This young man in the Mackenzie tartan trews is my grandfather, James Graham Crawford. He was born on 13 May 1889 at 8 Greenhaugh Street, Govan, Glasgow Scotland. In 1907, he joined the military and served in the 2nd Battalion Highland Light
Infantry for almost 12 years, his date of discharge being 5 November 1919.
His experiences during the war were many and varied. He served as a medic at various times and in this capacity he met many French soldiers, which he enjoyed very much. With his battalion he took part in the battle and retreat from Mons. In the area of Ypres, he took part in fierce hand-to-hand combat.
Around this time he was buried in a trench collapse and was luckily saved by the quick action of his fellow soldiers. Years later he was walking down the streets of Chicago when another man came up and introduced himself, saying that he had dug my grandfather out of a trench years before. My grandfather and this man, Jake Buss, became good friends.
He was gassed as so many were and suffered for the rest of his life. In the 1940's he applied for a job and failed the physical exam. The doctors suspected TB and sent him to a sanatorium, where it was discovered that his lungs were badly scarred from the gas.
Despite these experiences, my grandfather enjoyed his military service and in fact tried to join up when World War II broke out!