Lieutenant Sir Gawaine Baillie Bt

Gawaine George Stuart Baillie of Polkemmet, Whitburn, was born on 29 May 1893. He was the son of Sir Robert Alexander Baillie, 4th Baronet, and Isabel Wilkie. He succeeded to the title 5th Baronet Baillie of Polkemmet, Linlithgowshire on 16 Oct 1907. He joined the Scots Greys and went out to France with them at the age of 21. He was killed soon afterwards, on 7 Sep 1914 at the battle of the Aisne. He was wounded and then pierced by the lance of a German Uhlan. His family wanted his body returned to be placed in the family mausoleum at Whitburn South Parish Church, but the War Graves Commission (as it became known later) refused permission, as it would be unfair to those families who could not afford to bring home their dead sons. In 1915 it was decided that burials had to be near to where the men fell. Sir Gawaine had offered his mansion at Polkemmet as a military hospital at the beginning of the war and after his death his mother honoured his name by organising the house as a Red Cross Auxiliary Hospital which was used throughout the war.

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