2nd Lieutenant John William Mowat

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant John William Mowat

John William Mowat, known as ‘Jack’, was born in Glasgow in 1897, the eldest son of William and Maria Mowat. Jack’s father was a director in the sweet company Mowat & Muir, which manufactured scotch rock and pastilles. Jack attended collegiate school in Glasgow before attending the boarding school Wolverley in Worcestershire where he was recorded in the 1911 England Census. In 1908 he joined the Glasgow Cadet Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant. When war broke out Jack was too young to enlist. However in early 1916 he joined the University of Glasgow Officers' Training Corps.

Later that year he completed his training at the University of Oxford and in November was Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Within a few months, he had been sent to France to join ‘D’ Company of the 14th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders helping to replace those killed during the offensives of spring 1917.

On the 20th August 1917, Jack and his battalion took over the trenches in front of the village of Beaucamps in the Nord Department of the Hauts-de-France region. The next morning Jack’s company was heavily shelled and both he and his commanding officer were hit. While the C.O. was only wounded, Jack was dead. He had only been in France a few months and was barely 20 years old.

During his time with the 14th Battalion Jack served alongside fellow University community members, William Landell and Ronald MacIver, all of whom were killed in a period of less than two months. He is now buried in Fins New Cemetery, Fins, in the district of Sorel Le Grand, France. His headstone is inscribed ‘As a Little Lantern Bright his Memory Shines Monte Alto’.


2nd Lieutenant John William Mowat
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: 4th Bn. attd. 14th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Degree: N/A
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 21 August 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/1143b
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/200


University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel and Roll of Honour records.

Biography: Biography prepared by Euan Loarridge, Great War Project Volunteer.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Find War Dead

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