656298 A/BDR. A. B. REID.  R.F.A.

 

Alexander Brash Reid was born on 8 June 1891 in the Gorbals district of Glasgow.  His father was Robert Reid (b. 1858 in Dalry, Ayrshire), a wine and spirits merchant.  His mother was Margaret Paterson (b. 1851 in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire).  Margaret had previously been married to a John McDonald, and they had three children before John died in about 1885.  Margaret and Robert were married in 1889 and they had two children: Margaret (b. 1890) and then Alex.  Margaret died in 1901 and in 1906 Robert married Marjorie Welsh (b. 1878 in Alloa) and they had a daughter, Marjory, the following year.  Alex appears on the electoral register for Glasgow in 1915, living at 28 Kelburn Avenue, and working as a shipping clerk.  (Kelburn Avenue no longer exists but it was in the Dumbreck area of south Glasgow).

 

That was about the time that Alex enlisted in the Territorials.  He was assigned service number 8967, which was later changed to 656298.  In the course of training or soon after, Alex was promoted to Acting Bombardier.  His service number is in the range used by the Lowland Brigades of the RFA and since Alex was not awarded the 1915 Star it is likely he was posted to the second line unit, 2/Lowland, which was later numbered 327 Brigade.  327 Brigade came under orders of 65th (2nd Lowland) Division.  This Division remained in the UK (first in Scotland, then in the south of England) through 1915 and 1916, and in 1917 was restructured.  Many of the recruits to this Division were used as replacements abroad.  So Alex was probably sent to join D/276 in the early part of 1917.

 

In January 1917, 55th Division were first in reserve at Houtkerque, on the French/Belgian border, and then, on 25 January, they were moved up to support the defence of Ypres.  In March 1917, 276 Brigade were engaged in the bombardment of St. Julien (Sint Juliaan) in retaliation for German shelling of St Jean.  5 men from 276 Brigade were killed during the period 3-9 March.  Alex was killed in further skirmishing on 15 March 1917.  He was 25 years old.

 

Rank:  Acting Bombardier

Service No: 656298

Date of Death: 15/03/1917

Age:  25

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, “D” Bty, 276th Bde.

Cemetery/memorial reference: VI. B. 10.

Cemetery/Memorial: VLAMERTINGHE MILITARY CEMETERY

Additional Information:  Son of Robert and Margaret Reid, of Scotland.