John Henry Reid
13th Coy Royal Army Medical Corps
Died 30th January 1915 age 43
Private J. Reid – R.A.M.C.
John Henry Reid was born at Stranduff, on 23 October 1871, son of Peter Reid, agricultural labourer and his wife Mary. In 1881 the family lived at North Road KON. Peter was employed as a gardener, the ten year old John was at school and had three younger brothers, George 7, Alexander 4 and Robert 1, all born in Kincardine O’Neil. After the outbreak of war, he served in the 13th Coy Royal Army Medical Corps. (Army no. 26951). He died on 30 January 1915 aged 43. These are the few verifiable hard facts about John Reid, but the local papers offer further interesting background and some insights into his personality.
The Aberdeen Journal of 2 February 1915 carried a report of the death in its obituary column: “MR J REID STATIONMASTER BANKHEAD. Intimation was received on Saturday evening at Bankhead of the death at Cromarty of Mr John Reid, stationmaster, Bankhead, who was serving there as a member of the R.A.M.C. Home Hospitals Reserve.
Mr Reid, along with several members of the Aberdeen (G.N. of S. Railway) Section of the St Andrews Ambulance Association, volunteered for service with the Home Hospitals Reserve and, soon after the commencement of the war, was dispatched to Cromarty Hospital. About a week ago Mr Reid contracted a severe chill, pneumonia supervening, and as stated passed away on Saturday evening.
Mr Reid had been about 20 years in the service of the G.N.S. Railway Company and was appointed to the agency at Bankhead about 2 ½ years ago on the retirement of Mr Fraser.
During the short time he had been stationed there he had, by his kind and obliging disposition and his unfailing courtesy, gained the esteem and confidence of the public using the station and he was a general favourite with his fellow-employees.
Mr Reid is survived by his widowed mother, a sister, and three brothers, one of whom is Sergeant William Reid, of the County Constabulary, Aberdeen, and another a guard in the company’s service at Elgin. Mr Reid’s death at a comparatively early age is deeply regretted by all, and the utmost sympathy is extended to his relatives in their bereavement”.
A few days later, on 5 February 2015, the Evening Express added some further detail, under the surprising heading “SUBURBAN GOSSIP” (reporting inter alia on a recent victory of the Mugiemoss Football Club, and the doings of the Stoneywood Whist Club: “Profound regret was caused by the announcement that Mr John Reid, station agent, Bankhead, had died in the Military Hospital, Cromarty, on Saturday. Mr Reid was for several years signalman at Cults Station where he gained many friends. A more amiable and obliging servant the railway company did not possess, and when Mr Reid was transferred from Cults to Bankhead he received many assurances of the cordial esteem of the community. With characteristic public spirit and self-abnegation Mr Reid had, since the outbreak of the war, devoted himself to the service of his country”.
The Aberdeen Journal on 5 February also reported on Private Reid’s funeral which took place in Kincardine O’Neil, where his elderly widowed mother still lived, at Cochran: “The coffin, covered with the Union Jack, was borne from the church to the churchyard by colleagues of the railway service and friends of younger days. The Rev. Gavin E. Argo conducted the service in the church and at the grave.” He is buried at Kincardine O’Neil old churchyard and commemorated on a fine granite tombstone in the south west corner, and is also listed on the memorial to railway employees at Aberdeen station.