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Picture of William Owen Nelson Rout
William Owen Nelson Rout
Lieutenant - Service Number?

William Owen Nelson Rout was the son of William and Mary Rout. The Routs moved to Cambridge in 1895 and William junior attended Cambridge West School. The Routs were active in many areas and in 1902 had a house built "Whare Ora" on Maori Hill. William left for Scotland, where he was a medical student. He gained second class honours in junior practical anatomy from Edinburgh University. He married Sarah Habicht in Edinburgh then, when war was declared he enlisted in the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry, part of the Kitchener New Army formed at Hamilton in August 1914. It came under command of 28th Brigade in 9th (Scottish) Division. The Battalion landed at Boulogne on the 12th of May, 1915. William took part in the battle of Loos in September, 1915, when the British used gas for the first time. Williams' division was in the centre of the attack and had to attack the infamous Hohenzollern Redoubt and Fosse 8, the main enemy observation posts looking out onto the whole battlefield. The 28th Brigade, was on the left of the Divisional front, and their preparations were disrupted as the gas drifted behind them and hung around in their trenches. There was no cover across no man's land, and German artillery opened on the front lines that were packed with men. Further British gas cylinders were destroyed, releasing even more gas into the area. The first rank of the 10th Battalion Highland Light infantry was cut down by crossfire from Railway Redoubt before it had gained 20 yards; those that followed suffered the same fate. William aged 22 was killed in action on the 25th of September, 1915 and is buried in Cambrin Churchyard Extension Grave L9.