I’m still on the search for the Canadian Native soldier who supposedly died in Glasgow, Scotland in 1916. His name – Gay Flier – appears to be wrong, so it’s going to be a challenge. However, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission responded with a very informative e-mail giving me the names of 42 Canadian soldiers who died and were buried in 7 different cemeteries in the Glasgow vicinity from 1915-1919. Unfortunately for my particular search, there is no native sounding name among them.
The list makes for sober reading. The youngest victim was 17, a seaman from Newfoundland, the oldest a 45 year-old American from Florida who joined the Canadian military. Most died of ‘wounds’ or pneumonia – one was ‘accidentally killed’ – and you can’t help but wonder about the stories behind these men. One, a member of the Canadian Forestry Corps, had a Glaswegian wife. Was theirs a wartime romance that ended in tragedy?
But the name that really caught my attention was that of Private James Crawford Begg, 31st Brigade, Canadian Infantry. Died of pneumonia following wounds (gas) 5th of February 1919. Age 22. Son of William and Janet Napier Crawford Begg of 219-14th Ave West, Calgary, Alberta. Born at Govan, Glasgow. A young man who emigrated to Canada for a better life and then died in the city of his birth. And the fact that he died more than three months after the war ended… So sad.