Second Lieutenant John Somerville

Second Lieutenant John White Somerville, Royal Marine Light Infantry, 2nd Royal Marine Battalion, Royal Naval Division. He was killed in France, aged 34, on the 22nd June 1916. He had been born in Dalkeith and was the son of Robert and Jane Somerville of Glencairn, Dalkeith and the husband of Georgiana Somerville of Carcant, Heriot whom he had married in Leith in 1913. He began his working life as a bank clerk but then became a sculptor with a studio in West Bryson Street, Edinburgh. He had exhibited in the Royal Academy, London and the Royal Scottish Academy. He sought to enlist in the Royal Navy as a Sub Lieutenant in June 1915 and was granted a commission in the Royal Marines in August 1915. He joined the 2nd Battalion in Egypt in April 1916 just as the Division moved to France. He was killed by a trench mortar bomb and is buried in Bois-De-Noulette British Cemetery, Aix-Noulette, France where his headstone is inscribed ” God Is Love”. the Royal Naval Division was originally formed from naval and marine reservists who were surplus to Naval requirements and on going to France was renamed the 63rd ( Naval ) Division and fought on the Western Front until the War ended.

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