The laying of the Commemorative VC Stone in Swinton to mark the 100th anniversary of the award of the Victoria Cross to Piper Daniel Laidlaw for his bravery at the Battle of Loos took place at the weekend.
Daniel Logan Laidlaw was born at Little Swinton, Berwickshire 1875 and joined the army in 1896. He served with the Durham Light Infantry in India where he received a certificate for his work during a plague outbreak in Bombay in 1898. He later transferred as a piper to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, before transferring to the reserve in 1912. At the outbreak of World War One, Laidlaw re-enlisted in the KOSB.
Laidlaw received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Loos in 1915.
The official entry in the London Gazette of November 18, 1915, read: “During the worst of the bombardment, Piper Laidlaw, seeing that his company was badly shaken from the effects of gas, with absolute coolness and disregard of danger, mounted the parapet, marched up and down and played his company out of the trench. The effect of his splendid example was immediate and the company dashed out to the assault. Piper Laidlaw continued playing his pipes until he was wounded.”
The ceremony was attended by members of Daniel Laidlaw’s family, Major Steven Small, The Black Watch (Director of Army Bagpipe Music), Corporal Euan Jardine, Royal Scots Borderers, Piper Kev Turnbull (ex-Kings Own Scottish Borderers), KOSB veterans and locals in a small service held at the village war memorial, led by minister Alan Cartwright.
Daniel Laidlaw’s great grandson Kevin Laidlaw said: “I am very proud and honoured to be here today 100 years on from the day my great-grandfather was awarded the VC. As a piper myself I appreciate a little of the emotion of how it must have felt, but to be unarmed and being shot at and gassed in that situation, it’s hard to comprehend.”