Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemorates two
soldiers a century after death
A small ceremony took place at 11am on Tuesday 27 June at Gartmore Church Yard, Stirling, after the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) erected granite headstones for two men who died within a year of each other in the First World War and will now be the first war dead at the cemetery.
Private James Cameron, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 2nd Battalion, died on June 13, 1917, aged 34 years and Archibald James Graham, Gordon Highlanders, 1st Battalion, died on June 16, 1918 aged 24 years.
When they were buried at Gartmore they weren’t commemorated as war dead because the CWGC was not informed of their deaths. Therefore, neither men were given CWGC headstones nor enrolled on the Debt of Honours list.
Thanks to the In From the Cold Project, which researches and identifies all service men and women missing from the official list of casualties from the First and Second World Wars, the Commission has been able to rectify this and now both men will be
remembered for the sacrifices they made. On the day, children from Gartmore Primary School will be laying flowers on the men’s grave, as part of the ceremony.
Private Archibald Graham had been gassed early on in the war whilst serving in France. When he returned home due to illness, the War Office made an application for sanatorium treatment of tuberculosis for him. He died as a result of the gassing, at Stonefield Port of Menteith, his sister’s residence.
Private James Cameron had enlisted with the K.O.S.B. in May 1904 and when war broke out, he was sent with his regiment to France in August 1914. In February, 1915, James was returned to Scotland, possibly as a prisoner of war, with other exchanged wounded and died at Gartmore Lodge, the home of his sister and brother-in-law.
Iain Anderson, CWGC’s Regional Supervisor for Scotland, said: “It is always an honour to be able to remember those who served and died with a Commission headstone and for their names to be added to the Roll of Honour.
“In Scotland alone, we have more than 20,000 war graves and memorials, and now Archibald and James will be recognised for their sacrifice in the First World War. “I know it also means a lot to some of our staff who installed the headstones, as they are former service personnel who served in the same regiments as these men.” Many service personnel from both world wars who are buried in the UK came back during active service and died of their injuries or illness.
Thanks also goes to Stirling Council Bereavement Services, who helped and assisted the CWGC and look after the cemetery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) commemorates the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two world wars. It also holds and updates an extensive and accessible records archive. The Commission operates in more than 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries.