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Robertson, John Cowan

John C. Robertson was born in Selkirk (Scotland). He came to London with his family when he was about 5 years of age. His first school was a ladies' one, and after attending that for about six months he went to Balham High School for a few years. From there he went to Dunheved College, Launceston, was there for four and a half to five years, finishing there, and in 1912 he went straight to Guy's Hospital as dental and medical student (joint course).

He had just finished his two years in the Dental Mechanical Department and had passed his First Professional Examination in September, 1914. The day after he knew the result, he, along with others, joined as private the 4th Cameron Highlanders about the end of September, 1914, at Bedford, where he was trained.

He remained at Bedford until February, 1915, and although he had his papers ready for a commission, he, along with several of his friends, when they got the order to go to the Front, destroyed his commission papers, preferring to go out as ordinary private. They landed in France and within seven days were in the trenches. He went through the battle of Neuve Chapelle unscathed, but at the battle of Festubert, on the morning of the 17th May, 1915, he fell wounded, and from that day to this (January 11th 1919) nothing has been heard of him. He has disappeared absolutely and entirely, and thus a young and promising life, of high character was ended. Hospital Reports Vol.LXX, War Memorial Number


First name(s)John Cowan
Place of birthSelkirk, Scotland
Family detailsSon of William Robertson, J.P., of "Summerleigh", Beltinge Rd, Herne Bay, and the late Janet Cowan Robertson
Previous educationBalham High School; Dunheved College, Launceston
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1912-1914
Dept / courseDental Pupilage and Chemistry and Physics
Military unitCameron Highlanders 4th Bn.
Place enlistedBroadford, Inverness-shire
Service number2351
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
CampaignsFrance and Flanders
Date of death18 May 1915
Age at death20
Rank at deathPrivate
Place of deathFestubert
Cause of deathKilled in action
Commemoration(s)Guy's Hospital Memorial; Le Touret Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
SourcesGuy's Hospital Medical School Records, King's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Soldiers Died in the Great War

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