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Captain James K. Anderson KIA November 24th 1917

This is my first named sword I bought and the first sword I took out the time to research when I started collecting, it is also the first one that truly felt an emotional connection with as starting at the beginning I found the owners name in the army lists, found his census records, previous jobs, wife, child and then finally I found his record of death. Knowing a sword has a history is incredible and of course we as collectors know that almost all the owners of our swords will have passed away but for me this was the first KIA, knowing the officer never came home after becoming familiar with his past is a very strange feeling that many collectors need to get acquainted with but never gets any easier.

Captain Anderson is in my eyes the epitome of a true British hero of the First War, he was not a regular, he was not a veteran, he never had a home front garrison position. He was a territorial volunteer who was sent to one of the most brutal arenas of World War One.

Born in 1889 to William and Janet Anderson of Pollokshields, Glasgow and training under his father to be a master plumber and join the family business and eventually becoming a partner in William Anderson Ltd. Like many Glaswegian sons entrance to the Territorials (The Scottish Rifles later became the Cameronians) was a part of entering society as an adult and on the 30th of November 1911 he attained rank of Second Lieutenant in the 7th Scottish rifles. This is when the sword came into the picture, retailed by Hobson and made by Pillin this beautifully etched sword with initials and unit marks.

Upon becoming partner of his fathers firm in 1913 Anderson married a Sarah Kerr in the Windsor Hotel Glasgow, his wife later signing on to be a Red Cross driver and serving from 1914 to 1918 from what I can tell in Britain and France. The greatest shame is that Captain Anderson only saw his son for a few months when War was declared, William Anderson (later a knighted doctor for services to geriatric medicine) being born in April 1914.

The 1/7th Scottish rifles shipped out to Gallipoli in 1915 with the unit seeing near non stop action, being there from the start of the Gallipoli invasion to the evacuation of Helles, taking part in both Battles of Gaza before finally laying down his life in The Battle of Nabi Samweil, succumbing to wounds received on the 24th of November 1917. His wife received his medals in 1922, Captain Anderson is laid to rest in the Jerusalem War Cemetery.


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