Lieutenant John Wilson

Biography of Lieutenant John Wilson

Lieutenant John Wilson was born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire. His father, also John, was a solicitor. John was studying at the University of Glasgow in 1913-14 at the outbreak of war, following in his father’s footsteps studying in the Faculty of Law and taking classes in Forensic Medicine. While he attended university he stayed in the heart of the West End of Glasgow at 128 Byres Road.

John was an active student and during his studies won prizes in his classes and joined the University’s Officer Training Corps. John would have attended meetings on campus at the Drill Hall at University Place.

In 1915 John saw service in the Gallipoli campaign, fighting at Achi Baba with the 5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It was here on 12th July 1915 that the Allies made their sixth and final attempt to capture the important hill position, and sadly where Lieutenant John Wilson was wounded. He later died on 16th October 1915 in hospital at Alexandria, Egypt.

John Wilson was a brave soldier who set an example to his men and was well-respected. John had worked with the 8th Corps Mortar Group in Gallipoli and after hearing of his death the Captain of the group, Captain A. Burrows, wrote in a letter to the Officer Commanding the 5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders that:

‘[T]he Dumesil (sic) Heavy Mortar Battery was heavily shelled. In spite of his being twice covered with debris and more or less buried by shells striking the parapet in front of him, and one of his guns being put out of action… Mr. Wilson continued to keep the other gun in action until the end of the operations in a most satisfactory manner. On his way back to camp he was again half buried by a shell, but arrived smiling, and told me that he was afraid the operations had been somewhat delayed as so much time of the men’s time was occupied in ‘digging him out’. It is needless to state the effect an example such as his had on his men. I am afraid his illness was somewhat exaggerated by his insistence in remaining on duty as long as he could’.

Lieutenant John Wilson is buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.


Lieutenant John Wilson
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: 5th Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action at Achi Baba, Gallipoli, 16 October 1915
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/307

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