Spottiswoode, John


Son of George Andrew Spottiswoode of Cadogan Place, London and Frances, (daughter of Sir St Vincent Love Hammick), he came to Winchester from the Reverend J H Edgar’s School at East Sheen. He passed with distinction through Sandhurst and was gazetted in 1894 to the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He served in the South African War with the Mounted Infantry and was twice wounded. In 1901 he retired from the service, and entered his father’s printing firm, but spent much of his spare time in experiments with wireless telegraphy and aeronautics.

On the outbreak of war he rejoined the 6th Battalion of his old regiment and went to France early in the campaign, seeing action from the beginning. He participated in the Retreat from Mons and then in the counter-attack towards the river Aisne. Unfortunately there is no mention of Spottiswoode in the Battalion’s war diary or in personal diaries of other members of 2KRRC, and it is likely he came out with a draft of reinforcements. According to the war diary 91 other ranks and one (un-named) officer joined on 5th September.

He fell at Gheluvelt on 31st October 1914 during the First Battle of Ypres. He was originally posted as “wounded and missing” but it soon became clear that he had been killed, although his body was never recovered.

He married Miss Sybil Gwendolen Ginsberg and left two sons, one of whom, Raymond John Spottiswoode, came to Winchester (G 1926-1930).

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Spottiswoode
  • Forenames or initials: John
  • House: G
  • Years in School: 1888-1889
  • Rank: Captain
  • Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps
  • Date of Birth: 18th April 1874
  • Date of Death: 31st October 1914
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer H4
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on Panels 51 and 53 of the MENIN GATE MEMORIAL