Tod, James

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Tod, James

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James Edward Tod was born in Govan, Glasgow on the 22nd of February 1891, one of four children of Lizzie Tod (née Noble) and James Edward Tod, a draper's assistant. Tod attended The Glasgow School of Art from 1910 to 1915 as a part time student of drawing and painting. Throughout his studies he held occupations as crane driver, storekeeper and warehouseman. During the First World War, Tod served as a private in the Cameron Highlanders 5th battalion. This battalion was formed in August 1914 and landed in Boulogne on the 10th of May 1915. It appears that Tod could have been part of a Pals Battalion as he attended GSA on the same course and semesters as students such as John Sharp, who also fought in this battalion. Tod was killed in action on the 25th of September 1915, aged 24, and has a memorial at Loos, France. He is also commemorated on the Alyth First World War memorial, as Tod's family came from the village of Alyth in Perthshire. The Alyth Guardian newspaper, dated the 29th of October 1915, which reported Tod's death, notes that he "had distinct artistic ability, being an enthusiastic student he gained many prizes at the art classes in Glasgow." It is likely that Tod died in the Battle of Loos which took place from the 25th of September to the 15th of October 1915. This date saw the first use of British poison gas which allowed them to access the first evacuated German trench. The soldiers were attacked by German grenades and were forced to retreat. A total of 950 men were lost that day. Tod is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour.

If you have any more information, please get in touch. Some of the information here has been kindly contributed by Janet Tod, a relative of James.

Sources: Scotland's People:; Ancestry:; The National Archives:; Lives of the First World War:; Commonwealth War Graves Commission:,%20JAMES; The Long, Long Trail:;; Imperial War Museums:; The Scottish War Memorials Project:


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