1917 (63)

These are the stories behind those who fell between 1917-18

John Duncan Leitch

Highland Light Infantry

15th Batt. Highland Light Infantry
He is remembered with honour on the Nieuport Memorial, St Bride’s Church Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 2 Line 53.

The family home was at 14, West Clyde Street, Helensburgh.The son of John Leitch.
Siblings: Not Known
christina leitchJohn Leitch was born and brought up in Helensburgh, where his father was a potato merchant.
John married Christina Catherine Murray, a domestic servant in Portobello, in 1906. He was employed as a painter/journeyman before enlisting in 1914. Both his parents were deceased before that date.
John was firstly reported as missing in action on the 27th August 1917 before being confirmed as killed in action on 28th June 1918. John died on the Belgian Coast. He was 35 years of age.
Forces War Records show his next of kin as living at Inversnaid but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have an address for his wife as 1, Culloden Cres, Arbroath.

Hugh Loan

HLI

10/11th Batt. Highland Light Infantry. He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, St. Josephs Church Roll of Honour and the Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 4.

The family home was at 86, East Princes Street, Helensburgh. The son of Hugh Loan (iron works labourer) and Maria Loan.
Siblings: One brother Francis Loan served with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. He survived the war. 

Hugh Loan was born at Colt Terrace, Coatbridge, where his father was an iron works labourer. It is believed moved to Helensburgh after the death of his father.
He was employed at Craigendoran Pier before enlisting.
Hugh joined the Highland Light Infantry at the outbreak of war and served as a stretcher bearer. He died of wounds in March 1917, having been wounded on three previous occasions. He was 24 years of age.

Kenneth Campbell Lowrie

Royal Scots Fusiliers

1/4th Batt.Royal Scots Fusiliers. He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, St. Brides Church Roll of Honour and the Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3, Line 5.

The family home was at 46, Portland Place, John Street, Helensburgh. The son of John and Catherine Lowrie.
Siblings: Kenneth had two brothers, Sergeant Thomas Lowrie who served in the Royal Garrison Artillery and Private Alexander Lowrie who erved with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Both brothers survived the war.

 Kenneth Lowrie was born in Helensburgh, were his father was a local builder.
On leaving school he was an apprentice joiner in a munitions factory before joining the Highland Light Infantry, later transferred to the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
Kenneth died in Palestine, killed in action. He was 19 years old.
His headstone inscription reads, 'Now "Peace with Honour" unbetrayed his life for "Victory" Glady paid'.

John MacKenzie

Seaforth Highlanders

8th Batt. Seaforth Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Menin Gate Memorial, the Scottish National War Memorial, Park Church Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 14.

The family home was at Andorrach Estate, Portincaple. The son of Duncan MacKenzie, (crofter and salmon fisherman) and Ann MacKenzie, Portree.
Siblings: John had two brothers, Murdo and Kenneth, and a sister, Mary.

John MacKenzie was born in Portree on the Isle of Skye where his father was a crofter and salmon fisherman. He was employed locally as the head gardener with Andorrach Estate, at Portincaple, where he was one of several gardeners, before enlisting in the Seaforth Highlanders.
John died, killed in action at the age of 36. His remains were not recovered.

Francis (Frank) McClymont

Gordons

1st Batt. Gordon Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 6.

The family home was at 33, Grant Street, and later 50 East Clyde Street, Helensburgh. The son of Peter and Agnes McClymont.
Siblings: Frank had an older brother, William and three sisters, Mary, Sarah and Isabella.

Frank McClymont was born and brought up in Helensburgh, the youngest of five children, where his father was a mason’s labourer. His parents came to the town from Stranraer.

He had previously served in the army before going to Canada. At the outbreak of war, he returned to re-enlist.

Frank died at Flanders, killed in action, having also been gassed in a previous battle. He was 31 years old.

Frank left a wife, Agnes Wardrop Hamilton, and two small children in Troon.

James McGhee (McGhie)

royal scots fusiliers

12th Batt. Royal Scots Fusiliers
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 9.

The family home was at Lomond Terrace, Helensburgh. The son of Unknown. 
Siblings: His brother, Daniel, had returned from America to fight and served in France.
James McGhee was born in Helensburgh and after leaving school joined the Gordon Highlanders, serving for twelve years - seven with the colours and five in reserve. He had served in the Boer War and was awarded two campaign medals.
At the outbreak of war, James was employed as a gardener at Stuckgowan, near Tarbet. He was married to Elizabeth and was bringing up two young children, James and Elizabeth.
He was conscripted to the Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1917 and sent to Egypt. He died, killed in action. He was 37 years of age.
His journey has been laid out in pdf format. Click here to view it

Thomas McGinlay

Iniskilling Fusiliers

1st Batt. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
He is remembered with honour on the St Joseph’s Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 10.

The family home was Not known. The son of Unknown.
Siblings: His obituary mentions three brothers, Neil, Michael and Hugh..

Thomas McGinlay was born in Helensburgh and brought up in the town with his three brothers.

He was employed by Mr Turnbull at the Helensburgh Golf Course before enlisting in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Later transferring to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Thomas died from wounds received in battle at a Casualty Clearing Station in France. He was 28 years of age.

He was employed by Mr Turnbull at the Helensburgh Golf Course before enlisting in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Later transferring to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 

Thomas died from wounds received in battle at a Casualty Clearing Station in France. He was 28 years of age.

Christopher Strang McGregor

Canadian medical corps

1st Canadian Army Medical Corps
He is remembered with honour on the Vimy Memorial, Larchfield School Memorial, St Bride’s Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 8.

The family home was Bonnyton, Sutherland Street, Helensburgh. The son of John McGregor J.P. and Elizabeth McGregor.
Siblings: Christopher was one of five sons and had one sister.
Christopher McGregor was born and brought up in Helensburgh where his father was a muslin manufacturer. He attended Larchfield School and later Glasgow Academy where he graduated with an M.A. in 1896. He was a member of the University Football Team.
He was then described as a coffee planter in Vera Cruz, Mexico before returning and residing with his married sister in Helensburgh. It is believed that he then emigrated to Canada.
He enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps. He died in the Military Hospital in France of pneumonia at the age of 41.

John McHardy

Argylls

2/9th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial, the Congregational Church Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 11.

The family home was at 42, East Princes Street, Helensburgh.The son of Alexander and Isabella McHardy.
Siblings: John came from a family of seven children. He had two sisters, Agnes and Annie and four brothers, George, Charles, Alexander and William. George and Charles also served during the war. Both survived the fighting.
John McHardy was born in Helensburgh where his father was a van driver. He was employed as a van boy (groom) before enlisting in the army.
John died, killed in action, at Arras on the 13th May, 1917, only 2 days after being awarded the Military Medal for 'bravery in the field'. He was 21 years of age. His remains were not recovered.

Archibald R. McKechnie

Argylls

5th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Loos Memorial, the Tyne Cot Memorial, the St. Michael and All Angels Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 13.

The family home was 38, James Street, Helensburgh. The son of Charles and Annie McKechnie.
Siblings: Archibald had three brothers, Charles who served and was wounded in action, James who served in the Royal Navy and Thomas who was too young to serve. 

Archibald McKechnie was born at 90, West Princes Street in Helensburgh and brought up in the town. He was employed by Mr. R.M. Clyde before enlisting in the local Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, being sent to France in early 1917. Archibald died, killed in action, at Arras during the 'great advance' in September, 1917. Initially reported as missing in action and later confirmed dead. He was 18 years of age. His remains were not recovered.

Michael McKechnie

Seaforth highlanders

Seaforth Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the St. Michael and All Angels Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 12.

The family home was 55, East Princes Street, Helensburgh. The son of James and Jane McKechnie.
Siblings: Michael had one younger brother, Donald and two sisters, Jeanie and Alice.
 Michael McKechnie was born in Helensburgh were her father was a chauffeur. After leaving school he was employed as a chauffeur with Mr William Russell of Ardluss.
He joined the local Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in September, 1914.
Michael was wounded in the chest in battle. He was operated on but died nine days later.

James McLaughlin

Royal Scots Fusiliers

6/7th Batt. Royal Scots Fusiliers
He is remembered with honour on the St Joseph's Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 15.

The family home was 24, East King Street and then 56, East King Street, Helensburgh. The son of Sarah McLaughlin.
Siblings: He had one younger brother also named James. 

James McLaughlin was born in Helensburgh and brought up in the town by his widowed, Irish mother. He was employed with the North British Railway and then with the Postal Service at Rosneath.

James died, killed in action, at Ypres. He was 24 years of age.

James Wilson McLennan

Argylls

7th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Park Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 16.

The family home was 33, East King Street and then 48, Portland Place, John Street, Helensburgh The son of Elizabeth and the late William Ross McLennan.
Siblings: James had three sisters, Maggie, Elizabeth and Eva, and three brothers, Donald, John and William
 James McLennan was born in Helensburgh and brought up in the town where his father was a guard with the North British Railway Company. He was employed with the N.B. Railway as a porter before enlisting in 1915.
James died, killed in action, at Arras. He was 19 years of age.
He gravestone reads ‘At Rest’.

Daniel Sellars McMillan

Merchant Navy

Merchant Marine
He is remembered with honour on the Tower Hill Memorial, the Park Church Roll of Honour, and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 17.

The family home was Knapdale, The Avenue, Craigendoran, Helensburgh, with his wife and three daughters. The son of John and Mary McMillan of Arran.
Siblings: Not known
Daniel McMillan was born in Arran. He was employed by Messrs Hardy and Co., Glasgow and had lived at Craigendoran for 17 years with his wife, Jeannie Russell McMillan and their three daughters.
Whilst sailing from Havana with a cargo of sugar bound for Queenstown, his ship, Caldergrove, was torpedoed by a U-boat off Fastnet.
Daniel was lost at sea at the age of 53.

Dugald (Dougall) McMillan

Argylls

9th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing (Louverval Memorial), the Park Church Roll of Honour, and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 18.

The family home was 88, West Clyde Street and then 52, West Princes Street, Helensburgh. The son of Archibald and Rachel McMillan.
Siblings: Dugald had three sisters, Harriet, Helen and Andrana and one brother, Hamilton, who fought with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and survived the war.
 Dugald McMillan was born and brought up in Helensburgh where his father was a plumber. On leaving school, he was apprenticed to J.W.McCulloch as a house painter. He was a member of the local pipe band.
Dugald joined the local Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders with his brother, Hamilton. Hamilton was gassed but survived the war.
Dugald was killed in action at the Battle of Cambrai at the age of 25. His remains were not recovered. 

Andrew McShee M.A.

Argylls

11th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Thiepval Memorial, the Victoria Park Church Roll of Honour, Glasgow Education Authority Roll of Honour, Jordanhill College Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 19.

The family home was Stanwick, 38, Lomond Street, Helensburgh The son of Arthur McShee (boilermaker).
Andrew McShee was born in Lanarkshire. He attended Jordanhill Teacher Training College before becoming a science master at Hyndland School in Partick.
He married Catherine Anderson (a nurse) and had two children. Catherine succumbed to T.B., and the two children were raised by an uncle, David McArthur in Rhu.
Andrew died, when a shell landed on the Lewis Gun Team whilst on attachment to the Machine Gun Corps. He was 38 years of age. His remains were not recovered.

William Chalmers Milne

Argylls

1/7th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, the Congregational Church Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 20.

The family home was at 43, West King Street, Helensburgh. The son of James Milne (mason) and Cecilia Milne.
Siblings: William had two brothers, Robert and Alexander (too young to fight), and sisters, Cecilia and Margaret.
 William Milne was born at Portsoy in Banff and moved to Helensburgh, the eldest of a family of five, where his father was a mason. It would appear that he enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders immediately on leaving school.
William died, killed by a sniper, at Arras. He was 19 years old.
The inscription on his headstone reads: 'Until He Come'.

Dennis Morgan

Argylls

2/9th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 21.

The family home was at 65, West Clyde Street, Helensburgh. The son of Hugh Morgan and Elizabeth Morgan (nee Whiteford).
Siblings: Dennis had two sisters, Annie and Mary and three brothers, John, Hugh and Bernard, two of whom served with the colours and survived the war.
 Dennis Morgan was born at 67, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh and was brought up in Maitland Street, in the town, in a family of six children.
He was employed as an engine cleaner with the Railway Company before enlisting.
Dennis enlisted in October 1914 at the age of 18. He died at the Somme, killed in action. He was 21 years old.

Alexander Neish(Neill)

Artillery

Royal Garrison Artillery
He is remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 22.

The family home was Elderslie Cottage, 135, East Clyde Street, Helensburgh The son of Mr & Mrs Alexander Neish of Huntly.
Siblings: Alexander had one sister, Jessie. 
Alexander Neish was born at Huntly, Aberdeenshire and later came to Helensburgh to live with his sister. He was employed by J.B. Watson & Co., Gents Outfitters, Union Street, Glasgow as a hosiery salesman before enlisting.
In 1911, he married Lizzie Laird Beattie from Huntly, and went to live at Danes Drive, Scotstoun.
Alexander died, killed in action at the age of 31 years leaving a wife and two children. His remains were not recovered.

Peter G. Nicholson

Argylls

1/7th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 23.

The family home was 73, East Clyde Street, Helensburgh The son of Jessie Nicholson Shanks
Peter Nicholson was born in Leith and came to Helensburgh to work as a ticket collector on Craigendoran Pier.
He married Cissie Wyllie in 1914 in St Joseph's Church and was at that time living with his in-laws in East Clyde Street.
Having previously been wounded in 1915, Peter died, killed in action, at Arras in 1917. He was 30 years of age.

Roy Paterson

Argylls

14th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Old Parish Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 24.

The family home was 57, West King Street, Helensburgh The son of John Paterson (draper’s assistant and Elizabeth Ann Paterson (nee Crighton).
Siblings: Roy had a brother, Fred who fought with the Scots Guards.
Roy Paterson was born in Aberdeen where his father was a draper’s assistant.
There is no definite connection to Helensburgh, but as both of his parents were deceased at the time of his death, relations in the area were, perhaps, next of kin.
Roy died as the result of an accident at the age of 22 years.

Edward Pirret(Norman McLeod Pirret)

Royal Army Medical Corps

1st Field Corps, Royal Army Medical Corps. (11th General Hospital)
He is remembered with honour on Helensburgh Baptist Church Roll of Honour, Helensburgh Post Office Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 25.

The family home was 36 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh The son of James (foreman mason) and Isabella Pirret
Norman's daughter, May, married the Rev. James Taylor in Georgetown, Ontario - her death notice showed that Norman had two grandsons and a granddaughter and four great grandchildren. His widow died in Canada in 1966.
Norman McLeod Pirret (also known as Edward as seen on the War Memorial) was born in Edinburgh, later moving to Helensburgh where his father was a foreman mason.
He was employed as a postman before mobilising. Norman was a member of the local Territorials and was posted to France in August 1914.
Norman married Christina Henderson Pirret (nee Scott), of 35, Kildonan Street, Coatbridge, in 1912 and they had a daughter, May.
Norman received the Military Medal for bravery in 1916. He died of wounds received in battle. His inscription reads: 'Dearly Beloved Husband of Tina Scott, Coatbridge, till he come'.

Thomas G. Proudfoot

royal scots fusiliers

2nd Batt. Royal Scots Fusiliers
He is remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial, St. Bride’s Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 26.

The family home was 36, John Street, Helensburgh.The son of the late R.S.M. James and Agnes Proudfoot of Moniaive, Dumfriesshire.
Siblings: Thomas had a brother serving as a sergeant, also with the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
Thomas Proudfoot was brought up in a military family where his father was a Regimental Sergeant Major. He was employed with Messrs Saunders, fishmonger before enlisting. He married Jean Murdoch Proudfoot in Helensburgh Thomas was first reported missing in action, later confirmed killed in action. He was 36 years old. His remains were not recovered.

Alexander Richardson

Royal Naval Reserve

Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve
He is remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial, Old Parish Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 27.

The family home was 14, Glenfinlas Street, Helensburgh The son of Robert Richardson, (engine driver) and Janet Richardson
Siblings: Frank one brother, Robert, and four sisters, Jessie, Susan, Agnes and Ellen.

Alexander Richardson was born in Helensburgh, where his father was an engine driver for the North British Railways.

Alexander joined the RNVR in October 1914. In September 1915, he was home on sick leave after seeing fighting in the Dardanelles.

Sent to France, he was attached to the Howe Batt. Light Trench Mortar Battery. He was then transferred to the 189th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery, R.N. Div. Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, attached to the Drake Battalion.

Alexander was reported missing on 23rd April 1917, and it was later confirmed he died on that date. He was 20 years old.

Neil Sharkey

Argylls

8th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, St. Joseph's Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 28.

The family home was at 16, East King Street, Helensburgh The son of Neil and Mary Sharkey
Siblings: Neil had four brothers, Hugh, who also served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Andrew, Charles and Dominick, and two sisters, Susan and Bridget. Two older siblings had left home by the time of the 1911 census.

SharkeyNeilheadstone

Neil Sharkey was born in Helensburgh and brought up in the town. He was an apprentice fishmonger and a member of the local territorials, joining in January of 1913.

At the outbreak of war Neil joined the 9th Batt. of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, later transferred to the 8th Batt. Being promoted to Sergeant, he married Mary Orr (domestic servant) in Edinburgh in January 1917.

Neil was wounded in 1915 and recovered to return to the Front. At Arras in 1917, he was killed in action, wounded in the back and shoulder. He was 21 years old. He received the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
View Neil's Letter from the front

George Alexander Sillars

Highland Light Infantry

5th Highland Light Infantry
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, the Helensburgh Baptist Church Roll of Honour, Helensburgh and Gareloch Unionist Roll of Honour, St Columba’s Roll of Honour, and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 29.

The family home was Oxford Bank, 74, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh The son of George Alexander (painter and decorator) and Jeanie Sillars
Siblings: George had one sister, Jeanie.

George Sillars was born in Helensburgh, where his father owned a painting and decorating business at 58, Sinclair Street. He was educated at Hermitage Higher Grade School and attended the University of Glasgow, studying dentistry. He was an accomplished musician and played in the Baptist Church. He also played the organ at Dunfermline Abbey while stationed there with the RAMC

George originally enlisted to the Royal Army Medical Corps before transferring to combat duties and served in the Mediterranean, in Egypt, and at Gallipoli before fighting in the Battle of Jerusalem with General Allenby’s forces.

George was killed in action, probably at the Battle of Beit Ur el Tahta. He was 22 years of age.

Frederick William Stone

Merchant Navy

Merchant Marine Reserve
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, St. Michael and All Angels Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 30.

The family home was 6, East King Street, and then 43 Grant Street, Helensburgh.The son of the late John Stone and Elizabeth Stone.
Siblings: Frederick had two brothers, his twin Peter, who served as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers and younger brother, Robert, and one sister, Annie.

balmoralFrederick Stone was born at 5 West King Street in Helensburgh with his twin Peter.
Frederick served on the MMR HMS Balmoral, a paddle minesweeper and had been engaged in minesweeping duties in the North Sea and English Channel for over a year, when he died.
Frederick drowned at sea, his body found washed up at Dunkirk Harbour. He was 30 years of age.
His twin, Peter, survived the war

John Bennet Taylor (Jack)

Argylls

2nd Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial, Scottish National War Memorial, St Michael and All Angels Church Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 3 Line 31.

The family home was 97, West Princes Street, Helensburgh. The son of John Bennett Taylor (butcher) and Euphemia Taylor (nee Young).

 

John Taylor (known as Jack) was born in Alloa and moved to Helensburgh, where his father was a butcher. On leaving school, he followed his father's profession and became an apprentice butcher with Mr John Brown in the town.
Jack married Jessie Robertson (domestic servant) at St Michael and All Angels Church in June, 1915
He enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in November, 1916 and was sent to France the following February.
Jack died, killed in action, only 3 months later. He was 27 years old. His remains were not recovered.  His brother-in-law, David Robertson, was killed in 1915 and is also named on the memorial.

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