Pte. J. Muirhead


UNIT: Royal Army Medical Corps - 33rd British General Hospital

NUMBER: 100612


DATE OF DEATH: 12th September 1917

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: Basra War Cemetery, Iraq

AGE: 49

James Muirhead was born in Kirkcaldy, in Scotland and he moved to Northallerton in 1898. He was married to Isabella H. Muirhead, and they lived at 1 Malpas Terrace, Northallerton with their 3 sons and 4 daughters. Isabella appears to have moved, after the death of her husband, to 3 Hedly Street, New Wortley, Leeds, as this is her address according to the CWGC records, which were compiled after the War.

Since moving to Northallerton, James had worked as a machine printer at the Linoleum Factory in Northallerton. He was a member of the Baptist Church and had been a member of the Northallerton branches of both the St Johns Ambulance Brigade and the Red Cross Society. It is hardly surprising therefore, that when he joined the Army, he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Private Muirhead enlisted in London and sailed for India on 26th April 1916. He died of blood poisoning, following wounds, whilst serving in Mesopotamia, aged 49. He is not listed as killed in action or died of wounds and it is most likely therefore that his wounds, which became poisoned, were the result of an accident.

Isabella, his wife, received an official telegram on 14th September to say that James was dangerously ill on 12th and was in the British General Hospital in Basra. This was followed shortly afterwards by a letter from the War Office to say that he had, in fact, died on 12th September. Isabella was left to bring up their three sons and four daughters alone.

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