Captain George Mowat

Biography of Captain George Mowat

George Mowat was born on the 17th September 1873 in Blythswood, Glasgow, the youngest child (he had three brothers and four sisters) of Robert Mowat, a Tea Merchant and Justice of the Peace, and Elizabeth Irvine Mowat (née Hunter) (1833-1905). He was educated at Garnethill School, Glasgow, and at Glasgow University, where he graduated MB CM on the 22nd October 1895. He practised for some years in Cumberland, north-west England.

During the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) he served as a Civil Surgeon. For his services in the Boer War, George was twice Mentioned in Despatches, and awarded the South African medal. In 1909, he returned and settled in South Africa and was appointed shortly afterwards one of the Railway Medical Officers in Yeoville, Johannesburg.

When the 1914-1918 war broke out, he joined the Pretoria Regiment obtaining a combatant commission as a Lieutenant, later promoted to Captain, and served through the campaign in German South-West Africa. On the close of hostilities, he joined the South African Infantry and was sent to Europe with the South African contingent as a Captain in the 4th Regt. South African Infantry (South African Scottish). Whilst serving thus, he was killed on the first day of fighting in the Battle of Butte de Warlencourt, Pas de Calais, France, fought between 12th-19th October 1916.

In his book The History Of The Transvaal, Scottish Captain H. C. Juta describes Mowat’s final hours as follows:

"On October 12th, The South African Scottish, under Major (D.R.) Hunt, went over the top under a hail of machine gun bullets falling through the thick mist and smoke; so heavily did they suffer, that they failed to reach the first objective, and were relieved on the 13th when they moved back to High Wood. During the action, Captain Mowat was killed while gallantly leading, well in front of his men, to within five yards of the German trench. Lieutenant Polson and Lieutenant Quinton also were killed".

His father was informed by telegram on the 18th October 1916. Captain George Mowat is reported as having been buried in "No Man’s Land, half mile east of Le Sans, 3 miles south-west of Bapaume". Captain George Mowat was later reburied at the Warlencourt British Cemetery.

Summary

Captain George Mowat
Rank: Captain
Regiment: A Coy. 4th Regt. South African Infantry
Degree: MB CM
Awards: Mentioned in Despatches; South African Medal
Comments: Killed in action, 12th October 1916.
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/1144
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/198

Sources

University of Glasgow Registry, Faculty, and General Council records.

Biography: Biographical details contributed by Dr Robin Pelteret, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa.

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Debt of Honour Register.

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