his parents chose the inscription they did, young James Brown had helped to hold the line at a desperate time for the British army.