5/7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders

The Gordon Highlanders was a line infantry regiment of the British Army that existed for 113 years, from 1881 until 1994 when it was amalgamated with the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) to form the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons).


 The 5th Battalion went to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force: they were serving as part of the 153rd Brigade in the 51st Division during the Battle of France in 1940 when they were trapped and the majority of the division was forced to surrender at Saint-Valéry-en-Caux. The 5th Battalion was, however, reformed in the United Kingdom in August 1940 and went on to serve with the second formation of the 51st (Highland) Division (formed by redesignation of the 9th (Highland) Infantry Division throughout the rest of the Second World War, serving in North Africa and taking part in the Normandy landings.


 The 7th (Mar and Mearns) Battalion amalgamated with the 5th Battalion, becoming the 5th/7th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, and served with the second formation of the 51st (Highland) Division throughout the war.

Name: Laing, William James

Rank: Private

Age: 26

No. 2881421


Missing since: 14-03-1945

Next of Kin: Son of William Abel and Jane Leslie Laing, of Dunecht, Aberdeenshire.

Groesbeek Panel: 8

KIA Information: Known to have been killed in Neer area.