John Fyffe

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment: HMS Unicorn
  • Service no: Clyde Z/5814
  • Rank: Able Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Hood Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: France
  • Age at Death: 20
  • Date of Death: 13.11.1916
  • Burial Country: France
  • Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Pier & Face 1A

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth: 02.02.1896
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 25 Dundonald Street, Dundee
  • Occupation: Joiner
  • Mother:
  • Father:

    John Fyffe, 25 Dundonald St, Dundee

  • Siblings:

    Maggie and Lizzie, 16 Strathmartine Road, Dundee

  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about John Fyffe

John has no known grave but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

John Fyffe CZ/5814 Hood Bn

8/2/18 Report received from Director of Graves Registration & Enquiries (33557G) Buried 1 mile W. of Grandcourt. ; A Joiner ; b.2/2/1896 ; Next-of-Kin & home address: Father, John, 25 Dundonald St., Dundee.


John Fyffe was the son of Mr John Fyffe, 25 Dundonald Street and later Lorne Street, Dundee and was employed as a Joiner. In June 1915 he volunteered to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve onboard HMS Unicorn for service in the Royal Naval Division. After initial Naval Training at the Crystal Palace in South London he was sent to Blandford Camp in Dorset for advanced military training. In December he was drafted to the Hood Battalion and arrived in Egypt just before the evacuation from Gallipoli. He remained in Alexandria for two weeks before joining the Hood in the Aegean. The Battalion sailed to France in May 1916 to join in the fight on the Western Front. After training in Army tactics the RND began to experience the war on the Western Front and was being prepared to join in the Somme battle. One of the first day’s objectives of the British attack on 1 July 1916 was the capture of the village of Beaucourt just to the west of the River Ancre. It was finally taken on 14 November by the men of the RND. This was the first major operation by the RND in France and established a reputation for being a “Can Do” Division. However, the casualty list was very long and over 30 local men were killed and countless more wounded. This was the worst ever day for Dundee’s Naval forces in the First World War and John Fyffe was listed as Killed in Action. He was buried but his body was not found after the war and his name is on the Thiepval Memorial in Northern France. His sisters, Maggie and Lizzie, lived at 16 Strathmartine Road, Dundee and he played for Glenisla FC before the war.

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Additional information and image courtesy of Michael Caldwell

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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