Private James Mackie

Biography of Private James Mackie

James Mackie was born on the 23rd May 1889 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. He was the eldest son of Thomas Mackie, a Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer, and Margaret Mackie (nee Bremner). James attended Abbotsford Public School in Glasgow before going to Allan Glen's School, also in Glasgow, in 1902.

In 1906 he came to the University of Glasgow to study for a degree in the Arts. He took a variety of subjects including English, Humanity, Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. On the 18th November 1909 he graduated MA. He then went on to study Divinity. James was very successful in this, winning fifteen prizes, including prizes in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic. On the 15th November 1913 he graduated BD.

Following graduation James worked as an Assistant Minister in St Matthew's Parish Church in Glasgow. However he was not in this post for long and enlisted with the Royal Army Medical Corps on the 1st March 1915 where he went into the reserve of the Scottish Horse Brigade Field Ambulance. In November 1915 he was sent to the Balkans, arriving a week before Christmas. On Boxing Day he disembarked from HMAT Anchisis at Alexandria, Egypt, and joined the Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance. He was only with them for a brief spell, joining the 1st/4th Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers on the 15th July 1916.

On the 17th April 1917 James was hit by a shell during the Second Battle of Gaza. He was aged just 27 years old. At the time he was buried on Kurd Hill and today he lays in the Gaza War Cemetery.

A fellow solider wrote of James:

"As a soldier, I honoured him; as a messmate, I cherished him, and I am proud to have called him a friend... I am sure his comrades will miss him very much, but none more so than would his native friends, with whom he was so popular, having mastered the language so well, and among whom he was known and respected as ‘Abd-en-Nebi,’ a name of his own choice, meaning ‘Son of the Prophet."

Summary

Private James Mackie
Rank: Private
Regiment: Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps attd. Royal Scots Fusiliers
Degree: MA BD
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 17 April 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A

Sources

University of Glasgow Faculty, General Council and Registry records.

De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1919, vol 4, pg 122.

RAMC in the Great War - James Mackie profile

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Find War Dead

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