A SOLDIER from the First World War is to finally be given a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, a century after he died.

Private Alexander Ponton of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers was buried at Hobkirk Parish Church on October 17, 1916.

He had died three days earlier from tuberculosis, aged just 30, after being discharged from duty on medical grounds.

Private Ponton was never given a Commission headstone or named on the Roll of Honour when he died, as authorities at the time failed to report his death to officials.

Patricia Keppie, regional coordinator for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, told us: “We are always honoured to be able to remember those who lost their lives during both world wars, and Alexander is no different.

“Despite him dying due to an illness he contracted during his active service, we were not informed of his death and were unable to pay a fitting tribute to his bravery with a Commission headstone and his name on the Roll of Honour.

“This has now been rectified with many thanks to the In From the Cold Project, who brought Alexander’s case to our attention.”

Alexander was born in Hawick in 1886, son of George and Susan Ponton.

Before enlisting, he was a rural post boy and then an under gamekeeper/rabbit catcher who lived at Templehall before enlisting at Jedburgh in October 1914.

During active service was a Private with the 1st/4th Battalion of the KOSB with Service Number 7023, before being transferred to 12th Provisional Battalion in May 1915.

He was discharged six months later after contracting tuberculosis.

A special service will be held next week to rededicate his grave at Hobkirk Parish Churchyard.

The service, on Thursday, September 28 at 2.30pm, will be conducted by Reverend Douglas Nicol at Alexander’s graveside.

Patricia added: “As an organisation that commemorates the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in both world wars, it’s been an absolute honour to recognise Alexander and to know that people who come to this cemetery will also have the chance to remember him for his bravery and dedication to our country.”