PRIVATE JAMES PRENTICE GOW
10TH NOVEMBER 1918 AGE 26
BURIED: TERLINCTHUN BRITISH CEMETERY, WIMILLE, FRANCE
TELEGRAM to Gow, Parkhouse Lane, Duke St, Glasgow
Regret 14482 Gow Cameron Highlanders reported dangerously ill gun shot wounds groin penetrating abdomen at 3 Australian Casualty Station France. Regret permission to visit him cannot be granted.
James Gow enlisted on 9 November 1914 and disembarked in France on 22 February 1915. This is such rapid training period that I wonder whether he was already a territorial soldier. He served throughout the war with the Cameron Highlanders being invalided home with cellulitis in December 1916 and hospitalised for 74 days with malaria in 1917. On recovering he was sent to France again, disembarking on 21 June 1918 and joining the 5th Battalion Cameron Highlanders. He was wounded on 5 October and died just over a month later. All this information comes from Gow's service file which is one of the few to have survived.
The families of 'dangerously ill" soldiers were regularly given permission to visit them in the base hospitals in France. The Army would even pay the fares of those who would otherwise have been unable to afford it. Why Mrs Gow should have been refused permission to visit her son cannot be known but it is unusual.
Andrew and Jemima Gow had five children, four of them sons, James was the fourth child. The family lived in Glasgow where Andrew, the father, was a prison warder. At the time of his enlistment, James was a clerk.
Jemima chose her son's inscription - plain, simple and so affecting, the Scottish dialect adding to its simple honesty. Was he her favourite child?