Friday, 31 July 2020 05:05

Rae, John

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John A.B. Rae

Royal navy division

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
He is remembered with honour on the St Columba’s Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 26.

The family home was Fell End, Lee Hall, Pinch Me Near, Bellingham, Northumberland.The son of Thomas and Isabella Rae.
Siblings: John had at least one older brother, Peter, who served and survived. The Lych Gate to Bellingham cemetery records the fallen and those who served. Both brothers are named along with an A. Rae, but it is unknown if he is a sibling.

John Rae worked as a Clerk on the North British Railway and, although not a native of the town, he was working at Helensburgh Station. A report in the Helensburgh and Gareloch Times reports him joining the Royal Naval Division.

John served with the 63rd Naval Division, Hawke Battalion. He was gassed and eventually invalided out from the Navy. He died at home in Bellingham, Northumberland of TB, caused by gassing. He was 24 years of age.

He is buried in a family grave with his parents at Bellingham. In 2010, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission erected a CWGC headstone. John Rae is remembered in his adopted town on the Helensburgh Roll of Honour and is also honoured on the St Columba’s Church memorial.

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