Created By: Cartsburn Publishing
Look down the Esplanade - the place to be buried if you were a Greenockian. Status in death! I mentioned at the start the role that the sons of the well-to-do played in the war. This section illustrate that perfectly. 23 sons of the so called better off lost their lives. There are a lot of memorials in this section. Take your time, look around, come back later if you can. It's a lot to take in. Keep to your right.
Let us look for David Millar, Alexander Nicol, Charles Mill Nicol, Robert Orkney, Finlay Rankin, Donald Campbell Smith, Neil Thomson, John Thomson, James Blair Walmsley, John Weir
David Millar, is remembered at Thiepval Memorial, France. David was the eldest son of John Millar, of 19, Caddlehill Terrace in Greenock. He was 37. He served as a sapper with the 75th Field Company of the Royal Engineers.
Alexander Nicol, is remembered at Helles Memorial, Gallipoli. Alexander - known as Sandy - was killed in the charge at Atchi Baba, Gallipoli. He was 21. He was the youngest of three sons of the late John Smith Nicol, a Coal Merchant, and Agnes Berick, of 85 Brisbane Street in Greenock. He was a member of the Glenpark Cricket Team and worked as a Chartered Accountant with Kidson, Goff and Findlay, in Glasgow. Prior to this, he had studied Law at Glasgow University between 1913-14 and won a prize in Mercantile Law. He is commemorated on their First world war memorial.
Alexander’s brother, Charles Mill Nicol is buried at Couin British Cemetery Charles was the Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services with the 3rd Division. Having previously served in Egypt, he was later despatched to the Western Front. He died at Dervilles Wood, fighting with the 27th Field Ambulance, 9th (Scottish) Division. He was the second son of Agnes and John Smith Nicol of of 85 Brisbane Street. He graduated from Glasgow University with a Degree in Bachelor of Medicine, Master of Surgery with distinction in July 1909, having previously won prizes in Physics, Clinical Surgery and Practice of Medicine. He is commemorated on their First World War Roll of Honour
Robert Orkney is buried at Redoubt Cemetery, Gallipoli. On the 12th July, Robert was in the 4th wave of the attacks. He was killed near Krithia Nullah, by Argyll Street Trench. He was part of the Trench Mortar section. Son of the late Robert Orkney (Writer), he was an Apprentice in Neil, Clark and Murray, Solicitors. He was 20 years old and lived with his aunt, Miss Orkney, at 75 Union Street in Greenock.
Finlay Rankin is buried at Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery Finlay was the Chief Engineer on HMT Clan McEwen - he died suddenly in hospital. He lived at 37 Bank Street in Greenock.
Donald Campbell Smith is buried here at Greenock Cemetery. Donald was the son of DC Smith, of 36 Ashton Road in Gourock. He had served in the Labour Corps. He died of double pneumonia in the military hospital at Maryhill Barracks.
Neil Thomson is buried at rapperee British Cemetery, Villemontoire Neil was the son of Archibald and the late Jessie Thomson, 14 South Street. He was killed in action, aged 25. Raperie Cemetery is connected with the victorious advance of the 15th (Scottish) and 34th Divisions, July to August 1918.
John Thomson is buried at Kirechkoi-Hortakoi Military Cemetery. John, a native of Greenock, died from dysentery while serving at Salonika. He was married to Christina.
James Blair Walmsley is buried at Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt. James enlisted as a private in the Scots Guards in September 1914 - and was sent to France in January 1915. He was wounded at Loos. He was commissioned to the KOSB. He was the son of the late Thomas Walmsley(RIM) and Mrs Walmsley, 39 South Street in Greenock. ‘I much regret to have to announce to you the death of your son, who has been in my regiment since April. He was killed instantaneously by rifle shots when emerging from the trench to proceed on patrol last night. We all much regret the loss of a most gallant soldier, who has proved himself an excellent soldier, especially on 14th May and on several subsequent occasions. The life for him has been rough - on one occasion buried and shocked by shell - but he has been ever eager for his work.’ A brother, Thomas, had just graduated from Glasgow University as a doctor.
John Weir is buried in Hong Kong Cemetery. John was a sapper with the Hong Kong Defence Core. He was born in Greenok on the 6th January 1876 and had married Margaret Gibb Robson. John worked at the Taikoo Dockyard, part of the Scott/Swire group of companies
This point of interest is part of the tour: Greenock Cemetery WW1 Memorials Walk