King's College London
War Memorials

Gowans, James

Lance Corporal James Gowans, entered the Engineering Faculty at King's in October 1914, and though he stayed here for only one session he made a name for himself as a first-class scholar. Besides taking the Tennant Prize for Geology, he gained first classes in the following in the Inter BSc - Machine Design and drawing, Geology, Building, Construction. Physics Pure and Applied Mathematics. His modesty of disposition gained the affection of both Staff and Students.

At the end of the Session 1914/15 he was ordered three months complete rest but instead joined the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders. He served with the Battalion in France and was shot through the knee. He lay out in the open some fifteen hours before he was brought in and contracted Pneumonia. He died in Tooting Military Hospital on June 8th 1917 - Age 20 years.

Thus ended a brave young life, thus died one of the most loyal and devoted sons of the College. He was in residence at the Platanes for the whole of the session 1914/15 and his memory will be especially treasured by those who knew and loved him there. In one of the last letters received from him he spoke about his great desire to return to the College and to his old room at the Platanes. May he rest in peace and may light perpetually shine on him. King's College Review


First name(s)James
Place of birthPerth
Family detailsSon of Mr. J. F. Gowans, of 6, King's Place, Perth
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dates at college1914-1915
Dept / courseFaculty of Engineering
Military unitArgyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Place enlistedPerth
Service numberS9869
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
CampaignsFrance and Flanders
Date of death6 June 1917
Rank at deathLance Corporal
Place of deathTooting Military Hospital
Cause of deathDied of wounds
Burial placePerth (Wellshill) Cemetery
Commemoration(s)King's College Chapel
NotesLetter undated - Dear Mr. Gowans, When I was making up our Annual Report, it was brought to my notice that the Tennant Prize in Geology was awarded in 1915 to your son, James Gowans. For some reason, which I have been unable to discover, no steps were taken in regard to it, before his sad and sudden death. The Prize is worth £15 in books and instruments. We should be grateful for any suggestion you may make as to what we should now do in the matter. Have you any younger son to whom Scientific books and instruments would be valuable? Or if not, would you like us to give an extra prize of books and instruments to the amount to some other deserving student in your son's name? Or have you any alternative suggestion? We should like in any way we can to do honour to your son, and I am only extremely sorry that, owing to an oversight, there has been this delay in finding out the facts. With sincere sympathy, I am, Yours very truly, Principal.
SourcesKing's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Soliders Died in the Great War

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Gowans, James
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