Researchers have uncovered how Dundee war poet Joseph Lee penned a poignant tribute to a comrade who died in his arms during WW1.
Lee was part of a remarkable band of nine journalists from the city who enlisted with the 4th (territorial) Battalion of the Black Watch.
They were dubbed the “Fighter Writers” and immediately plunged into action after being sent to France in 1915, where the soldiers took part in battles of Aubers Ridge, Neuve Chapelle and Loos.
And it was during fighting near the German front line that a Dundee Advertiser staff writer, Private John Nicholson, was shot by a sniper in the middle of the night.
Colleague Corporal William Hutchison rushed to his aid after the first shot and was also hit.
The men had been in the support trench 20 yards behind the firing line, and just 100 yards from the German first line.
Private Nicholson, aged just 21, died in the arms of soldier Lee and Linton Andrews, who was editor of the Dundee Advertiser.
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Corporal Hutchison remained conscious for a short time and asked how his comrade was before saying he’d turn over because his side was in agony from his wounds. He died within the hour.
Many of the men sent back reports and sketches from the harrowing scenes of trench warfare and a death notice for Private Nicholson, from Dunfermline, appeared in the Tele’s sister title, The Courier on July 20, 1915.
Nicholson is buried in St Vaast Post Military Cemetery, Richebourg l’Avoue, Pas de Calais, France while Corporal Hutchison was laid to rest in the next grave.
Lee then wrote ‘Marching, Marching ‘ as a tribute to his fallen friend.
The details have emerged following extensive work by findmypast.com, the ancestry website, which has been delving into Dundee’s history in recent months.
He was known as The Black Watch Poet and also the Dundee Battle Bard, but was also compared to literary legends Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.
But he never gained the same fame and was largely referred to as Dundee’s forgotten war poet, which is believed to have been down to him never becoming an anti-war writer.
Despite joining up at the relatively older age of 40 and suffering from asthma, Lee rose to the rank of sergeant.