1918 (55)

These are the stories behind those who fell between 1918-19

Written by

Vincent McDowall McSkimming

Highland Light Infantry

18th Batt. Highland Light Infantry
He is remembered with honour on the Park Church Roll of Honour, and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 23.

The family home was 61, East Princes Street, Helensburgh The son of Vincent D. and Sarah McSkimming
Siblings: Vincent has three sisters, Sarah, Alice, and Mary. His brother, James, served as a sergeant in the Royal Garrison Artillery and received the Military Medal after being gassed.
Vincent McSkimming was born in Dumbarton where his father was a plater in the shipbuilding industry. He moved to Helensburgh to the employment of Mr Snodgrass at Millig Farm. Vincent died, from wounds received in battle, at Ypres. He was 19 years of age.
His gravestone reads ‘To memory ever dear’.
Written by

Alexander Anderson Milne

Royal Army Medical Corps

Royal Army Medical Corps - 31st Lowland Field Ambulance
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, the Helensburgh Post Office Memorial, Helensburgh Baptist Church Memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 24.

The family home was at 38, James Street, Helensburgh The son of George Rose Milne and Elizabeth Chalmers Milne of Monifieth. 
Alexander Milne was born in Monifieth and later came to Helensburgh to work for the Post Office. He was married to Joan, and had three children, Jane, George and Elizabeth, the latter born in 1915.
He enlisted at Yorkhill in April, 1915. He was deployed to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and served in the Sanitary Section before joining the South Midlands Field Ambulance. He was hospitalised a number of times with influenza, and renal colic before succumbing to malaria and dysentery at the 17th Military Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt aged 40 years.
He was awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His wife, Joan, received a pension of £1 9s. 7d. per week
Written by

Alan Hope Smith Nicholl

Artillery

Royal Field Artillery
He is remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial, Larchfield School memorial, Sebergh School Cloisters, at the Old Parish Church and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 25.

The family home was 15, Havelock Street, Helensburgh The son of Charles and Christina Nicholl (nee Morrison).
Siblings: Alan had two older brothers, Charles and John, and two sisters, Noel and Mary.
 Alan Nicholl was born at 15, Havelock Street in Helensburgh where his father was a Clerk (mercantile). He was educated at Larchfield School Memorial and Sedbergh School in Cumbria and entered the Royal Field Artillery as a gunner.
He was promoted to Second Lieutenant in the 24th Batt.
Alan died, killed in action, at Arras. He was 19 years old. His remains were not recovered.
Written by

John 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.

Written by

Harold R. Robinson

Royal Garrison Artillery

10th Siege Baty. Royal Garrison Artillery
He is remembered with honour on the Le Touret Memorial, the Glasgow Academy Internal WW1 Board, St. Bride’s Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 27.

The family home was Durie House, 4 Abercromby Street, Helensburgh The son of the Rev. Alexander Robinson and Marion Robinson.
Siblings: Harold had two sisters, Barbara and Mary, and one brother Nigel.
Harold Robinson was born in Partick and brought up in Crieff, where his father had a ministry. The family then moved to Helensburgh following his father’s appointment as minister at Kilmun.
Harold attended Glasgow Academy before entering the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, as a 'gentleman cadet'. He joined the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1914.
Harold died, killed in action, at the age of 20 years.
Written by

William Russell

Royal Flying Corp

Royal Air Force
He is remembered with honour on the Larchfield School Memorial, Fettes College Roll of Honour, St. Bride’s Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 28.

The family home was at Ardluss, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh The son of William and Jane (nee Cannan) Russell.
Siblings: William was the middle son of triplets. John was older and George younger. William was one of five sons including James and Tom, all serving at the front, and one sister, Marion, who was nursing in France.
William Russell was born in Kirkcudbrightshire, one of triplets. Unfortunately, his mother died 3 days later. The family moved to Helensburgh where his father was the factor for Luss Estates. William was educated at Larchfield and Fettes College where he was Captain of the Fives X 1912/13 and the West of Scotland Football Team 1913-14.
William joined the Royal Engineers and then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps after being wounded in the leg whilst acting as an observer. Later taking his pilot’s certificate.
William was flying a De Havilland 4 aircraft on a ferry flight, just three days after the new Royal Air Force was formed by amalgamating the RFC and RNAS. The aircraft stalled and crashed to the ground. He was 23 years of age.
His gravestone reads ‘OF HELENSBURGH, SCOTLAND’.
Written by

Cornelius (Con) Sharkey

Argylls

1/6th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, St. Joseph's Church Roll of Honour, St Michael and All Angels Church Roll of Honour, and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 29.

The family home was at 27, Maitland Street, Helensburgh The son of Patrick Sharkey (labourer) and Margaret Sharkey (nee Foley). 
Siblings: Con had two younger brothers, Patrick and Peter, and three sisters, Annie, Margaret and Mary.
Con Sharkey was born at Alma Place in Helensburgh, where his father was a labourer. In 1911, the census shows him living at home at 27, Maitland Street. He was employed as a laundry van man. He married Alice McKechnie (domestic servant), in January 1913, and resided at 50, East Princes Street where they were bringing up two young sons.
Con died, killed in action with a gunshot wound to the back, at the Somme.
He was 33 years of age.
Written by

Bruce Carstairs Spy

Cameronians

10th Batt. Cameron Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the St Columba’s Church Roll of Honour, Helensburgh and Gareloch Unionist Association Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 30.

The family home was 12, Glennan Gardens, Helensburgh The son of the late Robert and Mrs Margaret Spy
Siblings: Bruce had two brothers, Andrew and Robert, and three sisters, Jasemina, Louise and Jean.

Bruce Spiers

Bruce Spy was born in Helensburgh and educated at Hermitage Higher Grade School. He was employed with his brother, Andrew Spy, Coal Merchants, in the town before joining up.

He enlisted in the 3rd Batt. Scottish Horse in August 1915, serving in Gallipoli and Egypt before transferring to the Cameron Highlanders and serving in Serbia. He received the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field and the Cross of Kara-Georg (2nd class), given by the King of Serbia for distinguished service.

After being discharged due to a wound in his foot, Bruce died at home from malaria, influenza and pneumonia. He is buried in Rhu Churchyard.

Written by

Alexander Leitch Stewart

Argylls

7th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on Arras Memorial, the Scottish National War Memorial, Larchfield School Memorial, St Andrew’s Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 31.

The family home was Braeburn, 58 Campbell Street, Helensburgh. The son of Thomas and Elizabeth Stewart.
Siblings: Alexander had two brothers, Archibald and John, and two sisters, Agnes and Annie..

 

Alexander Stewart was born in Helensburgh, where his father was a housebuilder and factor. He was one of twins with brother John. He was educated at Larchfield School and went on to become an apprentice joiner. He enjoyed rugby and cricket.
Alexander firstly joined the 9th Batt. of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, later transferring to the 7th Batt. Alexander died, killed in action, at Arras. He was 26 years of age. His remains were not recovered.
Written by

Edward Sweeney

Black Watch

8th Batt. Black Watch
He is remembered with honour on St Joseph's Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 32.

The family home was 9, John Street, Helensburgh The son of James Sweeney (gardener) and Bridget Sweeney.
Siblings: Edward had 2 brothers, James and Charles and a sister, Sarah.

 

Edward Sweeney was born in Helensburgh, where his father was a gardener. He followed his father’s profession by becoming a gardener to Mr Kidston of Rosebank.
It is believed that Edward originally joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and then transferred to the Black Watch.
Edward died, killed in action, at Hill 41 in Belgium. He was 26 years old.
His name was put forward for the Memorial by his sister, Sarah, who was still living at 11 Colquhoun Square in the town.
His brother James, residing at 34 Blyth Road, West Kensington, London, sent the inscription for his headstone, which read: 'Gone But Not Forgotten'. 

Written by

George Edwin Thomson

RAF

Royal Air Force
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, Allan Glen’s School Book of Remembrance, University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, St Michaels and All Angels memorial, Helensburgh and Gareloch Unionist Association Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 33.

The family home was Glenfuelan, Millig Street, Helensburgh. The son of James and Ellen Thomson
Siblings: George was an only son. 

George Thomson was born in Rangoon, Burma where his father worked. Moving to Helensburgh, he was educated at Hermitage Higher Grade School, Allan Glens School in Glasgow and Glenalmond School in Perthshire before going to Glasgow University, studying for the civil service. He was a member of the local swimming club and played rugby.
George was commissioned into the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, directly from University, before joining the R.A.F. During his time in France, he brought down 21 German planes. Fighting against the famous Red Baron over Ypres. He received the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order, both for 'Conspicuous Gallantry and Devotion to Duty'.
George died, when his plane burst into flames and crashed, at Port Meadow, Wolvercote after refuelling. He was 21 years old. 

Written by

William Thomson

Argylls

9th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial, the Scottish National War Memorial, the Congregational Church memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 34.

The family home was 31, West Princes Street, Helensburgh. The son of Thomas and Jane Thompson, 129, Ward Street, Kalgoorie, Western Australia.
Siblings:  William had one older brother, Samuel, and two older sisters.

 William Thomson was born in Helensburgh, where his father was a baker. On leaving school, William followed his father into the trade. At some point the family emigrated to Australia and it is not known whether William remained in Scotland with relatives or returned to enlist.
He enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and served as a stretcher bearer.
William died, killed in action, at Arras at the age of 22. His remains were not recovered.

Written by

Ian Ure

Argylls

9th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, Larchfield School Roll of Honour, Loretto College Roll of Honour, the Congregational Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 25.

The family home was Rockbank, 142, East Clyde Street, Helensburgh. The son of John Gibb Ure (flour merchant) and Agnes Ross Ure (nee Auld).
Siblings: Ian had one younger sister, Marjorie.

Ian Ure was born in Helensburgh, where his father was a flour merchant in the family business Messrs. John Ure and Sons. His grandfather was Glasgow Lord Provost John Ure and his uncle Lord Strathclyde. He was educated at Larchfield School and then at Loretto College in Edinburgh. There he was a prefect and played rugby, hockey and cricket. He then became a partner in his father’s business.
He married Elizabeth Winifred Arrol of Torwoodhill, Rhu. He had served in the Argyll Territorials and rose to the rank of Captain. He was on the reserve officer’s list at the outbreak of war and was commissioned. He served in France as Company Commander of the 6th Batt., notably at Vimy Ridge. Later, fighting in Italy in December 1917, he was awarded the Military Cross 'For distinguished service in the field'.
Ian was 32 years old when he died of injuries when a bomb accidentally exploded. At the time of his death, he was resident at 77, St. Vincent Street, Glasgow. His gravestone is inscribed: ‘Beloved son of John G. Ure and deary loved husband of Winifred Ure’.

Daniel Ward

Argylls

1st Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the St. Michael and All Angels Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 52.

The family home was 21, Maitland Buildings, Helensburgh. The son of Mr Daniel Ward and Annie Lee, both from Glasgow. His parents married in Edinburgh in 1900.
Siblings: Daniel had one brother, Charles, and two sisters, Mary and Bella.

Daniel Ward was born in Edinburgh before the family moved to Helensburgh, where his father was a pipe maker and his mother a pipe maker’s finisher. His father died in the Boer War.

Daniel was a professional soldier, enlisting in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1910. In 1917, at St Michael and All Angels Church, Helensburgh, he married Margaret Hattrick, a laundress, of 21, Maitland Buildings.

Daniel had been wounded in France and later fought in Salonika. He died of pneumonia in Constantinople on Christmas Day, 1918. He was 26 years old.

 

Written by

David Wilson

Argylls

9th Batt. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Soissons Memorial, the Scottish National War Memorial, the Park Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 36.

The family home was Bath Cottage, 127, Princes Street, Helensburgh. The son of the late Charles Wilson and Jeanie Wilson
Siblings:  David had five brothers, Charles, Colin, John, William and Robert, and one sister, Elizabeth. His brother, Colin served as a sergeant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was badly wounded. Brother John served in the Royal Air Force and died in October 1918. Brother Robert served as a Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade and became a prisoner of war in Germany.

David Wilson was born and brought up in Helensburgh. On leaving school he was employed as a bank clerk with the Bank of Scotland in the town.
David was reported as wounded in September 1917 and again in May 1918.
He was reported as missing in July 1918 and later confirmed dead, killed in action, on that date. He was 25 years old.
His remains were not recovered.
Written by

John Wilson

RAF

142 Squadron, Royal Air Force
He is remembered with honour on the Park Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 37.

The family home was Bath Cottage, 127, Princes Street, Helensburgh. The son of the late Charles Wilson and Jeanie Wilson
Siblings: John had five brothers, Charles, Colin, David, William and Robert, and one sister, Elizabeth. Colin served as a sergeant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was badly wounded. David served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and died in July 1918. Robert served as a Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade and became a prisoner of war in Germany.

John Wilson was born and brought up in Helensburgh. On leaving school he was employed as a watchmaker in the town.
John enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (service no. 100842) at the outbreak of war, transferring to the Royal Air Force as a Trade Instrument Repairer.
John was transferred by ambulance to the Palestine Hospital with 'Inflammation of the right leg'. Later, he died of Malarial Fever. He was 36 years old.
His mother had his gravestone inscribed: ‘Faithful unto death’.

Written by

William Milne Wright

RAF

Royal Air Force
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, the St. Columba’s Church Roll of Honour, Helensburgh and Gareloch Unionist Association Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 38.

The family home was 21, Colquhoun Square, Helensburgh. The son of Annie Wright
Siblings: William had one younger sister, Alice.

William Wright was born in Helensburgh and brought up in the town. He was born at Cairndhu where his father worked as a coachman for former Glasgow Lord Provost John Ure. By 1911, his mother, Annie was head of the household and he was single and living at home, at Myrtlebank, 15 Henry Bell Street, with his younger sister. William was employed with Wm. Jack as a joiner.
He was described as a keen shot in the local territorials before enlisting in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He was later commissioned into the King's Royal Rifles before moving to the Royal Flying Corps.
William died at the age of 29 in a flying accident over East Scotland. He was killed instantly.He was buried at Helensburgh Cemetery with full military honours.
Written by

George William Young

Black Watch

4th Batt. Black Watch
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, Larchfield School Memorial, the Park Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 4 Line 39.

The family home was Rockmount, 108, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh.The son of James and Laticia Lillah Young.
Siblings: George had three sisters, Margaret, Alma and Gertrude.

George Young was born in Helensburgh, attended Larchfield School and had been working in India as a tea planter when war broke out. He had connections with India as both his mother and older sister had been born in Bengal.
He returned at the outbreak of war and enlisted in the Black Watch.
Initially, he was reported as missing. Then his mother received a postcard stating her son was in a German hospital in Limburg. William died, from wounds received in battle, at the age of 36.
His family's inscription on his gravestone reads: 'In Loving Memory of George, Underneath are the everlasting arms'

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