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22nd March




Gordon Tait was with the 8th Battalion of the Royal  Scots who by march 1918 were the divisional pioneers for the 51st  (Highland ) Division.  The 51st Division were holding the British line on either side of the Bapaume / Cambrai road near the village of Boursies when the Germans attacked on the 21st.  The 8th RS were in billets in Beugny about 5 miles behind the front line when the German barrage started but they took their places further forward near Lacquiere first in a sunken road which they were forced to abandon by heavy shelling taking shelter in shell holes in the surrounding fields.  At about midday the battalion of three companies was split up.  2 Companies heading North of the Bapaume / Cambrai road and one to the south.  The companies to the North  of the road took up a position south of the village of Morchies, between the village and a small wood (this is still there and can be seen on google maps).  Here through the next 24 hours the held off a number of German attacks until the Germans broke through North of Morchies and outflanked them and the men retreated.  The unit suffered its heaviest casualties here and it’s likely that is  where Gordon died.  The Company stationed to the South held the line between Lebucquiere and Beaumetz le Cambrai and whilst the were attacked the German pressure was mostly to the North of the main road.



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