James Howie Frederic Stephen

RankLieutenant James Howie Frederic Stephen
Medals1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
RegimentHighland Light Infantry, 3rd Battalion attached 1st Battalion
Military Service

James Stephen and his twin brother John both received commissions as probationary Second Lieutenants in the 3rd Battalion Highland Light Infantry in October 1914. This battalion served as a training battalion for the first line battalions and after they were confirmed in their rank at the beginning of June 1915 James (and also John?) proceeded to France as part of reinforcements for the 1st Battalion of the regiment. This battalion had been serving in India for several years and arrived in France in late 1914 as part of the Sirhind Brigade of the 3rd (Lahore) Division. The first major battle that James is likely to have taken part in was that of Loos in September 1915 before he was promoted to Lieutenant In December 1915. The two Indian divisions serving on the Western Front were transferred to Mesopotamia in the autumn/winter of 1915, the 3rd (Lahore) Division arriving in April 1916 about the time Townshend surrendered Kut Al Amara to the Turks. There was a pause in operations following the surrender of Kut but in July 1916 James is reported to have been wounded.

Operations against the Turks restarted seriously in December 1916 and from then on a number of attacks were made on Turkish positions round Kut including one in the Abdul Hassan bend of the river Tigris east of Kut.

Born

10th May 1894, Glasgow

Death11th January 1917
Circumstances of Death

Killed in action.

Major T.C. Catty of the 69th Punjabis described in his diary what happened to the HLI on the 11th January:

At 2.30pm the final assault by HLI [Highland Light Infantry] was launched & at once ran into a very heavy Artillery enfilade fire. It got into the Turkish Trench but never had a chance as it was counterattacked by vastly superior force & driven back to its starting point in confusion. The price too was very heavy 15 Officers & 200 odd men – a high proportion of Officers.

Age22
MemorialBasra Memorial, Panel 35 and 64
CWGC Information

Son of Fred J. Stephen, of Invergare, Rhu, Dunbartonshire

Parents

Frederic John Stephen (c1864-) & Agnes R Young (c1865-)

Father's Occupation

Shipbuilder

Siblings

Alexander M (1892-1974), John G (1894-1970), Agnes M (c1899-)

Spouse

Unmarried

Education

Cargilfield Prep School
Kelvinside Academy
King’s College, University of Cambridge 1913-1914

Occupation

Student

1901 Census

Prince Albert Road, Linnwood, Govan

1911 Census

Not known

Home Address

12 Park Terrace, Glasgow

Glasgow NecropolisCompartment Epsilon Lair 304
Other Memorials

Kelvinside Academy War Memorial

Acknowledgements and Sources

Much of the information on which this profile is based is drawn from various internet sources which are listed below.  The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis also wish to make full acknowledgement and thanks for the permitted use of any information or images generously supplied specifically for exhibition, publication or display in connection with The Roll of Honour and accompanying profiles to Ancestry, and Find my past.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Family Search

Scotlands People

The Long, Long Trail

The Scottish War Memorials Project

Field Marshall Lord Carver, The National Army Museum book of the Turkish Front 1914-18, 2003; page 162 for Major Catty.

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Credits

Compiled by Morag Fyfe, Historical and Genealogical Researcher for The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis.

 
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