John James GRAY

Kings Own Scottish Borderers, 1st Btn.
                                 formerly Scottish Rifles, Cameronians  

Rank & Number:      
Private, 19185 (KOSB); 18686 (SR)  

29 August 1885; Alpha Cottage, Fairlie  

                         01 July 1916; France (killed in action)  

                        Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, France

JOHN JAMES GRAY was born 29 Aug 1885 at Alpha Cottage, Fairlie, to parents John Mackie, station master, and Isabella Davidson Wyllie (who married in West Kilbride on 17 Oct 1884).  He was christened in Fairlie Free Church on 04 Oct 1885.  He was killed in action at the Somme, France on 01 Jul 1916, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.  

In the 1891 Census, John, aged 5, is at Alpha Cottage in the household of grandfather John Wyllie (market gardener, b. Dundonald, 73) with parents John Mackie Gray (41, b. Methlick, manager for aerated water co.) & Isabella D. (31, b. Dalmellington) and sisters Sarah LD (4) and Elsie S Mackie (1)  

In the 1901 Census, aged 16, he is living 185 Butterbiggins Road, Gorbals, Glasgow with father John M. (52, railway clerk) and sisters Sarah LD and Elsie SM  

John’s mother and sisters emigrated to Canada in 1911, but here is no record of his father traveling to Canada; he died in Grangemouth on 7 Dec 1919.    


Theatre of war first entered was Balkans on 24 Sep 1915, and he was killed in action on 1 Jul 1916 in France.  In his will, dated 28 Jun 1916, he leaves £1 to Miss Wyllie, 69 Pollok Road, Shawlands (possibly a cousin as his mother’s maiden name was Wyllie), and his remaining property to his mother, Mrs. J.M. Gray in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  His medal index card shows he received the 1914-15 Star and the British War and Victory medals.

  Thiepval Memorial, France


                                                            Thiepval Memorial Plaque

Images © TWGPP


Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785