2nd Lieutenant John Douglas Blakely

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant John Douglas Blakely

John Douglas Blakely was born on the 28th September 1894 at Craiglea Villa, Winton Circus, Saltcoats, Ayrshire, to Robert Blakely, a Laundryman, and Jean Livingstone Frew Blakely (nee Wallace) (1859-1948), who had married on the 30th August 1888 in Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire. He went to school at Ardrossan Academy before the Blakely family moved to Glasgow and lived at 20 Kingsborough Gardens in Hyndland. There he attended Glasgow Academy.

Whilst Blakely was not a student at the University, he joined the Glasgow University Officers Training Corps in October 1915, aged 21. He completed his training on the 20th January 1916, becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in the 11th Bn. Gordon Highlanders, who were deployed in France.

On the 9th April 1917 British soldiers launched a major offensive against German lines near the town of Arras. The attack was designed to divert German reserves in preparation for a larger assault by French troops in Champagne. 2nd Lieutenant John Douglas Blakely, by then serving with "E" Coy. 9th Bn. Gordon Highlanders, was killed during the first day of the Battle of Arras.

John was buried with his engraved silver watch and personal effects at Blangy Military Cemetery. His grave is now at Cabaret-Rouge Cemetery, Souchez, Pas de Calais, France; the inscription reads ‘I am the resurrection and the life’.


2nd Lieutenant John Douglas Blakely
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: E Coy. 9th Bn. Gordon Highlanders
Degree: N/A
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 9 April 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/643, 644
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/17


The Glasgow Academy Roll of Honour, 1914-1918, Glasgow: John Smith & Son Limited, 1918.

War memorial plaque at Ardrossan Academy.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Find War Dead

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