John Montague, d1918

John Montague grave BlantyreWe remember today, WW1 soldier John Montague who is buried in the Blantyre cemetery. He’s a ‘late entry’ on the War memorial, his name added below the plaque at a later date, and there’s a good reason for that.

John was born in Ayrshire but he and his family lived in Blantyre for a few years. He was living at Newton when he married Rebecca Mitchell on 2nd January, 1911 in Cambuslang. Rebecca was 7 months pregnant at the time she married.

His one and only child, a daughter Rose Ann was born on 4th March 1911 at 14 Caldervale Rows. The 1911 census lists the family at 14 Caldervale.

Following a time working as a coalminer, he became a private in the Gordon Highlanders (Private No. 12440), he went off to war just as many men did. Wounded in battle, the discharge information suggests that John was wounded on 13 October 1917, he returned home to Scotland, but sadly John died on 10 April 1918 at a hospital in Paisley. The cause of death was complications from “Paraplegia from gunshot of spine”. His name was added to the war memorial later, recognising that he had survived the battlefield, but had later died back home from his wounds.

There is one other tragic thing about this story. His daughter, to be his first child, Rebecca was born on 13 April 1918 at 7 Douglas Street, Blantyre. Just 3 days AFTER John passed away. He never got to see his child, despite being back.

Rebecca Montague remarried after her husband John died. The Widows pension details state her name as Montague (now Mortimer). In 1919 Rebecca married Alex Mortimer a lance corporal in the Gordon Highlanders.

With thanks to Alex Rochead for the documentation for this soldier.

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  1. Rebecca and Alex Mortimer were my grandparents Rebecca died in 1934 due to Puerpal sepsis 6 weeks after giving birth to my aunt Ruth

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