John Burns MacBrayne

Medals1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
RegimentHighland Light Infantry, 17th Battalion
Military Service

1914 Commissioned Lieutenant on 10th September. Appointed to ’A’
Company on the formation of the 17th HLI (Glasgow Chamber of
commerce Battalion) in September. ‘A’ Company was, in the main,
recruited from students at the Technical College (now the University of
Strathclyde) although there is no evidence that MacBrayne was a
student there.
The 17th HLI trained for a year before crossing to France in November
1915. During this period they spent time at Gailes and Troon,
Ayrshire, Prees Heath, Shropshire, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire,
Totley Rifle Ranges, Derbyshire and finally Codford St Mary on
Salisbury Plain.
Finally on 22nd November 1915 the battalion, part of 32nd Division,
sailed from Southampton for Le Havre and proceeded to the Amiens
area. At some point MacBrayne was appointed Reserve Machine Gun
Officer. The Battalion War Diary records that on 11th February 1916
when the Battalion was relieving the 11th Borders Regiment in the
trenches he was slightly wounded on the head by shrapnel. Much of
the following months were spent gaining experience of trench warfare
and from May 1916 the Battalion was engaged in preparations for the
Battle of the Somme which started on 1st July.


13th December 1896, Glasgow

Death1st July 1916
Circumstances of Death

A soldier of MacBrayne’s platoon kept a diary and records that about
noon on the 1st July he found his platoon officer, Lieut. MacBrayne,
lying shot through the head.

BurialSerre Road Cemetery No 2, IX. G. 15.

De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour records MacBrayne as being buried
‘three-quarters of a mile east of Authuile and four miles north by east
of Albert’ but in 1927 his body was exhumed and moved to Serre
Road Cemetery. His remains were identified by his identification disc.
His stone now bears the additional inscription, chosen by his father,
‘They gave all, they have gained all.’

CWGC Information

Son of Laurence MacBrayne, of 8, Park Circus, Glasgow.


Laurence MacBrayne (1867-1941) and Mabel E Brougham (1866-
1911) married 1890

Father's Occupation

Lieut Commander RNVR (retd), Shipowner


Elizabeth (1892-1895) David (c1895- ), Alan B (1902-1972)




Glasgow Academy
Aldenham School, Elstree


Not known

1901 Census

Hotel, 3-5 Queens Gardens, Margate, Kent

1911 Census

Not found

Glasgow NecropolisCompartment Epsilon Lair 663
Other Memorials

Scottish National War Memorial
Arlington Baths Club, Glasgow
Park Church, Giffnock (formerly Park Church, Park Circus, Glasgow)

Other Information

Laurence MacBrayne endowed a bed at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in
his son’s memory.

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 (, Findmypast (

Commonwealth War Graves Commission –

Family Search –

The Long, Long Trail –

Scotlands People –

The Scottish War Memorials Project –

De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-18, volume 2.

The Seventeenth Highland Light Infantry (Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Battalion), Record of War Service, 1914-1918.  1920.

War Diary of 17th Battalion Highland Light Infantry, Nov 1915-Jan 1918 (TNA WO/95/2403/3)



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

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