John Morris CURRIE

Regiment:                 Royal Field Artillery  

Rank & Number:       
Driver, 474 & 54511  

21 July 1876; Kelburn Arms Hotel, Fairlie  

04 September 1955; 4 Corona Place,


JOHN MORRIS CURRIE was born 21 Jul 1876 at the Kelburn Arms Hotel, Fairlie, to parents Neil, an inn keeper, and Janet Clark Morris (who married in Largs on 17 Nov 1868).  He died on 04 Sep 1955 at the home of his brother Neil at 4 Corona Place, Fairlie (aged 79, widower, retired postman, of 69 The Hill, Harlow, Essex).  He is buried in Largs Cemetery, and the inscription reads, “In loving memory of John Morris Currie, died 4 Sep 1955; also his beloved wife Mary Jane Hamilton Bell, died 20 Dec1943; their son Ronald Bell, died 17 July 1948; and infant daughter Nana, died 9 Dec1903”.  

He married Mary Jane Hamilton Bell in Glasgow in 1901.  

In the 1881 Census, John, aged 4, is living Kelburn Hotel, Fairlie with parents Neil (46, b. Arran, hotel keeper) and Janet (36, b. Fairlie), and siblings Margaret (16, b. Saltcoats), Hugh (8, b. Glasgow), Neil (6, b. Govan), John (4, b. Fairlie) and Archibald (2, b. Fairlie)  

In the 1891 Census, aged 14 and a message boy, he is living Woodside Cottages No. 4, Erskine in household of grocer Isabella Boyd; his mother and siblings are living at 8 Allan Park Street, Fairlie.  

In the 1901 Census, he’s a postman, aged 24, living Cumbrae View, Fairlie with wife Mary H (24, b. Edinburgh), and in the 1911 Census, aged 34 and a postman, he’s living Eadieston House, Fairlie with wife Mary (34, m 10 years, 4 children/3 living), and children Maurice (6), Dorothy (4) and Hazel (1 month)    

Post Office records show he was appointed as S.O. Postman at Fairlie in December 1898.  In the 1915 Valuation Roll his address is 1 Kelburn Terrace, and in the 1920 Valuation Roll he’s living at Cottage and Garden, Ferry Road.    

His medal roll shows he enlisted in the R.F.A. on 2 Nov 1915, and was discharged from the R.F.A., 4 Res. Bde, because of sickness on 22 Feb 1919.  In Sep 1917, the Largs & Millport Weekly News reported that he had been serving with the Ammunition Column in France for over a year.  His medal index card shows he received the Silver War Badge and the British War and Victory medals.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-  

17 June 1916

Fairlie Cigarette And Tobacco Fund:  Letters of thanks have been received recently from James Ramsay, Wm. Ramsay, John Currie, John Ward, A. Erskine, James Smith, Tom McLaughlin, Charles Rodger, Tom Messenger, Hugh Burden, Wm. Balchin, Tom Miller, Wm. Stewart, John Fraser, Duncan Douglas, Dan McCallum, Allan McCallum, Alex. McLean, Alfred Davis, Arthur Crawford, and a postcard from Robert McLachlan, who is a prisoner of war in Germany.  

8 September 1917 
Gunner J.M. Currie, after serving with the Ammunition Column in France for over a year is home just now enjoying a short respite from military duty.  The rigours of service have certainly not affected him adversely, while his experiences at the front have been interesting and varied.  

10 August 1918
Mrs. Currie, Kelburn Terrace, has received word from her husband, Driver J.M. Currie, that he has landed in hospital in Sheffield suffering from the after affects of the flu.  We hope he may have a speedy recovery.  

7 September 1918      
Quite a few of our local soldier lads are on leave from the Western Front at present.  Amongst them we note Dvr. J.M. Currie, H.D.A.C.; Sergt Hugh P. Burden D.C.M., R.S.F.; L.Cpl. Norman Stewart, 72nd Canadian Seaforths; Sapper William McNeur, R.E.; Pte. David Boyd (Allanbank); Pte. D. Campbell (Hawthorn Cottage), A&SH; also Pte. George Miller, H.L.I., from a training camp in England

4 October 1919  
Fairlie Comrades:   A general meeting of the Fairlie ex-soldiers was held in the Village Hall last Tuesday evening for the purpose of talking over the desirability of forming a Discharged Soldiers’ Society.  After some discussion, the meeting unanimously agreed to form a Fairlie Post of “The Comrades of the Great War”.  Mr. C.H. McNair, jr., was elected captain of the post, and Mr. Thomas Millar secretary and treasurer.  The following were elected as members of committee – Messrs. A. Crawford, J.M. Currie, T. Barclay, W. Wilson and Wm. Ramsay.  After the post had been formally established, it was agreed to seek ground on which to erect a club-room, and if this could be found, to commence raising funds for the purchase of an Army hut.  At the close of the meeting, about thirty ex-service men enrolled as members.

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Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785