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James Shaw Rennie was born in Glasgow on the 8th of December 1883, one of seven children of Mary Rennie (nee Shaw) and Thomas Rennie a curator of art. Rennie attended The Glasgow School of Art from 1897 to 1902 as a part-time student of Drawing and Painting. His occupation during this time is listed as a designer and glass painter. He married Jennie Ritchie Ramsey Rennie on 27th December 1915, at which time he worked as an art tutor. During the First World War, Rennie served in the Motor Branch battalion of the Machine Gun Corps. He was killed in India during battle, his death certificate citing cause of death as a meningeal haemorrhage. Rennie is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour.
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Sources: the Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture by Peter J M McEwan; the Dictionary of Scottish Architects: http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk; Scotland's People: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. Ancestry http://home.ancestry.co.uk/