L Cpl James Daun, 6th Gordon Highlanders

James Daun was born at Brackla in the Parish of Premnay on 12th July 1889, the son of William and Ann Daun. Known to family and friends as Jimmy he was the 4th eldest of a family of ten he had five brothers and four sisters. His father was tenant in the farm of Brackla on the Brindy Hill. Brackla was on the Leith Hall Estate and it is known that James was working as a farm servant at Leith Hall Home Farm when he went off to fight in The Great War.


James Daun

It is known that three workers from Leith Hall went away to the war and that all of them died in the conflict. The others were George Gordon and William Anderson.


Jimmy enlisted at Huntly but was not a member of the original 6th Batt, Gordon Highlanders (Territorial Force) who arrived in France in November 1914. He volunteered later and did basic training, possibly at Aberdeen. By February 1915 Jimmy is at Bedford where the Gordon Brigade in the Highland Division were based during WW1.

It is very likely that James and William Anderson left Leith Hall, enlisted together at Huntly and trained together. Both arrived in France on 10th March 1915, the day the five day Battle of Neuve Chapelle started. As part of a new draft they may have gone straight up to the front to join the battalion in the field.


Service Dress uniform


No1 Dress uniform


The photographs above were clearly taken at the same Midland Road studio in Bedford. Service Dress was the standard issue for daily wear with No1 being worn when the highest standard of dress was called for. The one on the right, sent to his sister Maggie, is dated 25th February 1915 and was likely sent home during preparations to leave Bedford for the Western Front three weeks later.


Following Neuve Chapelle the 6th were next into action in the attack on the German line in front of the village of Festubert, 16th-18th May.

It is known that James came unscathed through The Battle of Loos, 25/9/1915. During October 6 GH were in the line south of the La Bassee Canal near Cambrin or alternating in billets. He fell sick and eventually found himself in one of the medical facilities in Rouen.

80 miles back from the front Rouen was the Base Supply Depot for the 6th Gordons in The British Expeditionary Force (BEF). The 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters was also established there. Supplies, equipment, new drafts, etc destined for 6 GH at the front passed through their base at Rouen. They then went "up the line" to the front. " Down the line" meant movement back from the front to the Base.


Several British camps and hospitals ( hospitals included eight General, five Stationary, one British Red Cross, one Native Labour Hospitals and No. 2 Convalescent Depot) were established in, and around, the race course on the Southern outskirts of the city. It was in No 9 General Hospital that James died due to pericarditis on 2nd November 1915 having been passed "down the line" from a Dressing Station or Field Hospital at the front.


Memorial card Click to view large image of card

It was the practice of the time to commemorate a death on a Memorial or Death Card. The card on the left is tri-fold and double sided ( both sides shown). It bears a picture of James, details of his death and a verse.
They would have been given to family members and friends.


Click on the card to view a full size image.


These hospitals all buried in the nearby St Sever Cemetery throughout the war. Over 3,000 casualties are buried at St Sever, including James Daun.

On the day of his death on 2nd November 1915 his comrades in 6th Gordons were out of the line and in billets at Le Quesnoy.

1914-15 trio The 1914-15 Star The British War Medal The Victory Medal

Move mouse over medals to view reverse The British War Medal

James Daun was awarded these medals for serving his King and Country in The Great War.

James qualified for the 1914-1915 Star (left). It was awarded to all personnel (including naval) who served in any theatre of war between 5th August 1914 and 31st December 1915, other than those who had already qualified for the 1914 Star.

The British War Medal (centre) and Victory Medal (right) were awarded to all personnel.
The trio were commonly called "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred" after newspaper cartoon characters of the day.

Premnay Kirkyard

Premnay Kirkyard

Daun family headstone at Premnay

The Daun family headstone at Premnay Kirkyard


Also of their son
died in France 2nd Nov 1915
aged 26




Photographed February 2002


James Daun's name does not appear on Kennethmont War Memorial but he is remembered on The Roll of Honour, having left Leith Hall to take up arms.

Insch & District Memorial Roll

His name is recorded within the entrance of Insch & District War Memorial Hospital which was built as a memorial to the Fallen of neighbouring parishes including Premnay.

Insch & District War Memorial Hospital
Insch & District War Memorial Hospital


View  6GH memorial

6th Batt Gordon Highlanders Memorial