Carswell, Jack J

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Carswell, Jack J

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John Jamieson Carswell (known as Jack) was born on 12th April 1889 in Lansdowne Crescent, Glasgow to Flora (nee McDougall) and John Carswell senior, a physician and surgeon. John was the youngest of three children, with an older brother and sister, Donald and Isabella. The family later moved to Royal Crescent in Glasgow. In 1909, Carswell commenced his studies at The Glasgow School of Art, taking evening classes in architecture whilst working as an architectural apprentice. In February 1913, he was listed as a passenger on the White Star ship, the Baltic, returning to Liverpool from Africa. During WW1, Carswell served as Second Lieutenant with Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 10th Battalion which was formed at Hamilton in September 1914 and came under orders of the 46th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division. After initial billeting in the south of England, the Division landed in Boulogne on 10 July 1915. The 15th (Scottish) Division served with distinction on the Western Front, taking part in most of the significant actions, including the Battle of Loos in 1915 where Carswell was killed in action on 25 September 1915. The Battle of Loos was the first large scale British offensive of WW1, with an attack of six Divisions and at the time was referred to as the big push. The battle is also known for the first recorded British use of poison gas. On 25th September, the day Carswell was killed, it is recorded that the 15th Division had only 200 yards to cross to the German trenches. Gas and smoke gave them cover for the first 40 yards but when they emerged the advancing line was hit by German machine guns causing many casualties. Carswell was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal, the British Medal and the 14-15 Star and is commemorated at Loos Memorial. Jack J. Carswell is also commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour. Also appears on the Glasgow Institute of Architects Roll of Honour (Student).

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Sources: Scotland's People: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; Ancestry: http://www.ancestry.co.uk, ; CWGC: http://www.cwgc.org; The Long Trail: http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk

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