Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Second Lieutenant Sir Gawaine George Stuart Baillie, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), was killed in action at the Battle of the Marne.
The eldest son of Sir Robert Alexander Baillie, late Major Commanding of the Australian Squadron, the King’s Colonials Imperial Yeomanry, he became 5th Baronet Baillie of Polkemmet, Linlithgowshire, on his father’s death in 1907. Second Lieutenant Baillie attended Eton College and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, receiving his commission in September of 1912. At the outbreak of the Great War he offered his home, Polkemmet House, as a military hospital, and after his death his mother ensured that his wishes were carried out as she ran the house as a Red Cross auxiliary hospital throughout the war.
Second Lieutenant Baillie’s regiment arrived in Flanders in August of 1914, and was present during the Retreat from Mons. It was during the fighting at the Battle of the Marne that Second Lieutenant Baillie lost his life. He was severely wounded in one arm but would not leave the fighting, so had his injured arm bound up, insisting he could guide his horse with the other. Described as courageous and gallant, he led his men in a charge and shortly afterwards was pierced through by a German Uhlan lance. He was buried close to where he fell, but at a later date his cremated remains were interred in his family’s mausoleum on their estate. After the demolition of the mansion in the 1960s, the urn containing his ashes was re-interred at the Whitburn Parish Churchyard.
Gawaine, born in Melbourne, Australia, and raised in Whitburn, Linlithgowshire, was 21 years old.