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Michael Anderson Private

2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders 12068
Died: 31st July 1916, Western Front

Gordon Highlanders badge.png

Michael was born at Bridgend Cottages, Inverkip on 21st June 1899. He was the 8th of 10 children of William, a forester and Mary m/s Brett. They were married in Inverkip in 1888. Mary sadly died when Michael was just 8 years old.

On the 1901 census, Michael was living with his parents and 7 of his siblings at Bridgend Cottages. His father's occupation is recorded as 'assistant forester'. On the 1911 Inverkip census, Michael was living with his siblings at Bridgend with his eldest sister Annie, head of the family.

In November 1912, Michael's father William married Grace Black at her home at Lyle Street, Greenock. She was a widow and had several children of her own. The story goes that William and Grace were once childhood sweethearts and after a chance meeting in a post-office in Paisley after the death of their respective spouses, they then went on to get married. William died at the Laundry at the Ardgowan Estate in 1945 and Grace died there also, one year later.

When the First World War broke out, two of Michael's elder brothers joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Robert Anderson is pictured in his uniform). Robert Anderson was gassed during the war and discharged from service. He had lung problems for the rest of life and died in Inverkip in 1971. Michael's father, step mother and 3 of his siblings are buried in Inverkip cemetery (family headstone pictured). Michael was seemingly the adventurous and outgoing one in the family and joined the Gordon Highlanders when he was just 16, probably to satisfy his sense of adventure. Why he joined a different regiment to his brothers is unclear - perhaps the Gordon Highlanders were in greater need at that time. Michael sent an embroidered postcard back home to his family in December 1915 (pictured) with the words 'with love from Michael'.

The records of Inverkip Parish Church show Michael was a prize winner in the Sunday School along with his brother James.

Michael was an employee of John Ure Young bakers in Main Street, but it is also likely prior to this he worked on the Ardgowan Estate, like his father William did. It was said that Michael would bring home scraps from the bakery on a Saturday for his family.

Michael was shot in the chest and was lay in the mud of the Somme for several days before he was found. He travelled to London, presumably because there was a good chance of recovery from his injuries, which would have been a long and painful journey. He died in Tooting military hospital on 31st July 1916. His death certificate states he was 19 years old when in fact he was 17. He signed his Will when he was just 16.

He is buried in Wandsworth Cemetery and remembered on the Inverkip War Memorial.

Click on related images below to expand

Anderson Banns
Anderson headstone Inverkip Cemetery
Bridgend Cottages
Michael Anderson 1911 Inverkip census
Michael Anderson birth cert
Michael Anderson cemetery panel
Michael Anderson charm 1
Michael Anderson charm 2
Michael Anderson Earslfield cemetery notice
Michael Anderson funeral in newspaper
Michael Anderson grave panel list
Michael Anderson grave register
Michael Anderson grave registration report
Michael Anderson medal card
Michael Anderson medals
Michael Anderson register of soldiers' effects
Michael Anderson Will 3 of 4
Michael Anderson Will 4 of 4
Michael Anderson Will 4
Michael Anderson Will page 1 cropped
Postcard from M Anderson cropped
Private Robert Anderson (Brother)
(Father) William Anderson outside Bridgend
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