top of page
  • Admin

John Dow

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Ypres Ypres Salient, Flanders, Belgium
Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper

S/2647 Private

10th Battalion, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 27th Infantry Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 15.10.15

Buried: Menin Gate Memorial Panel 42 to 44

Family history: Son of David and Elizabeth Dow, 4 Rushiehill Close, Falkirk. They had three children John, Maggie, and Jessie. John enlisted in Stenhousemuir on 26 August 1914 joining the 10th Battalion Argyll’s, he lied about his age, not an uncommon practice. The 1911 Census shows that he was age 14 and employed as an apprentice wood machine man. On his Attestation form he claimed to be ‘19 years, 10 months’ and that he was employed as a miner. He went to France on 11 May 1915.

The action leading to his death

On the 10 October 1915, the Battalion held the trenches numbered 27, 28 and 29 at the Bluff. This was one of the best places in the Salient for observation and was therefore one of the first places that mine warfare developed.

The Bluff. Ypres Salient. Flanders
Linesman Map. The Bluff, Ypres Salient

The Ypres-Commines canal runs south from Ypres and the spoil from the canal works was thrown up on either side to form what became known as the Bluff and further along Spoilbank. The trench lines were established in the area between Verbrandenmolen and the Bluff at the end of 1914 by French troops. The trenches here being numbered rather than named when the British took over. The dispositions of the 10/Argyll’s saw three companies ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ occupy trenches the trenches and ‘D’ company was in reserve in dugouts at Spoilbank. ‘A’ company had two platoons in the firing line and two platoons in support in dugouts on the Bluff. On the evening of 12 October, the Battalion was relieved by the 6th Battalion Royal Scots fusiliers who took over trenches 27 and 28 leaving 10th Argyll’s holding trench 29 with ‘A’ company and the other companies in reserve in Canal Bank and Spoilbank.

10th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Bluff. Ypres Salient. Flanders
Sketch Map from 10th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders War Dairy October 1915. showing the trenches they occupied at the Bluff.

At 6am on 13 October the Germans exploded a mine underneath an old crater in trench 29 and the War Diary records:

10th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, The bluff, Ypres Salient, Flanders
War Diary 10th Battalion

John was blown up in the mine explosion. He would have known Private David Burt from Camelon who joined the Regiment and went to France at the same time and was killed in the same action.

Medals Awarded:

1915 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Falkirk, Ypres Salient, Flanders

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page