Private John Alexander Ross
14th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment
Died 3 September 1916
A gravestone in Wigtown High Cemetery is the only indication of a connection between John Ross and Wigtown.
It reads:
In memory of Mary Mayor wife of Alexander Ross died at Stranraer 9th July 1907 aged 41 years. Daughter Christina Mayor died at Wigtown 10th January 1897 aged 8 months. Son John Alexander, Sergeant, Hampshire Regiment, killed in action Somme 3rd September 1916 aged 22 years.
John was born on 18 September 1893 at the Court Building in Banff, the son of Police Constable Alexander Ross and Mary Ross, nee Mavor. Alexander and Mary had only been married for a month prior to John’s birth and, from that point onwards, Mary seems to disappear. In the 1901 census young John, then aged 7, still lived at Banff with his grandparents and aunt, Christina. In 1911, aged 17, he had joined the army: the census shows him living at the barracks in Berwick.
It is possible that, after a spell in the army, John left and returned to Stranraer where his family lived, his father being a Police Superintendent. However, at the outbreak of war he re-enlisted, at Portsmouth, and joined the Hampshire Regiment. The 14th Battalion was raised in September 1914 and remained in Britain until March 1916 when it crossed to France.