Four broth­ers, sons of a Church of Scot­land mod­er­a­tor,

The Herald - - ARMISTICE: 100 YEARS -

FOUR broth­ers who at­tended the same school in Glas­gow and died in ac­tion in the First World War, were re­mem­bered by the school yes­ter­day at its 2018 War Me­mo­rial Ser­vice.

John Rank­ine Brown and his broth­ers Wil­liam, Ge­orge and

Harold all per­ished be­tween 1916 and 1918. Their fa­ther, the Very Rev­erend Doc­tor John Brown, Mod­er­a­tor of the Church of Scot­land in 1916, died in 1919, leav­ing his in­con­solable widow, Mar­garet, to mourn her losses un­til her own death in 1943. Two of her own daugh­ters also pre-de­ceased her. The broth­ers all at­tended the High School of Glas­gow.

Countless schools across Scot­land have memo­ri­als com­mem­o­rat­ing the fallen of the First World War. They all tell their own story of sac­ri­fice. In some cases, the memo­ri­als have out­lived the ac­tual schools. In Septem­ber it was re­ported that a me­mo­rial to for­mer Wishaw High School pupils, res­cued af­ter the school closed in 1990, was to get a new home at Wishaw Old Parish Church.

The first of the Brown broth­ers to die was also the youngest. Harold,

19, fought with the Seaforth High­landers at Ypres, was in­valided home, re­turned to ac­tion with the 1st Gor­dons and fell in ac­tion at the Somme, on July 18, 1916, at Delville Wood. His body was never found.

The el­dest brother, John, had been a prize-win­ning scholar be­fore gain­ing a ter­ri­to­rial com­mis­sion in the 7th High­land Light In­fantry. He was in­valided home in 1915 af­ter be­ing wounded at Gal­lipoli. In 1916 he was sent to Egypt but was mor­tally wounded in the Bat­tle of Gaza on April 21, 1917, and died two days later, aged 31.

Ge­orge, who had worked for the Burmah Oil Com­pany in Glas­gow af­ter leav­ing school, served with the 11th Royal High­landers (Black Watch) and on April 21, 1917, re­ceived gun­shot wounds while in ac­tion against Turk­ish troops in Me­sopotamia. The Sec­ond Lieu­tenant died of his in­juries a month later, aged 22.

In the sum­mer of 1917, af­ter the deaths of his three broth­ers, Wil­liam, who had been on ac­tive ser­vice in France as a Lewis Gun Of­fi­cer, at­tached to the 1st Bat­tal­ion of the 3rd North Stafford­shire Reg­i­ment, was sent to north­ern France as a ma­chine-gun in­struc­tor. But, anx­ious to re­turn “to the line”, he se­cured a trans­fer to the King’s Own Scot­tish Border­ers, was given com­mand of a com­pany, and ten days later was killed at the end of an op­er­a­tion to cap­ture Uni­form Farm, near Gheluwe, Bel­gium, which was held by vastly su­pe­rior en­emy forces. He was just 26.

In all, 478 for­mer pupils at the High School of Glas­gow fell in ac­tion or died in ser­vice dur­ing the Great War. All of them are recorded in the school’s book of ser­vice and

„ Harold Brown.

„ Ge­orge Brown.

„ Wil­liam Brown.

„ John Brown.

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