Alexander "Alex" Gillies



Mar 22, 1890

Born in Greenock, Scotland


Mar 9, 1916

Attested into the 156th Battalion in Brockville, Ontario 

Ø      Number 639846

Ø      Next of kin given as Nellie Gillies, sister, Greenock, Scotland

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian


Oct 19, 1916

Embarked the SS Northland in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Oct 28, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to Witley where he was transferred to the 124th Battalion to continue his training


Jan 1, 1917

Transferred back to the 156th Reserve Battalion in Witley


Apr 25, 1917

Sentenced to 4 days Field Punishment No. 2.  The offence that prompted this punishment is not recorded in the file


May 23, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


May 24, 1917

Arrived at No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France and was TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Jun 10, 1917

Left the CIBD to join the battalion


Jun 11, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Coupigny, France carrying out training exercises


Nov 3, 1917

On this date the 21st Battalion moved into the front line in Passchendaele and almost immediately the Germans mounted an attack.  Private Gillies was killed in that attack.  He was initially buried in a location marked as Sheet 28.D.17.b.1.8. 

When the war ended and an attempt was made to relocate the battlefield burials into organized cemeteries, his remains could not be located.  This was most likely a result the continuous shelling for the remainder of the war.  As a result of having no known grave, he is commemorated on the walls of the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his sister, Miss Helen Gillies, 58 Ann St., Greenock, Scotland. 

No Memorial Cross was issued


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