Private John McDowall

2nd Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Died 26 April 1916

John McDowall was born on 12 September 1880 at Elrig, the son of farm labourer John McDowall and his wife Jessie McDowall (nee McCreadie). He was part of a large family with 5 brothers and 2 sisters. His early years were spent in Mochrum but, by 1911, John and his parents had moved to Wigtown, living at 19 Harbour Rd with John working as a baker. However it was not long before he emigrated to Canada.

On 22 September 1914, shortly after the outbreak of war John McDowall  enlisted with the Canadian East Ontario Regiment. His Attestation Papers show that he was working as a bar tender at the time, stood 5ft 3½in tall and had dark hair and hazel eyes. The Regiment was part of the first 32,000 Canadian soldiers to travel to Europe from Canada, arriving at Plymouth on 25 October. After a period of training they arrived in France and were in action at the Second Battle of Ypres.

John McDowall was killed in action on 26 April 1916 and is buried at Woods Cemetery, near Ypres. The cemetery contains 326 burials from the First World War and includes numerous burials of John’s comrades from the 2nd Battalion, including Thomas McCheyne, who died on the same day and who is named on Wigtown War Memorial.