Private John Murray Gow

Photo of a PoppyPrivate John Murray Gow

Canterbury Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force

Died 15 July 1915

John Murray Gow was not a native of Wigtown but it appears that he lived here for a short time before emigrating to New Zealand. He was born in Glasgow, the son of a Collector on the Clyde Trust Ferries. In August 1915 the Wigtownshire Free Press, reported:  “Private Gow, who went to New Zealand a short time ago, and came over with the New Zealand contingent, is also among the killed.”

Records in New Zealand show that his brother, George, lived at Harbour Road, Wigtown. The 1911 Census records his mother and another brother, James, living at 20 Harbour Road. So it appears that John Gow may well have lived in Wigtown for a short time before emigrating to New Zealand before the outbreak of war. While there he lived at Timaru in New Zealand where he worked as an engineer before enlisting in the army. From his enlistment papers we know he was 5ft 9¾in tall, with a dark complexion, hazel eyes and black hair. After a period of training he embarked at Wellington on 14 February 1915 with the 3rd Reinforcements, bound for Gallipoli. He was admitted to hospital on 8 July with enteric fever (typhoid) and became dangerously ill. Despite being evacuated to Greece, he died at the hospital in Mudros, on the island of Lemnos, on 15 July 1915 aged 32. He is buried at the East Mudros Military Cemetery which was begun in April 1915 and used until September 1919. It contains 885 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. His medals, the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 1915 Star were sent to his brother, George, after the war who, by that time, was living at the Auchentoshan Distillery.

Personal Services Record for Private John Murray Gow