Private James Gifford Yorston

Biography of Private James Gifford Yorston

James Gifford Yorston was born on 16th April 1896, and was the only son of Andrew and Eliza Yorston. His father died in 1904, but dispite this, he was sent to John Watson’s School in Edinburgh from 1905-10, where he left as Dux, and then went on to Edinburgh Academy. He then came to the University of Glasgow and passed courses in Chemistry during the 1913/14 session but was withdrawn from Physics. With the outbreak of war, his studies were permanently discontinued.

As a Glasgow alumnus, he naturally gravitated towards the Cameron Highlanders and went with them to France. He was injured in action, and died of septicaemia on 16 January 1916, being buried in Lillers Communal Cemetery.

His widowed mother Mrs E W Yorston, by then living in Lasswade, near Edinburgh, added the words "He that Loseth His Life for My Sake Shall Find It", to his gravestone.

As well as being commemorated on the plaques in the University of Glasgow First World War Memorial Chapel, he was commemorated by John Watson’s School on their memorial plaque. Since the school closed in 1975, the plaque now resides in the Dean Church in Edinburgh. At the end of the war, Edinburgh Academy built a gymnasium as their memorial to the fallen, and he is listed on the plaque which is sited in the entrance.


Private James Gifford Yorston
Rank: Private
Regiment: 6th Cameron Highlanders
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, 16th January 1916
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A

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