When James Thomson McDade was born on December 3, 1888, in Stair, Ayrshire, his father, John, was 41 and his mother, Helen, was 34. In 1891 they lived in Hamilton.
James’ father John Thomas passed away on January 28, 1893, in Paisley, Renfrewshire, at the age of 46. For a short time at the turn of the 20th Century, he lived with his mother and stepfather at 3 Bairds Rows, Blantyre.
He married Mary Ann Rogers on April 21, 1911, in Hamilton, Lanarkshire when he was 22 years old. They had two children during their marriage. A Miner, he married Mary Rodgers, and they moved with the job to Udston Square in Hamilton.
He joined the 10th Battalion the Highland Light Infantry. Number 1635 and became a corporal. On the 25th September 1915 he was engaged in the battle of Loos.
James was killed in Loos, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, at the age of 26. He was listed as “Killed missing in action”. He is remembered on the War Memorial at High Blantyre Cemetery.
Bill Duncan, who sent me this photo told me, “With the help of the War Graves Commision and the German War Graves Commission we gained a little more information. His medals were discovered in an old rusty tin box after being lost for 70 years by a relative in America.”
Taken on that very day of the death of James, this photo of Loos shows British soldiers advancing through a gas cloud.
This got me thinking of another WW1 Blantyre soldier also of the name James Thomson. The other James was part of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, 7th Battalion, who died at Flanders on 28th February 1916.
Both men are remembered today, on remembrance day.
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