1914 (4)

These are the stories behind those who fell between 1914-15

Lawrence Burns

unknown soldier

1st Batt. Scots Rifles (Cameronians)
He is remembered with honour on the Ploegsteert Memorial, the Scottish National War Memorial, the St Joseph's Church Roll of Honour, and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 1 Line 2.

Siblings: Lawrence was the eldest son. He had two younger brothers, Michael, who was a baker, and Patrick who also served and died at Flanders in 1917.

Lawrence Burns was born at 33, Grant Street in the town, where his father was a labourer and his mother an outdoor worker. He was brought up in Helensburgh, working as a labourer before enlisting.

By the 1911 census, when Lawrence was 26 years old, his mother Mary was described as head of the household.

Lawrence fought at Flanders and, after having initially been reported missing, was confirmed to have been killed in action in October 1914. He was 29 years old.

His younger brother, Patrick, died in 1917.

Alexander Campbell

royal navy

Royal Navy
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, Portsmouth Naval Memorial, the Park Church Roll of Honour and the Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 1 Line 3.

The family home was at 14 George Street, Helensburgh. The son of Margaret (nee Aitken) and the late Hugh Campbell (gardener).

Alexander Campbell was brought up in Helensburgh, the son of a gardener.

He was already in the Royal Navy at the outbreak of war. HMS Good Hope was ordered to the South Atlantic to block the Strait of Magellan and prevent any attempt by the Germans to penetrate the South Atlantic. Outnumbered by a German Squadron on 1st November, 1914. As a leading seaman (stoker 1st Class), he served aboard HMS Hope, part of the Atlantic fleet. Alexander was involved in the Battle of Coronel of the coast of Chile where the ship, with all 926 men, was lost.

Alexander was lost at sea in the opening months of the war aged 37 years.

Written by

Joseph Paterson

Gordon highlanders

1st Batt. Gordon Highlanders
He is remembered with honour on the Menin Gate Memorial, the West United Free Church Roll of Honour and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 1 Line 4.

The family home was 75, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh The son of the late Joseph and Mary Paterson (nee McDonald).
Siblings: Joseph had one younger brother, James and two sisters, Hannah and Euphemia.

Joseph Paterson was born in Helensburgh, where his father was a mason journeyman.

On leaving school, he joined the Gordon Highlanders at the age of 16 and trained as a piper.

Initially reported missing on 28th August 1914, it was later confirmed on 1st January 1915 that he was killed in action on that date. He was 20 years old. His remains were not recovered.

Written by

James Henry Digby Watson

Royal Navy

Royal Navy
He is remembered with honour on the Scottish National War Memorial, Chatham Naval Memorial, King’s School memorial, Edinburgh Academy memorial, the RFU Memorial at Twickenham, St Michaels and All Angels memorial and Helensburgh War Memorial, Column 1 Line 5.

The family home was Westwood, Helensburgh. The son of Captain J.H. Watson RN and Mrs E.V. Watson.
Siblings:  Digby was an only son with one sister, Greta.

 James (known as Digby) was born in Helensburgh, where his father was an Engineer Captain in the Royal Navy.
He studied at King's School Canterbury, Edinburgh Academy and then for a M.A. at Edinburgh University where he played rugby for the 1st XV, as well as winning the middleweight boxing championship and winning the long jump each year. He joined the Royal Navy as a surgeon and was posted to HMS Hawke, he died when HMS Hawke was torpedoed. Digby was 24 years old when lost at sea.
The submarine’s first torpedo hit HMS Hawke, igniting a magazine and causing a tremendous explosion, which ripped much of the ship apart. Hawke sank in a few minutes with the loss of her Commander and 523 men.