Sunday, July 27, 2014

52 Ancestors #30: Disabled in World War I

Ancestor Name: James WHYTE

James Whyte was the husband of my second cousin twice removed, Mary Shaw McAlpine. James was born on 24 September 1897 in Livingston, Scotland, to Walter and Margaret (Clark) Whyte.

By 12 August 1913 he was a shale miner, serving in the Army special reserve. On 3 August 1914 he joined the King's Own Scottish Borderers. Two years laters he was deemed no longer being physically fit for military service due to the effects of a strained heart. On 11 May 1916 he was granted a pension as totally disabled. The report of the Medical Board, dated 29 September 1916:

Snippet of James Whyte's medical report 

States he was wounded in flesh of left thigh on 19 Jun 1915 at Gallipoli Peninsula. The wound has healed and he was up and about when in the middle of August, resulting he thinks from the great heat, he began to have pain in the left side and palpitations. Cause: Strain of active service and excessive heat while convalescent from a wound. Active service conditions straining the heart muscle. After slight exertion, pulse 114 and missing several beats each minute. The cardiac apex is 1/2" outside nipple line, but there is no murmur. Result of active service conditions -- strain. Total at present. A. F. B 103: --"D. A H" Field -- 28-12-14. Invalided Home
M. H. S: -- "Frost-bite feet" Bristol -- 3-1-15 to 6-1-15 "Bayonet S. Seg" Dar 4-6-15 Invalided Home. "Effects of Strain of Heart" Edinburgh 24-2-16

I found it amazing that James had frost bitten feet in January and a year later suffered so badly from the heat his heart was permanently strained. It also appears, if I am reading the medical report correctly, that he had been invalided home once before on 28 December 1914, which was 6 months before the unit shipped out to Gallipoli. Still so many questions!

James Whyte with his wife and sisters-in-law. From left to right: Mary Shaw (McAlpine)
Whyte,  James Whyte, Isabella (McAlpine) McVicar, and  Martha (Hamilton) Finlay. Photo
courtesy of member nclaw

James Whyte married  Mary Shaw McAlpine on 24 December 1919 in Bathgate. He died in Bangour Hospital of a ruptured aortic aneurysm on 8 Aug 1987 at the age of 89. His wife had died two years earlier.

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge.

James Whyte was born on 24 September 1897 in Livingston Village to Walter and Margaret (Clark) Whyte. He served in World War I with the King's Own Scottish Borderers and discharged in 1916. He served in France from 12 May 1914 to 1 January 1915 and in Turkey from 9 May 1915 to 9 October 1915 (according to his discharge record). He married Mary Watson Shaw McAlpine on 24 December 1919 at the St. John's Manse in Bathgate. They had a least one daughter. He died on 8 August 1987 in Whitburn, Scotland, and was buried in Bathgate Cemetery.

On the centenary of World War I, I am writing occasional profiles about the lives of my soldier ancestors, who fought in the Great War. 

1 comment:

  1. This is so interesting on different levels Being disabled myself with a heart condition, it amazes me he lived through the stress of war! Good for them that they had such a long life together. I admire your dedication to your WwI soldiers Schalene, it has opened my eyes in several ways, thanks. H