Private John Thomas Cameron

Biography of Private John Thomas Cameron

John Thomas Cameron was born on the 25th March 1890 in Kilchrenan, Argyllshire. He was the third son of John - a gardener. The family lived at Rosevale Cottage in Row (now Rhu), Helensburgh. John attended the village school, followed by Hermitage Higher Grade Public School where he completed the Junior Student’s Certificate course from 1906-1908. As well as studying regular school subjects, Junior Students undertook training and practice in the art of teaching, and the Certificate was one of the main qualifications for entry to teacher training college.

John then entered the University of Glasgow in 1908, enrolling for classes in Maths and Latin. In Maths he was successful and passed the first year exam in 1909. Latin took more perseverance, but after a resit, he passed in 1910. A similar story followed in his second year when he achieved success in Higher Maths, but struggled with Logic, eventually passing in 1911. In what should have been his final year, John studied English, Natural Philosophy, and History. He passed English and Natural Philosophy, however he required five resits in History to eventually qualify for an Arts degree. He graduated with an MA on the 21st November 1914.

In the autumn of 1914, John enrolled at the Glasgow Provincial Training College (forerunner of Jordanhill College of Education, now the University of Strathclyde) for a one-year postgraduate course to become a primary school teacher. Having qualified for the Teacher’s General Certificate, he was appointed to a teaching post at Dumbarton Supplementary School from the 18th June 1915.

In July 1916, John enlisted with the 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He received training and was destined for Egypt. On route the troopship was torpedoed, but John survived and served eighteen months on the Eastern Front. He was then transferred to France, and attached to the ‘D’ Company of the 52 Battalion Machine Gun Corps. On the 3rd October, Private John Thomas Cameron was killed during the battle of Cambrai-St Quentin.

John was remembered in the Helensburgh and Gareloch Times with the following sentiments:

“It can be truly said that members of the teaching profession from our district have made a praiseworthy response in the great war, several of whom have made the supreme sacrifice. It is with deep regret we announce that another member of that profession, Private John Thomas Cameron, has been reported killed on October 3.”

“By all whom he came in contact with he was a great favourite, and among his many friends in the Gareloch district it was fully anticipated that a bright future was before him. He was of a quiet and unassuming nature, and his last visit home was some six weeks ago. To his aged father and other members of the family many expressions of sympathy have been extended at this trying time.”

Private John Thomas Cameron is also remembered on the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, the Roll of Honour of the Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers and on the Glasgow Provincial Training College War Memorial, located in the David Stow Building on the former Jordanhill Campus.

Summary

Private John Thomas Cameron
Rank: Private
Regiment: Machine Gun Corps
Degree: MA
Awards: N/A
Comments: N/A
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A

Sources

University of Glasgow Registry: R8/5/30/2

"Rhu man died in World War One attack" - Helensburgh Heritage

With thanks to Anne Cameron for providing additional details from the University of Strathclyde Registry Records.

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