John Lewis Garvie


About John Lewis

  • Name
    John Lewis
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
  • Birth town
    Dundee, Forfar
  • Resided town
    Tayforth, Fife
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Black Watch
  • Battalion
    Cyclist Company


John Lewis Garvie was born in Dundee in 1896 to John Lewis, an electric light fitter, and Elizabeth (nee Edward) Garvie.  In 1901, John (2) was living at 7 Belgray Place, Mains, Forfarshire with his family John (40), Elizabeth (38), Bella (16) a carpet weaver, Ernest (9), Elizabeth (7), Herbert (2) and Elizabeth Edward (74) his maternal grandmother.

John initially joined the Black Watch Territorial Force on 27 February 1913, having previously served with the Highland Cyclist Battalion, Territorial Force.  He gave his occupation as a joiner.  He was discharged on 14 September 1914, and re-enlisted with the regular army Highland Cyclist Battalion on 18 September 1914.  He was with the British Expeditionary Force in France from 19 September 1915.  He served with the 68th Welsh Divisional Cyclist Company and the 64th Divisional Company Army Cycling Corps.  John’s service record is in a very poor condition so it is difficult to be certain of details.  He was awarded the British War, Allied Victory Medal and the 1914/15 Star.

When John passed through Peterborough East Station on 25 November 1916, he was serving with the 64th (Highland) Divisional Cycle Company and was stationed at Norwich.  In March 1916, the 64th Highland Division had moved to England, with their headquarters being set up in Norwich

John wrote a charming rhyme in the visitors’ book and signed it “An indebted one”.  This tells us that he was probably returning from leave in Dundee and returning to camp in Norwich.

“‘Twas on a Thursday morning, on my way back from Dundee

I called at the Soldiers and Sailors for some grub, and also tea

The service there was delightful, the servant better still

And the restful hour I spent there a spot in my mem’ry shall fill

If on your way back to the camp, for your train you have to wait

Call at Peterboro’ Soldiers and Sailors Rest, before it is too late.”

Cyclists provided reconnaissance and communications duties and could provide mobile firepower if required.  Units that went overseas also undertook trench-holding duties and manual work  .

John was demobilized to Class Z on 19 March 1919.   He was suffering from malaria, which went on to trouble him for some years.  His army medical reports up to May 1923, describe him as a nervous and anaemic person who complained of bouts of giddiness and hand tremors.  He also suffered from post scarlet fever debility.  He received a pension for which the malaria was attributed as a 6-14% disability.

In 1931 John lived at Links Cottage, Tayforth and was employed as a joiner.  He had been a Member of Tayforth Town Council since 1928 according to a newspaper report on a court case where he had accused a local townsperson of slandering his name.

We have been unable to find out anything further about John Lewis Garvie.  Is he related to you?  Please get in touch if you can tell us more about him.


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