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  cap badgeSergeant John Gebbie

2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Service No: 747

John Gebbie grave





Personal details

Family Information

Eldest son of John (03/04/1867-14/02/1910) and Mary Gebbie (20/05/1869-18/09/1943). John's mother Mary remarried Patrick Collins on the 26/08/1911 and they lived at 5d Turner St, Coatbridge. From the 1901 Census - Address - West Arthurlie Village, Neilston, Barrhead - John Gebbie aged 33, Mary Gebbie aged 32, John Gebbie aged 7, William Gebbie aged 4, Margaret Gebbie aged 2, Matthew Johnstone Gebbie aged 2 months. John also had 3 other sisters, Elizabeth born 1903, Mary born 1905 and Jeanie born 1908. John's Pension was claimed by his mother Mary but was refused as she remarried Patrick Collins.

Born / Resided

Barrhead, Renfrew / 5d Turner St, Coatbridge.


Killed in Action on the 25/09/1915 at Cambrin on the opening day of the Battle of Loos


Stirling 18/03/1911


Moulder in Barrhead / Reservist


21 / DOB - 28/10/1893

Buried / Remembered

Loos Memorial (Panel 125 to 127), Pas de Calais, France

Cemetery / Memorial Information

The Loos Memorial commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay, from the first day of the Battle of Loos to the end of the war. On either side of the cemetery is a wall 15 feet high, to which are fixed tablets on which are carved the names of those commemorated. At the back are four small circular courts, open to the sky, in which the lines of tablets are continued, and between these courts are three semicircular walls or apses, two of which carry tablets, while on the centre apse is erected the Cross of Sacrifice.

Additional Information

The Battalion landed at Boulogne on the 14/08/1914 as Lines of Communication troops. On the 22/08/1914 they came under orders of 19th Infantry Brigade, which was not allocated to a Division but was an independent command at this time. On the 12/10/1914 they transferred with the Brigade to the 6th Division. On the 31/05/1915 they transferred with the Brigade to the 27th Division. On the 19/08/1915 they transferred with Brigade to the 2nd Division. John arrived in France on the 11/11/1914. John was Killed in Action on the opening day of the Battle of Loos. 87 men from the Coatbridge Memorial fell during and from injuries from the Battle of Loos. The Battalion had 330 casualties at the Battle of Loos. SEE PHOTOS x 7 FOR THE BATTALION WAR DIARY ON THE 25/09/1915. The Battle - 6.00am : A diversionary attack north of the La Bassee canal at Givenchy was launched by elements of 2nd Division. At first, the advancing battalions moved easily past well-cut wire and into the German front trench – which they found evacuated. Approaching the second line they were assailed by machine-gun fire and forced to take cover. Shortly after, they were counter-attacked and were among the first units this day to discover that German grenades were much more effective than British ones when it came to close-quarter fighting. Later that day the leftmost 2nd Division attack along both banks of the La Bassee canal met with no success at all, at a very heavy cost in casualties. Its role was to create a protective flank to enable the 9th Division on the right to move forward unimpeded by fire or counterattack from the canal area. On the front of 19th Brigade, South of the canal, two large mines were blown by 173rd Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers ten minutes before zero, which had the effect of putting the enemy on full alert. Here too the gas blew back into the trenches, and men fell. As the infantry advanced, they were forced to bunch together to avoid the craters and were mown down by concentrated machine-gun fire as they did so. The enemy were seen to stand on their parapets in order to take advantage of such an easy target. By 9.00am it was clear that no progress was going to be made, and Brigade gave orders to withdraw to the original front lines. Men of the 1st Middlesex Battalion could not from no man’s land and took whatever cover the could until dark. Some men of the 2nd Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Battalion occupied an empty German trench, but only 11 returned at night, the rest having been killed or captured. The Battle from the 25th September – 15th October 1915 was the first genuinely large scale British offensive action but once again only in a supporting role to a larger French attack in the Third Battle of Artois. British appeals that the ground over which they were being called upon to advance was wholly unsuitable were rejected. The Battle is historically noteworthy for the first British use of poison gas. Scottish Regiments lost a huge amount of brave men at Loos. Here is a list of Infantry Battalions who lost more than 500 men at the Battle of Loos from 25/09/1915 to 16/10/1915 - 7th Cameron Highlanders 687, of which 19 Officers, 9th Black Watch 680, of which 20 Officers, 6th King’s Own Scottish Borderers 650, of which 20 Officers, 10th Highland Light Infantry 648, of which 20 Officers, 7th King’s Own Scottish Borderers 631, of which 20 Officers, 8th Devons 619, of which 19 Officers, 8th Royal West Kents 580, of which 24 Officers, 8th Buffs 558, of which 24 Officers, 12th Highland Light Infantry 553, of which 23 Officers, 8th Black Watch 511, of which 19 Officers, 5th North Staffordshire 505, of which 20 Officers, 8th Seaforth Highlanders 502, of which 23 Officers. The Battalion had 330 casualties at the Battle of Loos. A thank you to Linda Hamilton for her help regarding John's family. Also a big thank you to Gordon Forrest who supplied pictures of his visit to Duds Corner Cemetery (Loos Memorial) in 2017 with his wife and his mother and father (John's nephew William Gebbie Forrest). Pictures include crosses left at Duds Corner x 2, John's name on the Ring of Remembrance, John's nephew William x 3, John's name on the Loos Memorial, the 1901 Census, John's Birth Certificate, his name on the Roll of Honour, John's name on the 2nd Battalion form for men who fell, John's sister Elizabeth and her husband Jack Forrest and John's Remembered with Honour scroll from the CWGC (see photos). John is also remembered on the St Augustine's Church Roll of Honour (with his brother William) and on the Barrhead War Memorial (see photos x 2). See photos for John's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clipping, his CWGC Grave Registration, his name on the Loos Memorial Panel List, his name on the Loos Memorial, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls, his Service Records x 6, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Cap Badge and John's Pension Records x 2. Finally, I have the Battalion War Diary from August 1914 till November 1915. If information is required please contact me.

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War Diaries

The battalion War Diary is available on the National Archives website.

Creative Commons License

We have made this information and the images available under a Creative Commons BY-NC license. This means you may reuse it for non-commercial purposes only and must attribute it to us using the following statement: ©

My Father, William Gebbie Forrest, Nephew of John Gebbie, son of Elizabeth Gebbie and Jack Forrest from Paisley, who had 6 children. We have visited Duds Corner and the ring of remembrance in Northern France and paid our respects. We have photos of these sites, unsure how to load them to the page. Contact
Gordon Forrest, Shropshire , 23/07/2022 12:54PM
John gebbie was my grans brother she was jeanie gebbie
Eleanor gower, Paisley, 11/07/2021 3:16PM
John Gebbie is my father's uncle. I've been doing my family tree and noticed he was missing from the 1911 census. Now i know where he is. Thank you
Linda Hamilton, Elgin, Moray, 11/02/2020 4:28PM

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