Glenfarg War Memorial Project

John Soutter

Private 22923 2nd Battalion Canadian Infantry

Born 6 October 1875, Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Died 1 May 1916, Etaples, France.


John Soutter was the son of Colin Spens Soutter, a native of Leuchars, Fife, and his wife Ann (née Davidson), a native of Orwell, Kinross-shire, who married at Milnathort, Kinross-shire on 27 November 1874.

John was the eldest of their six children, born 6 October 1875 in south Leith, Edinburgh. His siblings were Agnes born 1878, Jane and Margaret born 1881, Hannah born 1884 and Allan born 1888. The 1891 census shows the age of his father Colin  as 42 and his mother Ann 41; they are living at New Street, Prestonpans, East Lothian. John is working as a railway clerk.

By the 1901 census, only John's siblings Margaret aged 20 and Allan aged 13 are still living with their parents Colin aged 52, a publican, and Ann aged 51 at 1 New Street, Prestonpans. Colin and his wife Ann later came to live (aged 62 and 61 respectively at the 1911 census) at Belmont Cottage, Arngask (Glenfarg), Perthshire.

John aged 25 is now living at 85 Hozier Street, Govan, Lanarkshire with his wife Annie (née Keag), having married on 5 October 1900 in Partick, Glasgow. He is still working as a railway clerk.
On 22 July 1901 their first son Colin Spence Soutter was born at 85 Hozier Street, and on 14 September 1903 their second son Robert Keag Soutter was born at Kilmarnock Road, Shawlands, Pollokshaws, Renfrewshire.

On 21 March 1908, aged 32, John Soutter took passage from Glasgow to St Johns, Canada on steamship Cassandra of the Donaldson Line, temporarily leaving behind in Glasgow his wife and sons. Having apparently established a home and occupation, on 29 May 1909 his wife, aged 32, and sons aged 8 and 6, set sail to join him, sailing from Glasgow on the Grampian of the Allan Line.

On 29 September 1914 he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Quebec City, Quebec, giving his age as 35 rather than, as it was, 39.

He died of wounds in No. 24 General Hospital, Etaples, France on 1 May 1916. He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery with on his headstone the legend that his wife requested:

Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn