Bridge of Weir

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2426 Private John Allan Macdougall

6th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry

missing presumed dead 16th August 1915

aged 33

Helles Memorial
St Machar's Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir
Ranfurly Church Memorial

Son of John Macdougall and Martha Park
Locksley, Bridge of Weir

His Life

John Allan Macdougall was born on 15th June 1882 at 5 Lyle Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, the sixth of a family of eleven (nine surviving) born to John Macdougall, a doctor of medicine from Jura, Argyll and Martha Park, from Greenock, who had married in Greenock West on 22nd April 1875.

In 1881 John (42), Martha (28), and four of their children Dugald, Matthew, Mary and Isabella were living in 5 Lyle Street, Greenock. The family had two domestic servants; Catherine Taylor (25) from Campbelltown, Argyll and Elizabeth Love (16) from Bathgate.

In 1891 the Macdougall family of ten was at 9 Lyle Street, Greenock. The eight children, including John A (8), were at school. Catherine Taylor was still employed as a general servant.

In 1901 the Macdougall family, now of eleven, was living in 2 Shaw Place, Greenock. By then Dugald was a commercial traveller, Matthew a shipping clerk, Mary and Ella were teachers, Nellie an arts student, and John junior (18) was a shipping clerk.

By 1911, Martha (58) was a widow, living with seven of her children and the faithful servant Catherine Taylor (54) at 2 Shaw Place, Greenock. Matthew was still a shipping clerk, but John junior (28) was now a law apprentice. May and Helen were teachers of dressmaking, Isabella a music teacher, Janet an elementary school teacher and Robert a student.

Sometime later, Martha, probably with the family, moved to Locksley, a 10-roomed villa in Ranfurly, Bridge of Weir.

Gallipoli - MacDougall John Macdougall enlisted in the territorial battalion, the 1/6th (City of Glasgow) Highland Light Infantry which came under orders of 157th Brigade, 52nd (Lowland) Division. On 26th May 1915, the division sailed from Devonport to Egypt, guarded the Suez Canal for a few weeks, then sailed again to provide reinforcements for Gallipoli, which was not going well for the British and Commonwealth forces. John first joined a theatre of war on 2nd July 1915 when he landed at Cape Helles. He was posted missing, presumed dead on 16th August 1915 (although the Scottish National War Memorial records his date of death as 12th October 1915). The action on the night of 15/16 August in the area known as the Vineyard, was a shambles, with no written orders and no obvious command. At one point a company of the 1/6 HLI refused to go forward, resulting in a 3-day Court of Enquiry. Robin Prior's account (below) balances the apparent mutinous behaviour with the innate common-sense of the common soldier. He believes the men would have shrugged off accusations of cowardice, living to fight another day. But that was cold comfort for John Macdougall who had died somewhere in the midst of that botched night operation in Gallipoli. His name is recorded alongside 21,000 of his comrades with no known grave on the Helles Memorial.

Trench Map from Unit War Diary of 6 HLI. The objective of C Company was Trench G12, and only a handful came back after the failed attack.


1881 Census 1891 Census 1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age Name Age Name Age
Dugald4 Dugd14Dugald24 Greenock, Renfrewshire
Mathew3 Matt P13Matthew Park23Matthew P33 Greenock, Renfrewshire
Mary2 Mary W12May W22May W32 Greenock, Renfrewshire
Isabella1 Isabella M11Ella21Isabella M31 Greenock, Renfrewshire
Janet N9Nellie19Janet W M29Greenock, Renfrewshire
John A8John A18John A28Greenock, Renfrewshire
Martha P7Martha17 Greenock, Renfrewshire
Helen H B 6Helen B16Helen B H26 Greenock, Renfrewshire
Robert M8Robert W18Greenock, Renfrewshire


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